Anna discovers the summer basket shop you need to know about.

Although the sun might not be out every single day, it is definitely time to put leathers and heavy materials on pause and switch to something lighter, brighter and practical for our new-feel morning weekday commutes, and weekend adventures.

As well as our usual handbag essentials, there are some extras to consider during summer months. We start lugging sunglasses, cold drinks, spare flip flops, spare jumper, sun cream… picnic rugs… we need something roomy, light, and not too precious that can fit it all in and sit on the grass in the park.

A straw tote has an organic, sturdy, environmentally friendly, There is room for everything.

This week I discovered The Paradise Catcher. Founded by ex-British Vogue publisher, Emily Armstrong. French in style, handmade in Morocco, Portugal and India, it is the kind of brand that makes us think of endless summers and global travel… and makes us want to dress that way every single day. The constant challenge in London is how to dress like we are in Ibiza, but adapted just barely enough to work on the District line.

Now Sydney-based, Emily moved back to her native Australia the summer of 2014, and the change of scenery inspired her to start a lifestyle blog and a new interior design career, as well as produce bespoke, monogrammed straw bags under the same The Paradise Catcher brand.

A long-held love of a monogram and of the effortless Mediterranean style of basket bags, you can order 'au naturale' in a range of sizes and styles ... or have some fun with your choice of personalisation and trimmings, selecting motifs featuring crabs, anchors and the evil eye, hand painted in their Sydney studio. As is the trend with most accessory companies currently, customisation is at the heart. You can monogram your initials, name or family name with your accent colour choice.



Market basket and custom straw beach baskets have all been selected for understated chic use for many years now. We can safely assume they are here to stay, summer after summer.

So which to choose?
The Capri is the classic basket for beach and market. The Provence is my practical favourite, with both a short and long handle.



The pale handles on the roomy Bronte and the sisal handle on the Marrakech are unique takes on the classics. Sourced from artisans who have been crafting them in a remote region of Portugal for hundreds of years, the chic 70's wicker Birkin baskets are in high demand.



And the best news? They will arrive in time for your holiday. All custom orders take around four weeks but just in case you have a market basket emergency and need yours sooner, the website states that with a quick email, Emily we will do her best to accommodate!

April 2018