Growing up I was a total fashion snob. I had more accessories than a high school girl should ever have and made it a (lame) badge of pride that I had never worn jeans to school and always dressed up. Looking back I realize it was my attempt to stand out from the surfer/skater culture I grew up in, but man was it an uncomfortable one. It wasn’t until I started listening to jam bands and eventually found myself not only wearing Birkenstocks but working in my local Birkenstock store that I finally gave up the clothes obsession and relaxed a bit.
And while my tastes have veered away from hemp necklaces and patchwork shirts (my college ID is the only relic of that look, thank goodness), I’ve found myself slowly embracing my old accessories love. I haven’t gone crazy and bought a different pair of shoes for every day or anything, but I have started bookmarking shoes and bags that would work for my everyday life. And I think I’ve found a new bag to add to that list.
Leslie at Swarm is one of my accessories idols because she makes such beautiful things out of found objects. Her last series was made from vintage paintings she turned into shoulder bags and now she’s launched a Dutch Duffle series made from old Dutch post sacks and table rugs. The tradition of table rugs dates back as far as the 1500s and Leslie has used a felting technique to mend the older rugs so they can be used for the bags. I love the way that Leslie combines “home” objects like rugs with something more everyday (a postal bag). To top it off, each bag’s closure is made from a vintage scarf collected from various flea markets in Amsterdam
While these aren’t necessarily an “out to dinner” bag, if you’re like me and like bags to occasionally make a statement, these are definitely something that will start a conversation. How often do you get to wear part of a rug as a bag? Click here to check out Leslie’s full collection and order online. Each bag is unique so if you see one you like be sure to snag it before it’s gone. xo, grace