Luella Gisele limited edition bag with scallop fringe in tangerine

A Luella Gisele by Luella Bartley.
Photo © Cheryl Marie Cordeiro for CMC, 2009

The Luella Gisele bag was launched in 2002 by Luella Bartley, though it only became really popular by the end of 2003 and early 2004 with celebrities such as Kate Moss, Reese Witherspoon and Christina Aguilera toting the bag on their arms. The fact that the bag was named after Gisele Bundchen might have also helped in its marketing along the way.

Luella Gisele heart shaped and flower shaped charms

With English equestrian inspirations, the Luella Gisele bag came out in three main sizes, the baby, the standard and the large (as shown in the pictures here). The colours were all amazing on these bags, notably bright happy colours from apple green to yellow, pink and red.

Luella Gisele, limited edition in tangerine colour

The collaborated effort between Mulberry and Luella Bartley for the Luella Gisele proved quite creative in efforts and the design of this bag was produced in various materials from calf grained leather to patent leather, suede and canvas with some limited edition lines carrying a varying theme – some with vibrant prints and some with rivets and intricate stitchings on the bag.

A heart shaped rivet on the Luella Gisele by Luella Bartley

This bag here happens to be a limited edition large Luella Gisele that comes with a scalloped fringe and a mint-green and white striped canvas interior. I’ve had the bag for several years now and it’s one of the roomier bags that I carry, measuring at 15.5″L x 6″W x 9″H.

Signature heart metalware on the inside of the Luella Gisele bag, tote

The bag features silvertone hardware, with Luella’s signature heart on the pocket of the interior of the bag. Silvertone heart rivets also fasten the strappy details on the back of this bag.

Side profile of the Luella Gisele

The bag has a tapered cut and the base of the bag is slightly larger than the top, so it does hold quite a bit of belongings, including a laptop and room leftover for A4 sized documents and files. The bag’s also a good size for a brief weekend travel as a carry-all.

Mint green stripes on canvas, inside the Luella Gisele tote, bag, by Luella Bartley

The inside of the bag is lined in a chirpy mint-green and white striped canvas. And it’s the contrast of the green to the tangerine that always gets me smiling!

If there was a complaint about this bag, it would be that the bag has possibly too many straps to handle efficienlty, that go around to fasten it. Opening and closing this bag during rush-hour traffic when you’re on the move is impossible. In fact, I’ve seen women who carry this bag simply leave the bag unfastened. I can’t help but smile in understanding and what results with the bag left undone is its rather unfortunate haphazard appearance of having too many straps misplaced.

The Luella Gisele bag, tote, opened and its charms, by Luella Bartley

The other design feature that I would’ve preferred is if the bag was made as a shoulder tote so that it frees up the hands. It’s large size is a definite plus, but the relatively short handles means that if the bag is filled and heavy, you’ll need to hand carry the load till you can be relieved of it either at the office or at home. Through the years however, the Luella Gisele has evolved in design and the later versions (after 2005) come with easier to manage magnetized closures and twist locks.

Luella Bartley charms, hearts and flowers, Luella Gisele bag, tote

Despite the hassle of the straps and the seemingly impossible basic task of opening and closing the bag, I can’t help but want to carry this with me sometimes. All it takes is a little planning and perhaps a firm decision to take the time needed to open and close this bag. The spring colours on the bag, the tangerine, green and pink of this bag never fails to lift my mood. And I find the charms that hang on most Luella bags adorable!

I could think of getting myself a baby Gisele, at the risk of looking silly fiddling with all those straps on a tiny bag just to get my wallet out!