Now my regular readers will know that I do love a bit of a shop, sometimes too much so lately (my poor credit card, ouch!) which has resulted in my cutting the worst offender into four pieces and leaving it in the bottom of my dresser drawer. But I digress...
On my travels, I have found some of my most loved items in places such as airport gift shops, chemist and newsagents. Since a lot of fun can be had even window-shopping, I'm going to share some of the designers & places that put a smile on my face. Maybe you might discover something new...
The first is Catherine Manuell Design, an Australian luggage & accessories brand which has been around for about 11 years. Manuell has been designing a lot longer, however. Her colorful designs are well known and can now be seen in many a business & even economy cabin, standing out proud on the baggage carousel.
Here's a bit behind her design choices:
Black spells 'classic' in a lot of instances. There are cars that look better in black than in any other colour (okay, perhaps we'll give you an occasional red), bank account balances, and be honest; a penguin suit really has no business being anything else.
But luggage? Well, it can make for a confusing time at the carousel - which is exactly what Catherine Manuell thought eleven years ago.
"I've always loved colour, so when I came to buy luggage, I never wanted a black bag, but I realized that was basically all that was available," says Manuell. "I thought it was pretty dull and I was suprised that there was no more choice available, and so I decided to create something completely different for myself and others!”
And plain black is a far cry from the range that Catherine Manuell Design (CMD) now sports. Forget plain black, think faux red croc, french peasant prints or cranberry alligator, floral haby's, swirl black flat fur, poppies, and Aboriginal artist painting prints - the list of options is long.
One of my first purchases as an 'international air hostess' was a CMD luggage tag, bought while my flight was delayed in Darwin airport. (Of the lily-pad carpet fame in 'The Amazing Race') I still have it now and it started off my rather strong obssession with luggage tags. Among others I have the Singapore girl tag, a retro 50's tag, and pin-up girl tags.
Next on the list is Christopher Vine, another Australian designer probably best known for his homewares such as mugs, plates and other knick-knacks featuring feminine shoes, corsets & clothing.
As well as those, he does a cute line of cosmetic bags, luggage tags and stationery. Another favourite in my collection is his 'First Class' cosmetic bag, with retro flight attendant print & some Pan Am-style zipper pulls. Too cute!
One of my more recent discoveries was the gorgeous Sex Kitten Boutique in Brisbane, Australia.
This place is worth going to just to gape at the fitout alone! If you're a girly girl, love chic French boudoir style or burlesque, you'll want to put this on your list of places to see! From gorgeous retro-styled dresses, to day-wearable corset tops, cheeky lingerie & some beautiful jewellery & accessories, they've got a little bit of everything to satisfy your inner Dita von Teese. The branding is very thorough, right down to the price tags but I just love it! The clothes are heading towards expensive, but this is because they are limited in each edition, so you won't see the dress on every second girl. One of my favorites is the Chicago Pinstripe dress.
You can take a virtual tour of the boutique if you're a bit too far away to visit in person. The best part is, Shipping is Free with Australia, and only $30 for International orders! =)
Stay tuned for my next few Travel Treatie Discoveries!
*(However, not as much of the globe as I would currently like)