It’s been called elegant, it’s been called kitsch, but I for one have never been able to resist the tropical pull of a bit of bamboo.
I wish I’d been the one to think of popping it on a handbag.
I think I’m right in saying (and if I’m not, I’m still stickin’ to my story) that the bamboo handle first appeared on bags in the 1940s.
As Europeans gradually departed the occupied East, they did so with eastern motifs in hand. And let’s face it, who wouldn’t want a trigger for the memory of sipping on a Singapore sling, resplendent in rattan, in the colonnaded colonial glory of Raffles?
Mind you they’d been appropriating oriental imagery for almost two centuries by then. As far as I know the bamboo look first appeared in Europe in the second half of the 1700s, the English being particularly fond.
It experienced a growth spurt in the extravagant Regency period, my favourite era, and now its casually aristocratic touch has become a timeless staple in the annals of style.
Put it anywhere you want, but whatever you do, don’t grow your own.