Anyone who’s been involved with a wedding knows that beneath the romance, the glamour, the joy and the tears is a super organised support network. And so it is with the modern bride. You want to glide down the aisle and let loose on the dancefloor like there’s no tomorrow.
You definitely don’t want to scramble around searching for whatever you might need – a lipstick, a tissue, cue cards for your speech, your indispensable lucky charm or, if you’re a die-hard regular on the gram, your phone.
But you need a bag that’s worthy of the rest of your attire. A bag that manages to be gloriously practical and dreamily chic all at once. Enter Gigi – a unique, limited edition bag created by Roanne Jacobson of Saben in conjunction with Together Journal. For Greta Kenyon, founder of Together Journal, the collaboration with Saben is a natural progression.
“We’ve been working together for a while now and it’s a wonderful relationship with lots of synergies,” she says. For Roanne, the opportunity to create the Gigi was a treat and one that felt very in keeping with the times. “People are really making the most of celebrations right now,” she says.
“I think one of the great lessons of the last couple of years is that life is unpredictable —special occasions can be cancelled or delayed. It’s really helped us realise that celebrations with loved ones are essential to life and to make the absolute most of them – it’s something that I’m personally trying to prioritise.”
Greta and Roanne have a lot in common – they’re both creative people who combine that outlook with running a demanding business and motherhood; they both love to collaborate with and support other brands that share their values; and they both possess a longstanding passion for beauty and design. Greta’s background is in fashion marketing and, later, wedding photography and she now brings her discerning eye to the pages of Together Journal.
Roanne has been enamoured with the power of feminine style since she was a little girl and her favourite thing was to sit at the foot of her grandmother’s dressing table and watch her get ready for the day. “She was extremely stylish, a very put together woman,” she recalls. “Everything was thought out every single day, from her stockings to her accessories. She was a big inspiration to me in that way.”
When Roanne started Saben in 2002, she gave the business her grandmother’s maiden name and the memory of Sarah Saben’s style and meticulous attention to detail remains paramount to the label, as does the subtle but ever-present aura of a bygone era. “A heritage aesthetic has always been one of the pillars of our brand,” says Roanne. “There’s always that underlying quality.” And the Gigi bag is no exception. It has an understated vintage feel, and the use of a frame in its structure is also reminiscent of the Carrie Bag – one of Roanne’s very first designs from the early 2000s.
“I was designing a heritage piece based on the Carrie bag and I just fell back in love with frames,” says Roanne. “With the Gigi, I wanted to play with a shape that did the same thing but slightly differently. It also incorporates the ruched effect of the Frilly Tilly which is one of our most popular bags. And I wanted this piece to feel more voluminous.”Volume, says Roanne, is really having a moment.
“I think the reason for that is that it’s beautiful to touch – there’s a comfort that comes from something tactile and soft and we’re all searching for feelings of comfort right now. It’s also, by its nature, imperfect. You can create a perfect pleat but you can never enforce exactly how it will fall. I really like that imperfection you get when you play with ruching a substance like natural cowhide leather.”
Having been involved with the wedding aesthetic for a long time, Greta knew that the bag needed to make a statement and have strong design lines but not overpower the bridal look. “I fell in love with the concept designed by Roanne because it’s timeless but modern. It has a nod to the 1950s that feels sophisticated as well as it being very feminine,” she says. And don’t forget practical. Roanne thought a lot about how a bride might like to hold her bag – or not – and the result is several options.
The Gigi has a tubular leather handle as well as a long slender chain which creates a glamorous jewellery-like effect and works for over-the-shoulder or cross-body wear. Or, if you prefer a clutch, both handles can be folded inside the bag.“Functionality is key,” says Roanne, pointing out the interior zip pocket, phone pocket and clip for keys. “Even if you needed to carry a pair of extra tights you could do so in this bag without anybody knowing,” she says. “We’ve made a really sophisticated sculptural piece practical. “As for the colour, Roanne experimented and eventually chose a tone she calls Alabaster. “It’s not white, it’s not cream, it’s in between, but it looks beautiful next to white and cream.” As Greta observes, it would look fabulous carried by bridesmaids. “It would be the perfect gift for your bride tribe. One that would look gorgeous on the day and enjoyed afterwards.”
READ MORE: Introducing Saben’s AW21 collection: Heritage
This is a bag made to last – to be passed down through generations, but also enjoyed to the full by its original owner. Because long after your wedding dress is nestled in its dry-cleaning bag at the back of your wardrobe, your Gigi will be just getting started. “It’s versatile enough to look cool teamed with heels and jeans for an off-duty look after the wedding,” says Greta. “I’ll be taking mine to events as well as pairing it with white sneakers for a casual look. I love the idea of a bride using the Gigi bag on her wedding day and then afterwards many more times because the clever design transcends weddings.”
Who wouldn’t like to go out with a bag that holds not just everything you need for the night, but your happiest memories as well? The Gigi is available from Saben and Together Journal and also from an exclusive selection of Saben retail partners.
Visit Saben online or follow @sabenltd on Instagram to find out more.