Monday, 3 January 2011

Back to school feeling


Due to the fall of the calendar and the lengthy closure of my office, I have been able to enjoy the longest festive break since leaving university. Now, I find myself on the eve of returning back to work and I have to confess to having that back to school feeling. That odd mixture of reluctance on the one hand and an eagerness to fall back into some notion of routine on the other. This feeling has only been enhanced by the delivery of a late Christmas present from Ally Capellino. Instead of having to hunt the high street for the backpack that would hopefully attract envious glances from my friends as well as interest from the opposite sex (this boy had an odd thought process), the bag that would do just that was gift wrapped in the post. Life is full of surprises.

If only I had Alisdair on my back when I was at school instead of those head scratching-ly small and practically useless Nike drawstring abominations that were so popular during my youth. Perhaps this beauty would have persuaded Kelly Hurst to go out with me to the cinema and who knows, I could have settled in my home town and become a teenage dad to a whole flock of unruly children...on seconds perhaps it was a fortunate escape. Alistair is a heady mix of Harris Tweed and Italian leather. Now, if you've been reading this blog for any significant amount of time, you will know how deep my love is for Harris Tweed. The story of Harris Tweed is one of a remote island community that lies between the Highlands of Scotland on the north west tip of Europe and the North Atlantic Ocean. I have lusted over this truly unique fabric for some time but back in November I was invited up to see the evolution and craft of the textile right before my very eyes. Ever since I left the island I have been keen to showcase the use of the fabric in all of its forms. From an intriguing collaboration with High Street heavyweight Topman to its continued use by the much coveted British designer, Nigel Cabourn. It is great to the see trademark Orb used by the likes of Ally Capellino.


During my Thirty years of Ally Capellino post I remarked that I'd happily sell an unnecessary body part in order to own one of its timeless, but never dull accessories.  Thankfully all of my body parts, however unnecessary are still present and correct. Each piece is made from beautiful durable leathers and fabrics that only improve with age and boy do I want to grow old with this present.

Its classic design includes a drawstring opening, tuck tight closure and bridle leather buckles.  As with all great menswear, the beauty is in the details. It has a sturdy leather base, chunky stitching detail and thick adjustable leather straps. Other features include a useful zip pocket on the side of the bag, and a zip pocket in its racing green lining. Lets take a closer look...


In addition to being an object of real striking beauty, Alisdair encapsulates the real highlights of 2010's blogging. The last twelve months have seen me celebrate quality craftsmanship, showcase British labels and highlight stunning materials. Thank you Ally Capellino, this bag will grow old with me and remind me that 2010 was a good one.

12 comments:

Sol said...

cool bag!

Anonymous said...

Loving the combo of tweed and leather here. Nice pics.

Simon said...

I've got the back to school fear but no backpack. Damn.

Brandon Acton-Bond said...

Steve you now have quite possibly the ultimate backpack collection! I watched the whole Harris Tweed series on vimeo a month or two ago and was wondering how things have improved since in terms of mills and what is capable of being produced? I know I'd love to use legit Harris Tweed in my own designs someday and hope it's still very much available...

Ca said...

You made me envious. What a wonderful bag! Going on top of my wish list for 2011.

And oh, Happy New Year! Keep up the good work and thank you so much for the Style Stalking feature. Far too kind.

The S.S. Santiago said...

This is super cute, but the drawstring backpacks you lament using when you were in school were shown last season at Prada, weren't they? They're coming back from the past to haunt you!

Graham I. Haynes said...

The rich color of the leather is particularly striking to me. I also highly appreciate a person who makes distinctions between fabrics and all the various forms of tweed. It's a very classic item, I agree.

StyleSalvage said...

Sol and Anonymous: Thanks!
Simon: Oh no...hope the return to work wasn't too bad!
Brandon Acton-Bond: Yes, I am very happy with my collection. At the end of the series the situation was pretty dire but with the emergence of a few new mills (some large, some small), the industry is moving in the right direction and isn't going anyway soon.
Ca: Happy New Year to you! No, than you for taking part! We both love it.
The S.S. Santiago: Ha, I had pushed that to the back of my mind. Fashion is ever cyclical.
Graham I. Haynes: Why thank you.

Anonymous said...

Oh wow. This is a beautiful backpack. I need a new bag as the one I use now is falling apart (and I'm one of those people who only own one bag at a time) but now you've inspired me to look for something unique like this backpack rather than buy something from the high street that will last about two years.

I cannot tell you how pleased I am every time I read one of your posts about something British made, and I share your love for tweed as well. Incidentally, I've mentioned my desire to buy more British made pieces that will last and that come with their own history to a few people lately, and all I got was irony. I don't know if it just sounded strange because I'm foreign (plight of my life) or if it was because it's an alien concept to most people but I was very disappointed. I would love to see locally made, unique items like the ones you often feature get the appreciation they deserve in this country. Oh well, at least I'll always have Style Salvage!

Anna

Mat said...

very very smart choice, the design is flawless for me. get you feel really chuffed when your donning it. a keen eye spys that you're wearing your CM scarf coat? mine is now too small, the buttons are busting open :(

Glamour Bbey. said...

Such a perfect bag! I love it! xx

reub-envision said...

looks quality & cool

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