Balenciaga at the V&A

Balenciaga at the V&A

I’m not going to lie here. I didn’t know a whole lot about Balenciaga before I went into this exhibit. I had only heard of Balenciaga once in a Halsey song.

I visited the V&A last May just a few days after this exhibit opened and I was too broke to go. As in, I couldn’t spare the £12 to buy an entry ticket. It looked so beautiful from the outside, and a few people I knew had seen it, but I knew that if I wanted to make it back home, I really needed to stop spending money. So I made a promise to myself to come back before it closed in February 2018.

I was very lucky that I managed that.

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I’m not into high fashion but I do appreciate a good design when I see it and this was the exhibition for it. The story of how Cristóbal Balenciaga came to set up his first house to how he shaped modern fashion by creating something so far removed from what others were doing at the time was truly wonderful to look at.

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The Best of Kate Spade

The Best of Kate Spade

I’m a self professed Kate Spade lover. She could release a handbag made from a bin liner, make it fashionable, and I would consider buying it. That’s the wonderful talent the brand has.

What’s even more wonderful is that their products never go out of fashion. Classic leather looks in muted colours to loud ones to quirky bags with a sense of humour, nothing is ever past its sell by date. It’s a brand that will probably still be a major player in the bag industry in decades to come.

But I’m not ignoring that Kate Spade is pretty pricey in Ireland.

The KS outlet store in Kildare Village though is incredible – plenty of in season delights at a much, much lower price. And it’s not just the “rejects” or out of style designs. My current bag, just a standard black leather tote that fits all my stuff plus laptop (and is perfect all year round), originally retailed at €500 but I got it for €135. Don’t be put off by the prices in Brown Thomas, you can always get a bargain in Kildare.

Kate Spade is also fantastic for channelling their quirkier side in their designs and below are a few examples of some of the ones I found whilst searching for my next buy.

 

PS: KateSpade.co.uk doesn’t ship to Ireland so it’s going to be an AddressPal or ParcelMotel situation though after this incident, I think I’ll stick with AddressPal.

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Top Left: Ooh La La Dollface

Top Middle: Haute Stuff Takeout Bag (c wat dey did der)

Top Right: Scenic Route Cactus Bag

Mid Left: Scenic Route Cactus Sima

Mid Right: Ma Cherie Antoine Sima

Bottom Left: Baja Bound Porcupine Bag

Bottom Right:  Penny the Pinata  (my favourite!)

 

What should Kate do next?