Above: OK OK cotton tights (RRP $35); Tusler leather belt (RRP $66); Limedrop wooden doilie studs (now $20); Penelope Durston angora/lambswool mid-length gloves (RRP $55) and snug collar, made for Milly Sleeping ($42)
Above: Romance Was Born x Maison Balzac candle (RRP $45); Tusler suede clutch (RRP $66); OK OK wool knee-high socks (RRP $28); gift card by Gracia & Louise (RRP $5.50); Primoeza square snap scarf (now $149); Alexi + Tessa diamond earrings (now $49)
Have a look at the very pretty things in the snaps above! Now, have a look at the prices ... Now, turn your eyes to the sky while you take 20% off each price.
Yes - this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Milly Sleeping is offering a 20% discount on all accessories and jewellery, and miscellaneous loveliness in the form of candles, cards, and so on.
Treat your mum, or yourself (we won't ask any questions).
Janette and I are long-time bag ladies... that is, we are not really people who travel light. Some Sundays, we barely fit going out through Milly's door together, with something like five bags between us.
Long before the store was open, I considered myself a 'collector' of bags, which I loved more than I loved shoes... Upon reflection, it seems strange that Milly Sleeping has never stocked a dedicated bag label before and it is, thus, very exciting to have recently met Hanna Tusler, and to now have a range of Tusler hand-made leather bags, clutch purses and belts amid our collection.
Hanna, who studied at RMIT and interned with Materialbyproduct, uses soft but substantial leathers and suedes, of many shades. Each piece is stitched by hand and finished with all kinds of smart details and varied, sometimes vintage, fittings. The bags all feel 'sturdy' but wonderfully supple. It's romantic of me... but I really think it would be a great feeling to choose one and know that it will be a long-term companion.
But how to choose?
To defer my own decision-making, I hounded a lovely bunch of Milly's friends ... to find out which bag they would choose, why and what they would put into it. These are their charming responses (and asides):
After careful consideration, I think I would choose the Clydesdale. It's the perfect size for work and play - it could carry manuscripts, ipads and the latest Hilary Mantel, but also nappies, spare clothes, toys and board books to keep both big and small people happy.
- Arwen (editor)
My pick: Moss suede Clydesdale overnight bag
As much as I would like to be someone who carries around her everyday essentials in a neat little bag, I have come to the realisation that I have far too many essentials! My pick would be the roomy Clydesdale bag – the rich moss-coloured suede was what sealed the deal. I also love that it comes with a detachable inner pouch to keep my ‘small bag’ aspirations going.
These days my essentials include the obvious (wallet, phone, keys), but also various other modern-day accoutrements like my iPad, a bottle of water, my notebook/diary, sunglasses, a couple of Muji bags to keep my miscellany organised (lip balm, bobby pins, Baggu grocery bags, tissues, headphones, USBs) and a large and light cashmere scarf to keep the cold at bay. It seems to be that it’s not a question of what I would put in it, but rather what I wouldn’t!
- Kim (Freelance curator and Project Coordinator at Craft)
Of all the lovely Tusler bags my favourite would have to be the Clydesdale overnight bag in moss. I love its size and classic style, not to mention the wonderful earthy colour of the suede. I would fill the Clydesdale with my favourite PJs, a bottle of sherry and some marshmallows for an overnight stay in a forest cabin.
- Alice (photographer)
I'm very fond of little bags that I can wear across the chest... I like the little Caspian Pony shoulder bag. I would put my phone, wallet, keys, lip balm and medi wipes!
- Tam (visual artist, formally of label, 'Hua')
I have looked many times [at the bags] ... I love the Finhorse, something about the stitching and the Divine texture of the Lambswool. Contents? Well, would try to fit my life into it! ha!
- Jill (knitter and indispensable member of Hut 13)
I am a bag devotee since Edith Evans (Dame Edith I think) said/voiced that wonderful full-throated, full-scaled response in Oscar Wilde's play, The Importance of Being Earnest!
"A Handbag", she shrills in ascending well-modulated notes ... and I don't think I have thought of the word since in the same way! It is an emotionally charged reference for us all! Especially women! Their very life is in their handbag!!!!
I am very fussy about my bags! I carry a worn Nancybird bag but I love the look of the lambswool fold [of the Finhorse shoulder bag] - somehow I want it!
