It seems like a distant dream now, but a month ago I spent a lovely, roasting hot couple of weeks in LA, partly for work and partly for family obligations. Having moved back to my hometown of London four years ago after living in the States since I was 17 (a lonnnnng time!), it was lovely to go back and catch up with friends and family and check out all the great new shops and restaurants that have popped up in my old ‘hood Highland Park. I also did a book signing for Bohemian Modern at Hennessey & Ingalls in Santa Monica, followed by an hour on the beach before I hopped on the plane.
One of the highlights of my trip was visiting the super cool Hollywood studio of designer and blogger Joy Cho whose Oh Joy! brand is dominating right now in everything from baby booties and party goods to band aids/plasters and a best selling craft book. As an early adopter of blogging, Joy managed to build up a large and loyal following in the past ten years, even holding the very 21st century title of one of the world’s top pinners (Joy has over 13 million followers on Pinterest. Insane right?) Joy lives in Silverlake, a lovely part of Los Angeles, with her husband and their two little girls, both under the age of four. She manages a thriving business, an extremely popular blog, and a family, somehow without losing her mind. At least not publicly 😉
While juggling all of that and preparing for a holiday, Joy kindly agreed to let me show up at her studio, tip out her bag and style it up for Secret Life Of Bags. For someone whose passion for colour and playfulness is evident in everything she creates, it should come as no surprise that her bag was filled with lots of pretty little bits. No mouldy apples or cookie crumbs in this purse, people. Best of all is the fact that I was able to colour block it all – that’s how co-ordinated this woman is!
When I was 12, I begged my mom for this tiny Coach bag (it was about 8” wide). She got it for me for Christmas that year, and it was the only present I got because it was $80. I wore it all the time whenever I wasn’t in school and I still have it to this day. Someday, I’ll give it to my daughters because it’s still so classic and will last forever.
Is your handbag an important part of your daily outfit and do you change it depending on what you’re wearing?
While I love bags, and I have a bunch of different ones. I tend to get comfortable with one for a while and use it pretty much every day for at least 6 months. I’ll pull out a different one for a night out or some special occasion, but my every day bag tends to stay the same for lengths of time.Tell me about the bag we shot? Where is it from and what do you like about it?
This is a satchel from Clare V. She’s known for this envelope style bag, but my version has straps on it which makes it easy to wear and carry. I love that it’s a good size that holds my daily essentials but isn’t so huge that I can’t find what I am looking for.
Now that you have children do you carry a nappy/diaper bag in addition to your purse or do you cram it all into one?
When I am with my kids, I only carry a diaper bag. I have smaller zip bags that I use to put my phone, lipsticks, and other small essentials and I’ll just move that from one bag to the other. But I find it much easier to have a diaper bag loaded with kids stuff and then my normal everyday bag that I wear to work or for dinners out that doesn’t have the kid stuff. And then just bring my essentials into whichever bag I’m using.
What is the most unusual item that can sometimes be found in your bag?
A toy of some sort. Even though this purse shown is the bag I wear to work (and not my diaper bag), Ruby (my oldest daughter) likes to leave things in my bag, and I sometimes wonder why it’s so heavy. Then, I get to work and realize she has left 16 alphabet magnets in my bag.What is your must have item that is always in your bag?
Lip balm. I’m pretty much addicted to lip balm, so it’s a must at all times.
Are there any designer bags that you covet?
My go-to brand right now is Clare V. I have a few other bags of hers in various styles, colors, and sizes. They are just so chic, light, and durable.
Meanwhile, behind the scenes…
The glamorous side of styling (isn’t it all just jet-setting and making things pretty??) Hardly. The night before the shoot I was on my mum’s deck painting this background. In the dark. With mosquitos and what I’m pretty sure was a pair of bats taunting me.But fear not. I found this sexy thing so all was set right in the world of the globe-trotting stylist. I’ve decided this headlamp is now part of my travelling styling kit because of how cool I look in it. My husband said I looked hot when I sent him this picture. I think maybe he was drunk.
Joy’s staff photographer and right hand woman, Casey, did the photography for me despite the fact that she’d hurt her ankle a couple of days prior. Poor girl was hobbling around in a cast. And it was damn hot as well that day.Not the kind of day that warranted wearing these skinny mint brogues from Liebskind, which totally destroyed my feet by the way. But they were the inspiration for the background colour so I felt obligated to them. Cuz shoes have feelings. (Ask my husband. He used to talk to his shoes when he was little).Thanks so much to Joy and her team for letting me pop by. And thanks to Casey for the photography.
Next time on S.L.O.B…..LA painter Kim West.