LPA Loves: Mark Cross 1845

Mark Cross 1845

As you know all too well, I have a bit of a thing for handbags. Ok, let’s rephrase that. I have an extreme, bordering on unhealthy obsession with handbags. From roomy totes to impractically teeny clutches, many a slice of arm candy caught my eye during the SS13 press days but some of the bags that really and truly made my heart skip a beat were from Mark Cross 1845. With shapes that exude timeless elegance and colour-popping hues adding a dose of fashion forward fun, I couldn’t help but gravitate towards these beauties at the Matches press day!

Mark Cross 1845

1) Scottie Satchel Bag, £1940, click here to buy
2) Grace Box Bag, £1650, click here to buy
3) Scottie Bag, £1610, click here to buy

Of course any bag that looks like these is guaranteed to be a hit with me but one of the things I discovered after the initial “ohmigod” moment was the incredible story behind the brand. Mark Cross 1845 started out as Mark. W. Cross & Co in, you’ve guessed it, 1845 as a purveyor of carridge saddles and harnesses. After the death of its founder, the company was acquired by the American Patrick Murphy who shortened its name to “Mark Cross”, branched out into other luxury leather goods and opened stores in New York and London. But where the tale really gets interesting is when Murphy’s son Gerald gets involved. After studying at Yale and establishing that his talents lay in aesthetics, not academia, the young Gerald Murphy married stunning heiress Sara Sherman Wiborg and relocated to the glamourous Cap d’Antibes. The newlyweds set up home in Villa America where they entertained many of the legendary “bright young things” of the 1920′s including Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, Cole Porter and the Fitzgeralds. But the Murphy’s charm went beyond throwing fabulous parties. F. Scott Fitzgerald notably modeled the main characters Dick and Nicole Diver in Tender is the Night after Gerald and Sara. The couple also coined the phrase “Living Well is the Best Revenge,” which would later become the title of the renowned book about them, written by Calvin Tomkins. But to return to the point of this post, in 1934 Gerald officially took over the Mark Cross brand and expanded its offerings to include luggage, cigarette cases, and even jeweled evening bags, some of which he collaborated on with Seamen Schepps. In Alfred Hitchcock’s legendary film Rear Window, it’s none other than a Mark Cross overnight case in which Grace Kelly packs her clothing. While his family did sell the company, Gerald Murphy stayed on as president until 1955 and Mark Cross 1845 continued to sell beautiful bags to fabulous people until it closed its doors in the 1990s.

As you’ve no doubt guessed already, this story has a happy ending. Two years ago Mark Cross 1845 made one hell of a comeback, looking to its incredible archives to create a collection of exquisite accessories that well and truly deserve the title “modern classics”. In short, I want them all… Big time.

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Shopping 1 Comment

Christmas Gift List 2012

As you’ve probably realished by now, I love love LOVE getting presents. Whether they’re from friends and family in honour of a special occasion or of the me-to-me variety, few joys top the thrill of acquiring that chic little something you’ve been eyeing up for ages. But of course Christmas isn’t all about writing wish lists and receiving gifts, enjoyable though those pursuits may be. And in some ways the warm fuzzy feeling you get from buying a loved one something you know they’ll adore is every bit as wonderful as tearing open the wrapping paper yourself… Well, almost. December 25th may now be just around the corner but if you’re anything like me, you’ve no doubt been far too busy indulging in festive merriment to get your shopping done and still have a fair few gifts left to buy. Well fear not because thanks to the wonders of next-day-delivery it’s never too late to pick the perfect present… Now that’s what I call a Christmas miracle!

For Him…

Most men are tricky to buy for, fact. Whether it’s a fashion-phobic boyfriend, PlayStation obsessed brother or a father who doesn’t understand the value of a Mulberry iPhone case, personal experience has taught me to ignore whatever foolish gadget or practical item they ask for. Shop for the man you want them to be, not the man they are.

christmas gift list

1) YMC Sherwood Crew Neck Jumper, £225, click here to buy
2) Comme Des Garcons Leather Pouch, £79, click here to buy
3) Essl Austrian Rucksack, £56.40, click here to buy
4) Paul Smith Multi-Stripe Socks, £18, click here to buy
5) Maison Kitsuné Flannel Cotton Tartan Shirt, £245, click here to buy
6) Mulberry Leather Gloves, £165, click here to buy
7) Brera Militare Black Dial Watch, £750, click here to buy
8) Turnball & Asser Paisley Print Tie, £85, click here to buy
9) Jil Sander Dinosaur Scarf, £307.62, click here to buy

For Her…

In theory, shopping for your BFF, Sister or Mother should be a walk in the park. In practice, it’s a little more complicated. As a general rule I avoid buying any form of clothing where fit will be and issue. Too big and they’ll think you think they’re fat. Too small and they’ll feel fat and blame you. Most importantly of all remember the golden rule: if in doubt get something YOU love therefore if the ungrateful so-and-so doesn’t appreciate it you can just keep it for yourself!

