Saturday, January 03, 2009

review: belstaff colonial canvas fall08/winter09 collection

This will be a very short review to correspond with Belstaff's painfully, sadly, unwisely abridged Colonial Canvas line.

There are now only three (3) bags left in the collection - and they aren't even the three best examples of the line from previous collections. Here's what's they're selling:

756148 - Man Bag 550

756195 - Medium Man Bag

756176 - Travel Bag

These three bags are available in Black, Mountain Brown, Kaki and Panama.

Gone are the Large Man Bag and the Shoulder Bag (the two best bags in the line), as well as the Large Shoulder Bag. Long gone are the Marsupium and the oddly-named but still-cool Body Bag.

I've gone over each of the three remaining bags in an earlier review - you can read it and see some pictures here.

But in case you're too lazy to click on that link:

The Man Bag 550 lacks the heft of its larger cousins, and frankly is just too d____d small for much of anything other than a camera and a pack of gum. The Medium Man Bag, while an improvement, teases you with greater carrying power but is still too small for magazines, maybe a couple of paperbacks would fit. And the Travel Bag? It's a mess, a shaggy, buckle-and-strap nightmare that looks like a rolled-up canvas straight jacket.

It's enough to make you want to switch to Inujirushi bags.

I can't explain what's up with Belstaff. Every time I've gotten in touch with their showroom store in New York City they've been either out of stock or nearly out of stock. Their London store had few of the Colonial Canvas bags in stock when I was last there, and good luck finding any of the bags at independent retailers. These bags are popular - so why aren't they meeting demand with more variety, not less?

It's a shame. The Shoulder Bag is the finest casual bag I've ever owned. It's sturdy and spacious while still looking great. And the Mountain Brown color is fabulously understated. I had hoped to pick up a Large Man Bag. . . but I fear it is not to be.

Numerous emails to Belstaff requesting more information have gone unanswered.

Stay tuned.

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