I've been awaiting the big launch of new season bags from Irregular Choice. I'd seen previews of a couple and knew they were going to be spectacular and when they were released a couple of weeks ago, they didn't disappoint. I decided to buy Thermidor, a lobster bag in a shape I already own a couple of, which I'll review next time. Today I have Flounder for you, a new shape for me, though it has been around for a few years now.
Being a mermaid fanatic, I'm attracted to anything aquatic themed and there was a lot of that going on with the new handbags. They pretty much had me at "Flounder" (Ariel, The Little Mermaid's guppy pal for those not in the know) and I've been keen on bright colours lately which this bag does very well. The base colour is black, in a suedette, velvet type material with a bit of a pile (but not long). I'll be very honest and say it's an absolute nightmare to photograph as it shows up every little piece of fluff, when in real life you can't see anything-so please don't let that put you off. I honestly could've spent all day trying to edit that out, it seemed never-ending, but like I say, in the flesh it isn't noticeable. The back of the bag is plain black and as you can imagine, it looked terrible in my photo, so I'm not even going to publish that one! I suspect it is the type to attract dust and threads with use, but this was straight out the packet, so it's just one of those hellish fabrics to capture on camera.
I was surprised by how small it was (in a good way), I thought from seeing these online, this type of bag was bigger. I really love the smaller size though, it's dinky. It also holds rather a lot (surprisingly), which I put to the test one evening when I had a pile of stuff to take upstairs (including the bag) and decided to throw everything in it. A boxed Clinique gift set, 5 samples (not sachets, proper bottles), a big bottle of moisturiser, my phone, mp3 player and camera memory card, all dropped in with room to spare. It opens with a hinged top, covered in soft, distressed metallic fabric. The front of the bag slots under the back and fastens with a stud on a tab. There's then an outer flap with also fastens with a stud (magnetic, so you don't fiddle trying to close it perfectly) for extra security. This is beautifully embroidered with a bright red crab, trimmed in the same gold fabric. Two closures might be a bit fiddly when you're shopping and repeatedly in and out of your bag, so you might prefer to use just the one until you have time to properly close it.
Inside, the bag is lined in the green floral velvet from this season, with a zipped pocket on the back (inside) and pouch for mobile phone on the front. The bag comes with a fixed short handle for holding in your hand (my preference), but also comes with a detachable longer strap for wearing on your shoulder. It clips on and off at the sides of the short handle.
There's visible...what would I call those, gussets? In the sides of the bag, which are covered in sheer, purpley-green sequins. The front of the bag features two stunning fish facing each other. There's lots of colours in the embroidery and they have the cutest faces (reminding me of the beautiful Cleo from Pinocchio). Surrounding them are bright yellow starfish, interspersed with shell shaped sequins. I had a total 'moment' when I saw those, because I was given a jar of beads and sequins from my favourite art teacher at school and there were shells exactly like that and gold metal starfish and little pearls and things. I can recall using them in practically every art project at the time, because I was so smitten with them. This was over 20 years ago, so I haven't seen them in a long time and it really took me back.
The use of the bold, brighter coloured embroidery against the black background is striking, there's no other word for it. The gold metallic doesn't overpower that and the sequins are lovely catching the light and flitting from purple to green. If you haven't already guessed, it's definitely one of my favourite bags. Yep, IC have done it again! I took a couple of comparison shots to give you an idea of size, this shoe is a size 6/39 and is roughly the same size. I also love it when you find an item in your wardrobe that is the perfect partner for something completely unrelated. How good is this mermaid cardigan with the bag? Killer combo. Next time I will show you my lobster (or "lovster" as my nephew used to say) bag and I've been naughty and finally got hold of another one from last season, which I let slip through my fingers several times previously (up on my Insta now). What do you think, do you like this, have any of the bags caught your eye this season?