christmas gift list for her

1) Tibi Lobster Intarsia Knit Sweater, £328, click here to buy
2) Anya Hindmarch Heart Leather Joss Wallet, £275, click here to buy
3) The Little Black Jacket: Chanel’s Classic Revisited by Karl Lagerfeld & Carine Roitfeld, £65, click here to buy
4) Comme Des Garcons Leather iPad  Case, £290, click here to buy
5) Smythson “Inspirations And Ideas” Textured Leather Notepad, £45, click here to buy
6) Whistles Cloudia Cashmere Scarf, £110, click here to buy
7) Mulberry Apple Leather Key Fob, £70, click here to buy
8) Anne Bowes Jewellery Vintage Gold Flower Necklace, £160, click here to buy
9) Suki Cheema Purple Russian Doll Cushion, £95, click here to buy

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Shopping 2 Comments

Weekly Wish List 14/12/2012

Because you can never, ever have enough stuff…

weekly wish list

1) Chinti and Parket Big Heart cashmere sweater, £350, click here to buy
2) J Brand 811 Mid-Rise skinny jeans, £215, click here to buy
3) Nicholas Kirkwood Elaphe loafers, £535, click here to buy
4) Sophie Hulme Square Envelope shoulder bag, £330, click here to buy
5) Mulberry chunky knit wool blend beanie, £250, click here to buy
6) Miu Miu leather gloves, £230, click here to buy
7) Burberry London leather trimmed wool & cashmere coat, £995, click here to buy
8) Marc by Marc Jacobs Too Hot To Handle mini tote, £470, click here to buy
9) Charlotte Olympia Queen of Hearts embellished satin sandals, £625, click here to buy
10) Jonathan Saunders Helene jacquard dress, £515, click here to buy

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Shopping 2 Comments

Pyjama Time

Now I know this will seem like I’m just jumping on the pyjama dressing bandwagon six months late but I’m not, I promise! I’m a bit of a pyjama addict myself so thought it was high time I did a post on them. I’m also lame enough to be religious in my wearing of floral cotton during the summer and tartan wool in winter, regardless of the predictably unpredictable British Weather. That said, it I owned a couple of sleek silk pairs I would most likely wear them all year round. Anyway, enough about me and my obsessive wardrobe habits, get a load of these bed-time-tastic beauties…


1) Markus Lupfer for Whistles Silk Pyjamas: Bottoms, £95, click here to buy. Top, £125, click here to buy.
2) J Crew Pyjamas: Bottoms, £120, click here to buy. Top: £130, click here to buy.
3) Avenue 32 x Poplin Toy Soldier Clara Pyjama Set: £120, click here to buy.
4) Equiptment Avery Brushed Silk Pyjama Set: £459, click here to buy.

Admittedly most of these jim jams (as my father inexplicably calls them) are glam enough to wear out of the house without looking like a madwoman but personally I envisage them being worn while having breakfast in bed, opening presents on Christmas morning or nursing a festive hangover with Gossip Girl re-runs and a vat of coffee. While we’re on the subject of wearing pyjamas out of the house my policy is that if their super luxe and silky, add heels and go for it. If they’re of the wooly/extra comfy variety then only wear so far as the corner shop or nearest Starbucks, provided it’s under 10 minutes away. What’s your view on it?

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Shopping 3 Comments

Christmas Wish List 2012

Ok, so I know I said that a BLK DNM leather jacket was all I wanted for Christmas but that was a lie. A big, fat unsurprising and (in my opinion) entirely understandable lie. I challenge anyone to cast their eyes on these sartorial delights without turning into a holiday brat…

christmas wish list

1) Markus Lupfer “Lucky” embellished sweater, £275, click here to buy
2) Anya Hindmarch Valorie glitter clutch, £350, click here to buy
3) Miu Miu Crystal embellished suede knee boots, £700, click here to buy
4) 3.1 Phillip Lim Pashli Bag, £810, click here to buy
5) Smythson iPhone case, £95, click here to buy
6) Anne Bowes Jewellery Vintage Turquoise & Orange necklace, £175, click here to buy
7) Paul Smith Fair Isle gloves, £65, click here to buy
8) Eugenia Kim cashmere beanie, £155, click here to buy
9) Charlotte Olympia Kitty embroidered velvet flats, £465, click here to buy
10) DVF and the Tale of the Empress’s New Clothes, £13, click here to buy
11) Miu Miu crystal embellished crepe shorts, £475, click here to buy
12) Raoul silk Georgette blouse, £199, click here to buy

Please feel free to forward this on to your nearest and dearest, I know I will be. Their response will probably be to delete it and never speak to me again but you can’t blame a girl for trying!

Love Ella. X

Posted on by Ella Catliff in Shopping 1 Comment
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