I wonder what’s in HER handbag?

I’ve expressed here before that my love of bags is deeper than my love of shoes, or any other accessory for that matter. (Except maybe earrings).  I’m far more committed to a beautifully made bag that will accommodate my life – than a pair of shoes which holds nothing but my feet.

And sometimes (but not very often) the love affair starts with an image: The ads seen in glossy mags, or sometimes just a celebrity holding a bag. That said, in most instances with handbag ads I wonder, “What did the creative genius behind this want me to think the model was carrying in that bag?”

Maybe they don’t think of that, but I always do. So when I saw the above ad campaign for Bulgari’s new line of handbags, I was a little flabbergasted. Really! Is that bag going to fit everything you need it to?

Here are some handbag ads. Below each one, I’ve written what I presume is in there, based on the image presented to me, and a note as to whether I think the ad itself is good, bad or ugly.

Julianne Moore for Bulgari

Bad. I am more attracted to the jewels and the furnishings than the handbag. And the cubs.. Why? She looks like a villain. Only villains have pet lions and adorn themselves in that many diamonds.


  • Exorbitantly priced bra and knicker set, probably black with hints of gold
  • Valentino evening dress and matching shoes
  • A couple of scotch fillets
  • A pistol to shoot the Lioness when she realises Julianne has her babies

Madonna for Louis Vuitton

Ugly. I love Madonna but seeing a 50+ woman with her leg in the air does not want me make that bag.  She looks like a madam.


  • Yoga mat
  • A pair of pants (hopefully not made of lycra)
  • Pack of cigarettes
  • Moisturiser

 Marion Cotilliard for Dior

Good. I like how the bag is rested on her arm, and I LOVE the whole concept. Is she running away or being pulled in? She looks like a spy being torn between her work and true love.


  • Very tech phone/computer/calendar/camera/video with list of contacts
  • Passport and credit cards
  • Wireless recording device
  • Dior lipstick


Unknown model for Louis Vuitton

Bad. The bag is the last thing I saw laying on the purple car. And it looks like it’s about to fall off. And judging by her pose, I wouldn’t want the contents to fall out. She looks desperate and if I was a bloke and that was my car, she’d better be hoping the bag or the shoes didn’t scratch my bonnet.


  • Condoms
  • Perfume
  • Red lipstick
  • Four bottles of Dom Perignon with 2 glasses

 Unknown model for Vivienne Westwood

Ugly. The girl, the makeup, the dress the hair AND the bag. It looks like a mugshot.


  • A few little clear bags containing some kind of mood altering pills or powder, or both.
  • Chuppa Chupps
  • Some loose coins and a flexi card
  • An expired train ticket

 Vanessa Paradis for Chanel

Good. Seems like she LOVES her bag and is protective of whatever’s inside. She looks as though she’s just arrived at a luxury hotel for a casual weekend away.


  • Lip balm
  • Scarf
  • Bottle of Evian
  • Wallet and travel brochures

 Scarlett Johansson for Louis Vuitton

Bad. Where is she? The seat looks like a seat on a bus or cab, but the grey drapes confuse me. If she’s inside she should probably take her coat off, but there’s something sinister about her pose. She looks like she’s stalking her ex boyfriend, or worse – his new girlfriend.  Someone should remind her she’s married to Ryan Reynolds. Hottest man alive.


  • Mobile phone full of old text messages from her ex-lover
  • Tissues
  • Sunglasses
  • Panadol

 Unknown models for Gucci

Ugly. The bag is gaudy regardless of the fact that I find myself wondering…. What the hell are they doing out there in the bush? A tribal dance to pay homage to the dead animals whose skins they are covered in? They look like hippy models who forgot they were hippies when they started modelling and fell in love with luxury. Unfortunately, hippie taste can’t buy stylish glamour.


