Back in December 2019, when I had barely heard of coronavirus, I ordered a two tone Victoria bag. I’d seen a picture of a Victoria in Black and Cream on the Purse Forum, and thought it looked very striking. I immediately wanted a two tone bag. As usual, Marco provided lots of advice and assistance on email to help me choose the colours. He sent me several swatches of leather. Fast forward some weeks, and I settled on these specifications for the bag:
* Full Size Victoria Bag,
* Black Cuio Toscano leather body,
* White Cuio Toscano leather contrast stripe and handles,
* light gold hardware,
* beige lambskin lining.
The bag arrived on time here in Australia in early March 2020, despite the horror of the pandemic being in full swing. I was still working and I started using the bag immediately. With all of the depressing news, it was a small moment of enjoyment each day to pick up, use and enjoy this bag. There are several things I especially like about the bag.
Utility of the bag: it is a very roomy bag, but thanks to the foldable side flaps, it is not too huge even on a short person like me. The press studs secure the flaps closed when as needed. The bag fits a 13” Mac laptop or 12.9” iPad Pro, making it very useful for work. It does not have a zipper, meaning that items can fall out if the bag is put down somewhere (eg for security screening), however this is always the case in any bag without a zipper on the main compartment. The magnetic flap closure is quite firm, and when the sides are also clipped in, the likelihood of a precious pen, USB stick or similar falling out is relatively small. The lambskin lining is sturdy and luxurious. The shoulder straps are wide and sturdy too, although I do find that one of the straps sometimes slips off my shoulder. If I had any improvements to make, it would be to see if we could prevent the outer strap slipping off the shoulder. I should also say that this bag is VERY heavy! This is due to my leather choices: cuio toscano for the outer and lambskin lining, and of course the weight of these choices is not for everyone.
Aesthetics & construction: The shape of the bag is very pleasing. To me, it resembles a stylised representation of my home — the Australian continent — so I sometimes affectionately call it the “Australia” bag. I am very happy with the colour choices of black with white contrasting trim on this bag. The contrast adds an aesthetic layer whilst still being neutral. If I were making this bag again, I would chose silver or gunmetal hardware I think rather than gold, as a personal preference on this bag.
The construction of the bag is sturdy. I have had no issues with manufacture since first using the bag in March. The details of the bag show that it is in part hand-worked. For example, the edge paint has the small variations showing it was applied by hand. I like this variation and character in an handmade item.
The thing I love most is the optional lambskin lining as it adds a particularly luxurious touch. The lining on this bag is beige, the colour choices being beige and black. One comment I have is that it would be great if there were other colour options for lambskin.
As mentioned, one note of caution is that this bag is heavy due to the materials I chose. This is only natural given that the cuio toscano leather, which is thick, chewy and luxurious, and lambskin lining. For me personally, the trade-off between materials and weight is simple: I would almost always chose the silken luxury of lambskin lining even though it increases the weight of the bag. Next time, I would look trying at a lighter weight but durable outer leather.
Overall: I’m very happy with this bag. Another lovely luxury piece from the team at Massaccesi.