Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have it in the bag

The launch of the Olsen twin’s debut handbag collection for their contemporary retail line ‘Elizabeth and James’ was met with an overall positive reception.  The twins, alrea

The launch of the Olsen twin’s debut handbag collection for their contemporary retail line ‘Elizabeth and James’ was met with an overall positive reception.  The twins, already incredibly successful designers in their own right, have transferred their chic image thoroughly into this collection, and it’s pretty difficult to not be a fan of the range.

The sharp, neat, minimalist character of the bags effortlessly endows them with a sense of elegance and timeless appeal. Though launched for fall, the collection is easily pictured right at home on a balmy-summer-evening setting, too. The collection is a refreshing coupling of slouchy, relaxed bohemian shapes and the clean sleekness of high-end fashion minimalism. 

Very New York City meets hippie chic, darling. And it works.

The promise of being more affordable

After the success of their brand ‘The Row’, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen founded ‘Elizabeth and James’ (named after their siblings) in 2007, with promises of being ‘more affordable’. While this is true in comparison to the sky-high, hand-over-mouth, gasp-inducing ‘Row’ prices (think £39,000 backpack…told you you’d gasp), the new collection still sets you back between £300 and £425 from Neiman Marcus online.

Unfortunately, that’s just a smidge out of my student budget range. Sorry, girls, but I don’t know many people who would class £425 as ‘affordable.’ Clearly, the ever-expensive-looking spotted fur is to blame. However, an interview with the girls revealed that small leather goods will range between £80 and £255, which is a bit more like it. That being said, the price is the only downside I can think to the collection.

Yes, I know, a rather big downside, but what were we expecting, really?

Something for every type of ‘handbagger’

The collection features various different handbag types, including satchels, hobos, shoppers, slings, clutches, wallets and messengers. So whether you’re an easy-going, slouchy hobo or sling type of lass or if the sophisticated, firm outline of the satchel is more your thing, there’s something for every type of ‘handbagger’.

Personally, I think the ‘Leather Drawstring Sling’ has got to be the most effortlessly cool item in the line. You can just imagine the twins, drawstring sling sophisticatedly tossed over small shoulder in such a fashion that the natural chicness of it all alone is enough to make you salivate over the bags. Available in rich, ruby vintage red or sexy ebony black, this item would definitely be my top pick of the range.

Collection is timelessly elegant

It cannot be denied that the new fall handbag collection from Elizabeth and James is timelessly elegant and deals with pure simplicity in a very clever way. The ‘special materials’ (as described by Mary-Kate) and pleasant pops of colour, mingling with and complementing the neutrals throughout the collection ensure that the range balances minimalism and interest. Ashley and Mary-Kate have effectively set themselves apart from the often-cringe-worthy actress-turned-novice-designer types, from the success of their various lines, and successfully secured their place in the couture fashion world.

I say if you can afford it, go for it!  Nice one, girls.

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