  • Little bags of hooch. Possibly hydro – definitely strong stuff.
  • Aloe vera juice
  • VIP pass to the hottest bar in town
  • Mobile phone with agents number on speed dial


Unknown model for Loius Vuitton

Good. I wish I was her, at that exact location, in those exact bikinis with that exact bag on her holiday. All looks amazing and relaxing.


  • (slip slop slap) Sunscreen, sunglasses and big white, wide rimmed hat
  • Evian water spray
  • Her hotel key with her room number which she will be writing on all the bills from the hotel bar that will be bringing her cocktails.
  • Latest edition of Vogue


The truth is, if someone took a shot of me right at this very moment I’d be in the category of Ugly.

My handbag: A light tan mock croc Guess bag.


  • Baby Basics – Sticky Fingers hand and face wipes – fragrance free
  • About 3 old receipts from grocery shopping
  • Matching Guess wallet (I do have a little style left)
  • Half eaten packet of Sunbeam mini sultanas.

What’s in your bag? Does it make you good, bad or ugly?



  1. Sian Bell · July 21, 2010

    Not actually a bag person though I do love my light brown with a chocolate brown trim Oroton and I must say a very good investment, had it 3 years and it still looks fab. Have a slightly funny bag story. Years and years ago I had an obviously fake Louis. The white one with the multi-coloured LV’s all over it. I was at a petrol station check-out and the girl at the till said “I like your bag” I said “Oh thanks but it’s not a real one” She looks at me with a perplexed expression and says…….. “Not a real bag?”! Silly girl. haha

  2. Colleen · July 21, 2010

    I hear ya Cindy…….I’m still waiting on a genuine crocodile handbag and then my life will be complete……sigh.

    • cyclonecindy · July 21, 2010

      I know which kind your talking about….. me too!

  3. Sonja · July 21, 2010

    Sian your bag story is funny! Cindy remember your red “vuitton” it went on a little trip with me to Italy where a very pretentious Italian chick did not realise it was a pretend! I am now loving life with my “jimmy choo” which actually made a young Asian doctor swoon! Seriously !! ahahaha why bother with the real thing? It’s much more fun faking it except for perfume which I would never do!

    • cyclonecindy · July 22, 2010

      I remember that bag. Not sure where it went…. good size.
      On fakes: I went to Bali in March and couldn’t go there. They looked fake to me. However China do the best knock offs I’ve ever seen!

  4. Sian Bell · July 22, 2010

    Did you watch the SATC playboy house ep where Samantha had the fake Prada? Fakes are fine so long as no-one notices! And Son- totally agree about perfume. They reek after 1/2 hr plus a girl I used to work with swears her skin where she sprayed the fake Channel 5 berned and blistered. Not nice.

  5. Nick · July 28, 2010

    I am probably not your typical reader for this post but I loved the format so much I read it all anyway. I’m also a sucker for advertising analysis so I actually quite enjoyed this post – especially the guessing what’s in the bag, pretty funny!

    So since I’m commenting, I’ll play along –

    Bag:Crumpler 5 million dollar home

    50 business trip receipts
    Business cards

    You need another category for me: nerd

  6. Sian Bell · August 2, 2010

    Nick, deffinately not a nerd. Crumplers are soooooo cool.

  7. Pingback: Friday night at the club: One girl’s quest for a good time. « Cyclone Cindy
  8. jodee · March 26, 2011

    You have just said all the best campaigns are the worst?? are you some mainstream bimbo?? The westwood shot is clearly the best, fashion foward and too advanced for anyone from the suburbs. If you are going to have a blog in fashion learn the f***ing models names at least!

    • cyclonecindy · March 26, 2011

      This is not a fashion blog.
      On a side note: what I love about fashion, is that it’s subject to interpretation. Just becuase one person loves it, doesn’t mean we all do. It’s my blog and I’ll say whatever the hell I like about Viv and her kooky ads.
      And thank you.
      ‘Mainstream Bimbo’ is a major compliment.

    • cyclonecindy · March 26, 2011

      Jodee is that YOU in the ad?

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