Ready to Wear: Ally Capellino's designs appear particularly relevant now

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Congratulations Ally Capellino. Not only is the designer celebrating her 30th anniversary in business this year but also, this month, she's launching the new AO by Ally Capellino rucksack, designed specifically to carry Apple laptops and available through that mega-corporation's retail outlets, on and off-line. It is, therefore, not to put too fine a point on it, huge.

Capellino describes the bags as "distinctly non-geeky looking" – and in beachy colours and easy shapes indeed they are. In fact, the ever industrious designer was the first to work with Apple, cold-calling the company in 2006 and establishing an interest from its side in bags that were more aesthetically pleasing than the not even remotely aesthetically pleasing slim, nylon laptop carrier that was a ubiquitous throwback to the matt-black and Memphis age. In 2008 Capellino designed the first Apple bag and, following its success comes this new one, described as "relaxed yet functional" – which might be a mantra for her signature as a whole.

Given the trend for utilitarian clothing and accessories, and a sense that heavily branded, hardware laden and/or logo-ed bags in particular have had their day for the time being at least, Ally Capellino's designs appear particularly relevant (to use the fashion parlance) just now. There is a loyal client base – male and female – but the Mystic Meg in any studious fashion follower surely wouldn't be surprised were this now to enjoy something of a growth spurt.

Ally Capellino bags are beautifully made, come in durable leather, waxed cotton and more – all fine, carefully sourced materials which improve with age and are never even remotely ostentatious or tied to a particular look or time. Fastenings are chosen because they work, over and above anything more ephemeral in nature. You won't find any busy little trinkets dangling from these for no apparent reason, and although there may be a vintage quality to certain designs it's not of the revival du jour variety. That would be too obviously fashion-y by far.

Finally, while manufacturers of ill repute churn out copies of status bags ad nauseam, Capellino's is a more discreet and difficult-to-identify aesthetic, making it less ripe for, well, for ripping off. It's a proposition that's more than a little appealing for that.

Allycapellino.co.uk

s.frankel@independent.co.uk

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