Lou Dalton Bag

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Back when I was planning this piece I was going to attempt to be amusing whilst discussing the perils of matching luggage: a plea to avoid back of the Sunday supplement sets, or of the moment travel statements.

Followed by a neat about turn, an admission of owning a matching set, and why this was in many ways quite chic.

All of this because what can you say about a bag? I mean, it’s a bag, it carries stuff, protects your items, etc, etc. 

Then last week I was having one of those days. An epic one of those days. We all get them. If it can go wrong, oh boy it does.

In fact, the only thing that didn’t let me down, was said bag. It did the protecting and carrying, exactly what it is meant to, without complaint.

So in many ways, it fulfils its purpose, nothing more. 

But, it would be remiss of me not to accept that this has been my most consistent ‘carry-on’ these past 10 years for reasons beyond sheer practicality.

Yes, it is capacious, happily carrying a book, camera, charger and the like, as well as roomy enough for a weekend away.

Yes, it is beautifully made in England from what seems like indestructible canvas with leather trim and handles that will outlive me.

All great if I wasn’t quite so picky.

What keeps it off the subs’ bench, is that it really is slightly more handsome than the average holdall. No extra detailing, funny or naff pockets, just simple, clean and elegant. 

Designed by Lou Dalton, for my store an age ago, I alternate between the two identical bags, although neither shows the slightest bit of wear despite being hauled on planes, trains and other forms of transport. 

It is a piece of beautiful design and proves my belief that Lou Dalton doesn’t receive anywhere near enough credit for the role she played in the formation of what is sometimes known as modern British Menswear. 

You could easily argue - and be right- that the British Menswear scene would be nowhere near as powerful if it wasn’t for the pioneering early work of Lou Dalton & Carolyn Massey. Collections which were progressive yet respectful of traditional British codes of dress. Essentially clothing that you couldn’t help but want to wear.