January 08 2010
One advantage of unwinding over the festive season is that it offers an opportunity for contemplation that the usual rush of life rarely allows. So it was that I found myself thinking about the power of green – the sort of deep, dark, sometimes piney and sometimes slightly yellower moss tint – that we see a lot of at this time of year but which is otherwise neglected. Courtesy of a particularly choice Christmas gift, I realised that green is for life, not just for Christmas. Not so much as a colour for clothes – though a bottle-green crepe, bias-cut Galliano dress and a Chanel tweed coat in smoky green with gold flecks have been wardrobe favourites since the 1980s – but as a very interesting colour for leather accessories.
There is something about dark green leather, especially trimmed with subtle gilt, that is irresistibly classy and elegant. It makes a great contrast to many other colours, including grey, camel, brown, purple, even navy, and – if you must – red. Yet it is less used than other classic neutrals, which seems a pity – though this gives it the cachet of comparative rarity.
I am very grateful that those responsible for this particular gift chose the green option. I unwrapped a stunning Dakota bag by Anya Hindmarch (pictured; now £315 in her sale), which is a wonderfully nostalgic design just made to be worked in very dark green, subtle croc-effect leather. This sensibly-sized clutch (it has a concealed brass chain if you need two hands free) has a strong art deco look, with a leather-inlay brass clasp and fine suede inserts that, along with the beige suede lining, give it a lovely hand-crafted look. Inside there is room for three compartments and a key ring.