- Mary Anne (traveller, correspondent, aviarist)
To be honest, I could wax lyrical about all the bags. I particularly love the adjustable straps, detachable inner clutch, beautiful crafts(women)ship, handmade in Melbourne etc, etc. But, of all, the one that makes my heart melt is the blue suede tote with stitching detail. It's soft and sensuous, but rugged and casual. I would match it to everything - it's so stylish. Yep, I really love it.
I am somewhat abashed to list what I would put in the bag but, at a minimum, the usual wallet, keys, phone would fit into the inner clutch (so less fumbling around at the fathomless depths of most of my bags) and brolly, book, lunch would (hopefully) all fit the main section. Wonder how long it will last in the shop before I succumb?
- Janette (Milly director)
My choice would be the Finhorse with blue bird details. This one is my favorite because this size is perfect for me. If it were bigger I would stuff it with much more than I need and yet it has room for all the necessities. The birds were inspired by my personal affinity with these dreamy animals, being ethereal and adventurous whilst soaring above the earth. This colour combination is great for my winter wardrobe as I do wear a lot of black and love to add little splashes of intense colour to brighten my day.
The items I would have in this bag would be my black Tusler wallet, small diary and pencil (because I can't get used to using my phone for reminders), keys, sunglasses, Tusler business cards, a Tusler small Brumby purse for my compact and many lipstick options, spare jewellery options and ear buds, and finally my trusty Iphone in the front pocket... always easy to find when you have a call. If it is rainy I will sometimes omit the sunglasses and put in a compact folding brolly.
- Hanna (Tusler designer/maker)
I'd love that Coldblood Trotter to cuddle my cool silver Mac (and my phone, my ipod, my pens)!
This bag would make a laptop proud to call it home. It would make keys, mascara and lip-gloss say thank you for the over-shoulder habitat. Like a shell to a snail - this bag would make good digs for me and mine.
- Jasmin (Graphic designer for The Australian Ballet)
I'd choose the Coldblood Trotter Tote.
Why? I'm a bit fan of the tote: You can fit heaps of stuff into it and literally 'tote' it around with you; or clean out your handbag and sling a nice flat, square bag under your arm for evening outings and dashing around town during the day. The short handles are also great, so you can tuck your bag snuggly under your arm. Digging the silver buckles on the Coldblood too!
I'm a big fan of the Issey Miyake Bao Bao totes from the Pleats Please range. Like the Coldblood - they're just the right size for 'toting' and have a nice, snug armband.
What would I put in it? On a good day keys, wallet, Pawpaw and mobile phone. On a hectic day... everything I can possibly fit!
- Alice (outgoing editor for DQ Magazine)
My fav is the Coldblood trotter tote in black leather. Great for hauling all my bits n pieces to the office.
- From a very spoilt Milly regular AKA Irene
(Well, Irene said that, not me! Thanks everybody! LM xo)
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Pictured: The Tusler bags are all unique, and handmade in Melbourne. They range in price from $286 for the little Caspian Pony shoulder bags to $484 for the large Clyde overnight bag. For more info., please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or drop into Milly.
A few Friday favourites, from the last little(ish) cotton Staff. tee to the first big (really big) Collective scarf. Happy weekend!
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Pictured: Romance Was Born cotton Staffordshire tee (RRP $190);
Penelope Durston angora lambswool mid-lenghth gloves (RRP $55);
Livia Arena zip-up sweaters in grey and dark-red (RRP $350);
Mücke tube scarf, now in the online store (RRP $110);
ffiXXed Collective scarf, also now in the online store ($168)
Above, a little homage to the square format.
It's been a week of square times, with Milly hooked up, and hooked to, Instagram.
Pictured here are a couple of gorgeous new pieces from High Tea with Mrs Woo (including the reversible hooded wrap coat), two Tusler suede clutches, and a few other snaps from around the traps. This is roughly the way things will go at Instagram ... glimpses at new arrivals and favourite pieces, at the Carlton neighbourhood and the city at large, at magical moments of adventure and, sometimes, at mundane moments of coffee and stuff (for which we apologise in advance).
A quick message to mention that there may be a small interruption, or half-time interval, during tomorrow's trading (Sat. April 19). We have a very special first birthday party to attend! If you see this and had thought to visit the shop between 1.30 and 3ish, 'tis a good idea to call 9347 1333 in advance. Apologies for any inconvenience that eventuates...
With love and birthday cheer for little Liv,
PS. Speaking of firsts and fun and forms of communication, we are now using Instagram.