small spot of Parisien shopping

There were hordes of summer holiday-makers in Paris at this time, and needless to say many of them were Asians. From the speech, they were of various nationalities, Singaporeans included, forming queues outside the luxury boutiques like Louis Vuitton and Chanel. I wonder if we Asians are only aware of these brands that when we travel overseas these are the only shops we go to, or we want what everyone else has. I went to the Chanel flagship at Rue Cambon, took a walk around and decided to come out. Granted, I used to and still am pretty enamoured with pretty leather pieces that I see because the smell of leather can be so intoxicating at times I wish I could own more leather bags! But it is quite senseless to put my hard-earned money on a leather product that because I am unable to devote absolute TLC to in our climate that can be really unkind to leather, money spent just goes down the drain. I don’t even call it an investment like some would say, because if I am unable to take care of it, what investment value does it have, say 10 years down the road? I have witnessed the wear and tear and gradual deterioration in condition of my bags and sorry but money really comes by tough. Unless you don’t have to work for your money then maybe it’s a different story altogether. Unfortunately I am no heiress privy to a multi-million inheritance.

Still, I did do some shopping while out at Paris during the weekend there. Weather was fantastic because the rain held up and it was bright and sunny, yet not too hot. It was pretty scorching on Sunday when I was out for hours under the sun without the benefit of much cloud cover in the sky, but Saturday was good. These were my spoils.

20130626-090121.jpg

I know, Zara and Longchamp is so predictable but Zara is cheaper in Europe! I was in Zara a couple of days ago and a price tag that read 39.95 Euros was somehow costing S$79.90, which totally baffled me. I bought that item by the way, which I didn’t see when I was in Paris, otherwise I’d just have killed myself. I am pretty unadventurous when it coems to shopping for clothes, so my usual places to buy clothes from are Zara, sometimes Mango, and what else? Someone please bring me shopping!

And Longchamp… ok I wouldn’t say that prices are great but for the price I paid for the Le Pliage canvas foldable bags and my heavy use of them, I think they are indeed great value for money items! I have a few of the Le Pliage items bought from some previous trips but a medium long-handle that I carry in Singapore to yoga and abroad for my business trips showed that 65 Euros I paid for it was totally worth it. There was this Longchamp bag that was introduced sometime ago that I was lusting after for a while but never really made the plunge to buy, a full-leather bag in the same shape as the Le Pliage canvas tote, but with short handles and a long strap that can be used for cross-body slinging for the medium sizes and above. I thought of getting the small but then the strap is too short so I thought the medium made more sense. Colour-wise, I really loved the mustard yellow and red that they had for summer, but red seemed a bit too much for me for daily wear, and yellow would show up dirt more easily. Considering that I am one of the worst persons when it comes to taking care of bags, I decided to stay on the conventional route and chose a dark classic colour instead, dark blue. Was deliberating between camel and blue, but eventually settled on the blue. 20130626-090134.jpg

The lighting was amber, which explained why the bag looks like it’s black instead of blue. But I’m glad I got it, so now I can finally stop thinking about it. I was actually thinking of getting another medium long-handled Le Pliage in mustard and thought I could get it at Charles de Gaulle airport, but unfortunately they didn’t have that colour in the outlet that was in Terminal 1 of the airport. Oh well, perhaps the next time then.

Longchamp Le Pliage shopping tote

Being the bag hag that I am, or used to be, I was always very fascinated or should I say, enthralled by the vibrant colours of bags in shop-window displays. Needless to say, Longchamp’s range of shopping totes in all sorts of colours on display is a big draw for me.

But I have never really gotten into it even if each time I pass their shops I’d pop in to have a look-see. My very first Le Pliage was the small short-handle, in black, that a friend helped me to get from Paris. I’m guilty to say that I have never used it once because it somehow doesn’t fit my daily need of a bag, i.e. too small and it has handles that I can’t carry on the shoulder.

Then I bought a medium short handle, which belonged to some limited edition I think because it was a floral range and the leather part was white. It was on sale while I was catching a flight out of Incheon airport, so it retailed at a rather good price. I used it a couple of times, and yes because it’s a short handle, it explained why I seldom use it.

On a trip to Paris for vacation, I again succumbed and bought 2. One short handled medium-sized document bag with Le Tour Eiffel on it, and another smaller long-handled in dusty pink.

My last and latest was a rusty-brown (I don’t know it’s actual colour name) medium-sized long handle (or is that the large size, I don’t know but it’s the common size that most people have anyway) while (again) waiting to catch a flight, this time out of Schiphol airport. It was just at a good price, which I know shouldn’t be the reason for buying a bag but this time I think I did good. I am using this bag now for my trip to the States and it’s amazing how much this bag can hold and how utilitarian it is. I just need a bag organiser in it to have my things properly in place, that’s it.

Recently, I read that Longchamp has released a range of Le Pliage in full leather, and that comes with a long shoulder strap. I haven’t seen the bags yet in reality but it got me into this bag-buying mood again. I know I said I won’t buy bags (or that many) from now on but I can’t help thinking about it now that I feel how great this bag is for travelling, and especially if I were to continue in my current job that sometimes need me to fly long distances, which would then necessitate me to carry all sorts of things with me in the plane. I have been pampered by SQ before but now I have to travel on some airlines that you just need to have everything on yourself instead of relying on the airline to provide basic stuff.

And so… maybe this new Le Pliage will be my next bag for the year, after the Head Porter sling bag I got in Tokyo earlier this year. Good news is, I don’t think (I hope) that it will cost as much as the bags I used to buy. Will update with some pictures if I can! 🙂