Sacet: Hangbag Dreamland

By Rebecca McNelly-Tilford

Once upon a time, there was a magical land called Sacet that was beautiful, extravagant, and opulent. A world where every handbag dreamland fantasy came alive.

She opened her eyes as the stars faded into the sky. But how could this be? Hadn’t morning already passed? It was so bright the lights penetrated into her half-closed eyes. Confused, she blinked away these thoughts and partly covered her eyes from the brightness.

The first reflection formed, once she gingerly opened her ‘peepers’ was that of the golden rings shining like stars in the sky. But as her eyes focused sharply, she saw that these were golden eyelets set into a white leather oblong that sat beside her. It was these golden eyelets that shone as bright as daylight, creating the illusion of midday sunshine. As she began to absorb her surroundings she realised this ‘pillow’ with its golden eyelets and woven leather was actually an Alexander McQueen handbag, well-named for the moment as it was called the story handbag, and not a headrest at all. 

Both disorientated and in awe she blinked away the light specks from her eyes and looked up deeper in the sky, trying to work out how it was sunrise. Set in the sky was a dark circle shape fading into the background, upon her first glance she expected the moon, but the silhouette of this ‘moon’ was not quite as she thought. A full circle in the middle with the round edges platted together, almost deeply coloured in metallic black, and then it struck her. This was the Stella McCartney logo bag leaving the morning sky rather than the moon.

She craned her neck to a sharp left and brought her eyes to the other side of the sky, everything looked normal at first. The sun seemed to brighten up the landscape, with an element of movement; the light almost danced. The higher the sun got in the sky, the clearer the reflections became. The bouncing brightness of that was a collection of large sequins. The oblong-shaped ‘sun’ took the shape of a gold Paco Rabanne bag, proudly sitting in the sky acting as the sun.

With all her attention on the sun and the moon, she had completely overlooked the sky. It was a beautiful clear baby blue nothing out of the ordinary, but then again she had been mistaken about everything else in this far-away unknown vista.

She brought her hand up to her eyes to shield them, allowing her to get a more detailed look. It was worth it as the sky looked more like woven strips of leather. The closer she studied the more she noticed the ‘sky’ was a collage of Bottega Veneta sky blue leather woven bags. It was at that very moment she knew she had entered a different world, a garden of Eden, a handbag dreamland.

Distracted by the wonders in the sky she hadn’t noticed a small river beside her. The freshwater air emanated from it quickly woke her up.

The water itself, a shade of diamond blue, blended seamlessly into the sky and glistened so still that the water itself looked like satin or silk. As she reached down to splash water on her face, she focused on small transparent flowers floating on the river top like lily pads. With a double-take, she brought herself to look at the water, this time to really look. As soon as she did, it became clear to her the river was a medley of baby blue Simone Rocha dainty satin handbags settled calmly like waves. Kneeling down she saw that within the water were delicate ‘shells’, so elegant, at once she took in that this was a collection of Shrimps clutch bags made up of hundreds of tiny white pearl-like beads.

Discombobulated, she sat on the edge of the water, absorbing this wondrous garden and half wondering how she got there when her thoughts were interrupted by a splashing sound from the other side of the river. She looked up across the river to see ‘elephants’ drinking and playing in the satin waves.

Quietly yet boldly, she moved as silently as she could to get a closer look, and behold resting on the river bed was a black elephant with white stripes. Not a typical elephant but a fun Loewe elephant cross-body bag. She looked further into the long grass as what looked like a cow and a sheep grazed together, as the light rippled the greenery and hit the animals. It was evident that like the elephants, the ‘cows’ and ‘sheep’ also were bags. This time, delightful and exquisitely crafted Celine handbags made from cowhide print and sheepskin textures. Further in the horizon playing peacefully together was a dodo and a leopard. What an unusual pairing of friends she thought, but mistaken again as the dodo was a large Loewe graphic tote and the leopard an elegant slinky Saint Laurent clutch bag. Every animal and landscape in this place amused and amazed her.

Feeling a little bolder she felt ready to explore. To the right of the river was the path where she started her exploration. As she approached the grey walkway, the colours fully revealed themselves. Multi-coloured but not bright in shades of grey, black and white. The bricks in the path were square and covered in a light texture that looked like a monogram, and it was then she understood that the path was monogrammed! Multiple Dior D-Lite bags were patchworked together to create a walkway. Like her very own yellow brick road, she danced along further into this phenomenal world.

Further along the path, thick foliage surrounded her. The overwhelming burst of colours and shapes captured her eye as the abundant flower beds intertwined with the foliage. Straying from the path she ran over and fell to her knees ready to breathe in the succulent scent of the vibrant flowers. But of course, she was confronted not by real flora but by a bunch of floral elegant handbags coming together to make the most vibrant and unusual flowerbed. She could see a wicker Dolce & Gabanna polychromatic embroidered bag, a white bag also overtaken with varicoloured flowers, and a bright bold yellow clutch both from Christian Louboutin. Layered underneath was a LaDouble J clutch bag in a large floral muted palette with frayed edges and even a Comme des Garçons laptop shaped bag with red roses against a pink background.

Inner admiration made her wish she could have taken some of these flowers for her further journey. Not as soon as this thought had crossed her mind, out of the corner of her eye she noticed a pile of buckets and baskets. Surely they were not there a moment ago?

