The Enduring Style of the Top Handled Bag

As with all things in fashion, trends seem to come back around in time and whereas some items should maybe stay in the past, we are most excited about the return of the ‘Kelly’ it-bag. The top handled bag of the moment has made it to the limelight in many varying forms and sizes. Most retain the essence of the vintage, structured silhouette, with the stand out top-handle that makes for an elegant and ever so chic addition to your wardrobe.

A Royal Favorite

With the top-handled bag being a favourite of the Queen, who reportedly owns 200 handbags, it is no surprise that the soon to be new Royal Meghan Markle has also taken a shine to the timeless style. The lady of the moment has been spotted carrying an array of top-handled bags out on her Royal engagements, with many of her supporters keen to see what she will next be sporting.


The History of the Kelly Bag

The history of the Kelly bag is a fascinating one and begins in 1892 when Hermes originally created a bag that was designed to carry a saddle, then known as ‘Haut a Courroies’ due to its high handle. Over time, the bag evolved to a smaller, boxier version for carrying papers and was renamed ‘Sac a Depeche’ which was popular with politicians and writers alike. By the 1930’s it developed further into the classier, more elegant ladies handbag.

In 1954 during the filming of the Alfred Hitchcock film ‘To Catch A Thief’ in which the beloved Hollywood princess Grace Kelly was the leading lady, she was introduced to the Hermes ‘Sac a Depeche’ bag as it was purchased as an accessory for on set. She fell in love with it and soon it became known as the ‘Kelly’ bag. The most poignant moment which really placed the bag in the limelight, and made it a must-have accessory, was in 1956. Newly married to Prince Rainer of Monaco, Kelly being followed by the paparazzi used the bag to hide her early pregnancy from the media, an image of which made the cover of Life Magazine and was seen worldwide.

Tusting’s Own Top Handled Bag

Back in September 2017, we revealed the Holly handbag, our own cute but sophisticated top handled bag, as part of the Portland Collection. This compelling collection boasts beautiful curves and clean lines which are enhanced by the luxurious quality of fully vegetable-tanned leather, the bags left unlined to show the expert craftsmanship in the making of each one.

The Holly is a classic small structured leather handbag with a simple fold-over flap which is secured by a chic turn-lock fastening; the padded top handle is the perfect size for carrying the bag comfortably. However, if for whatever reason you tire of carrying this gorgeous little bag, it does come with a detachable shoulder strap. Holly’s bigger sister, if you like, Eliza is a backpack spin-off of the design. Taller and slightly wider, it mirrors the same curvaceous, simplistic beauty as the Holly but with the added bonus of detachable shoulder straps. This giving the options to carry it by the top handle as the trend dictates, or for heavier loads to carry it on your back.

The Portland Collection first released the Holly and Eliza in the stunning colours Red, Spruce Green, Caramel Tan and Chestnut. For Spring 2018 we added to these popular colours vibrant Laguna Blue, rich Marine Blue, and the contrasting panels of Marine Blue and Pastel Pink, and Chestnut and Caramel Tan. A colour for every occasion, possibly even a movie premiere or a Royal engagement?!

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