I can still remember the first time my grandmother took me to Selfridges. Six floors of everything and anything you could wish for. From clothes and homeware, to toys and electricals. It is a common stereotype that women are obsessed with shopping and in particular with shoes or handbags. I certainly remember seeing the bags in Selfridges, but it wasn’t the handbags I lusted over. On the lower ground floor, close to the café where we had tea and scones, is the luggage section. A glorious selection of Eastpak and North Face. Reiss vintage style, Samsonite wheeled suitcases, and the holy grail, the Mulberry holdall. No, it wasn’t handbags that I lusted over, but the bags for travelling. The bags that you pack when you are about to set off, whether it be on a glamorous short city break or a rugged adventure, having the perfect luggage is all part of the fun.
There are many onscreen heroes who have complied with this aesthetic. Their luggage becoming part of their famed style or even part of the story. Here is a list of my favourite on screen luggage.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Phone in a suitcase? It may not be about actually using your luggage for travel but with her gorgeous suitcase storage box Holly Golightly certainly provides plenty of inspiration for those wanting to make use of their travel items at home.
Forget light and fast, with Mary Poppins’ Tardis-like carpet bag you can bring all kinds of non-essentials. Poppins’ ability to pull all kinds of seemingly unfittable objects out of her bag is a magical moment. As are the things she brings with her. There to be a rescuer, the fact that she comes prepared is a symbolic image and the bag itself becomes incredibly important as a representation of her suitability for the job.
The trunks! Ok they are completely unsuited for actually moving about unless you have a porter on call to carry everything for you but don’t they look lovely ? There is also something nice in the idea of fitting your whole life into a neat box, a metaphor which rarely seems to work out.
Never before has anyone packed so thoroughly and gracefully for an overnight visit as Grace Kelly in Rear Window. The compact nature, the beautifully folded nightdress and slippers. So it is not practical or useful but what it is, is indulgent and extravagant and we could all use something similar once in a while.
The Darjeeling Limited
The bags in this film have proven to be so popular that people have started to make replica and look-a-like sets because unfortunately the exact ones in the film were custom made by Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton. But way to go Marc, ay problems with the film aside, from the moment it got flung onto the train until it was abandoned on the platform, the carefully embroidered, monogrammed tan leather was an integral part of Wes Anderson’s aesthetic.