Who cares she thought. Glad she had seen them she lifted one of them up knowing it would be perfect for carrying the flowers she wanted to pick.

Layed out perfectly next to the flowers was a Prada wicker and white basket bag, a large white bucket that almost resembles a floppy hat from Jil Sander, wicker check Heimat Atlantica bucket bag, a black and white basket bag from Hunting season. The very last was the biggest of them all, large wicker bag from JW Anderson decorated with a beautiful mustard yellow scarf like ribbon. The ribbon caught her attention because she knew the bag could fit lots of flowers in.

But once lifted a blue rabbit popped out from inside and ran off down the path. She instinctively grabbed the JW. Anderson wicker bag and chased after the rabbit. The blue shade and the rabbit’s one eye gave it away, it was a Rick Owens bunny bag that was blindly leading her deep down further into this strange land.

Abruptly she arrived at a junction, both left and right roads looked exactly the same. She had lost the rabbit, but what caught her interest instead was some rubbish. Litter in this perfect world? How strange she thought. As she peeked closer she saw what initially was a packet of crisps, in that very moment, it occurred to her how hungry she was. She picked it up and upon closer inspection understood it was no type of snack but rather an Anya Hindmarch clutch covered in deep black sequins and metallic orange. What a wonderful find in this strange land!

But then a flick of a switch, she heard a distant noise. It sounded like a meow. Forgetting her hunger she set off down the path with hopes to find the source of this faint sound.

She arrived at an area surrounded by trees. As she scanned her view a twig in the tree above her snapped, She instinctively looked up to be confronted with the face of a cat.

A face so recognisable and famous, one seen around the world, it was Hello Kitty. Its whiskers seemed to be made of leather-like lace, and on further observation, the group of Hello Kittys posing on the tree were Balenciaga bags sitting on the branches above her. Taken aback she didn’t really notice the tree’s leaves. But once she did she realised its deep green shade engulfing the trees in a hexagon shape. Compelled she picked one off the tree and observed it was not a leaf at all. It was a trinket box shaped into a Gucci bag. Perfect, she thought, since she didn’t get a chance to fill her JW. Anderson bag with flowers, this could be filled with other treasures she might have found in this world.

Suddenly she felt overwhelmed and searched for a place to rest. Ahead of her was a mound of bright green grass. She moved towards a tree that sat perfectly half in the sun and half in the shade. Ready to lay down to rest but yet again there was a surprise. Here she noted the grass, like the sky, was woven. It was, of course, another bag, another Bottega Venetta bag which gave the illusion of lush fresh grass.

She laid down to shelter under the tree on a bunch of smoother grass she felt would make a good pillow. But that grass was no grass, but instead, a Chanel bag so beautifully crafted that she almost felt wrong using it as a pillow.

It was only once she picked it up, that a pile of books fell out. She picked ‘Shakespeare Sonnets’ on her left hand and ‘Sense And Sensibility’ in the other. The recognisable titles had book covers beautifully decorated and embroidered. Turning the books over, she realised that these ‘books’ were simply Olympia Le-Tan clutch bags encrusted as book-cover evening bags.

Placing the books back onto the grass, her eye caught sight of yet another colourful bush that sat snugly next to the tree. Just like the baskets had done before, the bush seemed to have appeared by magic. Covered with diverse colours it was hard to identify what this magical foliage was. As she stared closer she saw cherries, pineapples, bananas, and a bunch of fruits spinning on what looked like a slot machine. Of course, it was a slot machine! She stood up excited at what prizes she could have won in this mystic land. She laughed to herself amazed at all the inner workings on this world, but as she went to play she was confronted not by a slot-machine but a large fun embroidered tote bag from Lulu Guinness.

She was of course still hungry, so she picked banana, cherry, and pineapple off the bush and sat back under the tree to have a nibble on the pickings. As she went to bite at the fruit she momentarily stopped for the cherry and pineapple appeared as leather handbag charms from Anya Hindmarch and the banana formed a fruit-shaped bag by Rejina Pyo.

Maybe that nap was in order, after all, so she laid back and engaged with petite daisies that spiralled around her. Once she took in the detailed and intricately crafted flowers she knew they were placed upon a Fabrizio Viti basket bag.

Slightly defeated by her lack of real food she looked out at the faraway mountain and as it revealed itself to her. And so did its sharp symmetrical edges in soft white. With a deep breath and strong gaze, the large white mountain converted to a row of Bao Bao Issey Miyake bag. Its geometric patterns replicated the mountain’s ridges and ledges, and the white shade emitted a snow-covered metallic effect. As tiredness crept, the dizzying effect of the bright white mountains lured her into sleepiness.

A double rainbow appeared before her eyes. Its colours hinted a clash, yet blend perfectly together. As she narrowed her focus, she saw two separate rainbows. The larger one that covered almost all the sky was a collection of Hermes rainbow tassel bags. The Shrimps rainbow bag made up the smaller one with its mini detailed beads. Lost in the design and depth of these phenomena, she submitted herself to nature’s wonders which allowed her to soon drift off to sleep.

As time passed, she stirred from a fitful sleep and forced her eyes to find herself back in her bedroom, her floor strewn with fashion magazines, flipped open at pages of the latest trends in bags for SS20. Her fantasy land was just a dream. But what an amazing fantasy land filled with her favourite handbags.

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Illustrations and film by Aggeliki Bles

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