Thursday, June 12, 2008


Aaaah, luggage… The word alone conjures visions of well-heeled travelers boarding luxury liners (in the days before the Lear, dears) with their steamer trunks, eager for a “summer crossing,” as it was termed – a weeks-long overseas journey favored by the upper classes in the first part of the twentieth century. I implore you to read Truman Capote’s delicious novella of the same name. It is a divine little find.

Different luggage brands connote different things; Couture Carrie loves to psychoanalyze suitcases!

Here's the A-list, in alphabetical order:

Brooks Brothers - for the man (or woman, I suppose) with big money but not a big ego. This classic-looking luggage is expertly crafted but not at all ostentatious. See the gorgeous high shine Spazzolato leather suitcase at left, and go to to buy.

Coach – easy-access chic; perfect for weekend jaunts to the Hamp. Couture Carrie is loving the new heritage stripe Tattersall travel satchel, pictured at left. Go to

Dooney & Bourke - (see previous) - like Coach, but for the slightly less logo-maniacal; once a more mature-oriented brand, Dooney is now trying to appeal to a younger, hipper set [see photo at right from recent ad campaign]. Couture Carrie can attest to the durability of this brand; CC has been using her D&B train case and carry-on for 15 years now, and they are still going strong!
Goyard – for your overseas voyage; the ultimate in luxury, since 1853. Aptly put by Bill Cunningham of the New York Times, Goyard is "The Trophy" (see photo montage above) ... Available for purchase at Barneys New York and Bergdorf Goodman. But the best way to buy the signature chevron-print pieces, from the most knowledgeable staff, with the widest selection (and custom monogramming, of course!) is at one of the numerous outposts of the French luggage purveyor. Couture Carrie practically took up residence at the new San Francisco store last summer!

Gucci - for rock stars and screen sirens. Perhaps the showiest and most pretentious (not that that's a bad thing!) of the bunch. One can easily spend tens of thousands of dollars for a leather set. Strictly for those with their own private jets. See gargantuan steamer trunk at left.

Hermés – for the globetrotting playboy or the Upper East Side matron; see the orange Centenary suitcase at right, and be sure to visit The website is such fun!
Louis Vuitton – classic, if a bit showy; ideal for rap impresarios and divas, oil barons, heiresses, et al. The monogram canvas Pégase rolling suitcase pictured at left is available at Go to for other models.

J. Crew by Globe-Trotter - a surprisingly diverse and durable collection for the practical, moneyed globe-trotter. Choices range from bright leather garment bags to the vintage-inspired black and beige Centenary suitcase pictured at left. Go to

Valextra – overpriced, but elegant; for those with so much money that they are too good for the aforementioned brands. The white set at right is a bit precious . . . Go to

Note: Unless you have chartered a private jet or will be traveling on your own helicopter, do NOT check these precious pieces. Not worth the anxiety . . . And don’t buy fakes (do I need to explain why?).


Smythson - Granted, this venerable British company does not offer complete luggage sets, but what chic traveling gal's repertoire would be complete without a Smythson of Bond Street passport cover and travel jewelry case? Visit

Of course, most designers now offer handbags roomy enough to
stow a weekend's worth of gear. For a fun (and actually affordable) overnight bag, try the blue Marc by Marc Jacobs Distinguished Dot Tote shown at right, for purchase at Or, for the hip young jet-setter on the red-eye from L.A. to New York, there is this whimsical Custo Barcelona bag, pictured at left. Couture Carrie is so delighted that Custo branched out into handbags!

Photo credits: Illustration from "Checking Out" card set, for purchase at Capote novel jacket photo via Gucci trunk photo via W Magazine.


Anonymous said...

Ahh, handbags!!

I came to your blog after I saw your profile photo: that's a Elie Saab dress! My favorite designer! I'm just starting to read previous posts, and I think your blog is excellent.

Good luck on your life!

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I just noticed the Jordi Labanda designs on the right side. I love him too!

Pamcasso said...

I'm a little obsessed with Valextra, I doubt I'll ever have anything from them!

Couture Carrie said...

Hi girls! Ras, we totally have the same design aesthetic! Pam, I have never seen Valextra in person but I'm sure when I do I'll swoon! Big kisses to all ... I love reading your comments!

Reena Rai said...

I would looove to own luxe luggage. Oh and have matching Smythson's luggage tags and passport cover. But I'm sooo not that put together, and my suitcase always get wrecked but those baggage handling animals!

Ella Gregory said...

I want that Hermés suitcase so much!

Madame Dior said...

Sigh* that J. Crew by Globe-Trotter is so beautifulll, if only we all one the lotto

aizat.cinta.goddess said...

i love to have LV iconic Luggage one day!!

love the elia saab dress!!

Jillian Hobbs said...

i love the hermes luggage orange is such an unappreciated colour

Couture Carrie said...

Brill comments, lovelies! Jillian, I totally agree that orange is underrated! J. Crew actually has orange pieces that are a bit more affordable. FD: I am so smitten with Smythson. Coco, Madame & Aizat - isn't hard luggage the best? Totally old-school! Smooches, CC