Pippa Middleton is the New Jane Birkin

Last month, I spotted a bag on Polyvore that I thought would be just perfect for a Hill Staffer.  Big enough to tote files, shoes, etc., but not so big that you could house a Sudanese family in it.  It was called the Modalu London Medium Bristol bag, and I decided to bookmark the page for a later post.  Then, I promptly forgot about it.

Fast forward four weeks and one Royal Wedding later, and the Bristol bag is the new IT! bag thanks to one Philippa Middleton.  The bag is so in demand thanks to Britain’s sister-in-waiting, that it got a name change to, what else, The Pippa.  Imagine that, Pippa Middleton is the new Jane Birkin.

Modalu Bristol Bag (149 British Pounds, so $250 or so)

This right here is my Mother’s dream purse. She’s been searching for it for 15 years.  She calls the Magic Bag, because she’s never been able to find one that fits all of her endless criteria.  Let’s knock em down, shall we?

Outer zip pockets for keys, ID, cell phone? Check.

Multiple, Internal pockets for pens, notepads, tissues, etc? Check.

Internal dividers (or in this case, three separately zipped pockets)? Check and check.

A shoulder strap? Check.

Top handles? Check.

Simple design without a monogram print or a medallion logo plaque in sight? Check.

Silver hardware? F–k.  But come on, it’s a pale brushed gold.  You can’t abandon an entire handbag just for that!  Oh, wait.  I forgot that I was talking about my Mother, a woman so obsessed with white metal and averse to yellow metal that her first AOL handle (in 1995) was JustSilver.  


Well, for all of you reasonable people, who will love and adore this bag, you’re welcome.  And hopefully, these Middleton sisters will continue to bring the goods.  Because while neither of them has ground breaking style, I’m always up for a few chic affordable basics.



  1. Ms. B says:

    I MUST have it!!!!!! Help me please Belle!!!!! I must have it. It is answer to m y prayers (sans silver). HELP, me before I melt.

    May 12, 2011/Reply
  2. Belle says:

    Oh Good, my Mother can be reasoned with. Who knew? Someone call the NYT!

    May 12, 2011/Reply
  3. Virginia says:

    Yes, great bag! I request more posts related to the Brits, bonus points if it's Royal Wedding-related.

    May 12, 2011/Reply
  4. amy b.s. says:

    it really is the perfect bag. i saw her with it, immediately tried to find it and now it's the it thing!

    May 12, 2011/Reply
  5. jmb says:

    How did you know I was looking for a top-handled bag? Bag ordered. Now, can you help me find the perfect dress for a beach wedding in Mexico in June? Thanks, Belle!

    May 12, 2011/Reply
  6. Sammy says:

    Great post, Belle!

    As always, I enjoy reading your blog. But I find it a bit insensitive that you described the bag large enough to “house a Sudanese family.” I see what you were trying to say but I find your analogy was stereotyping and clearly, showed a lack of knowledge on Sudanese families. Not all Sudanese families are large-FYI

    May 13, 2011/Reply
  7. Belle says:

    There was no insensitivity meant.

    The joke is not a reference to the size of Sudanese families. It is an old Vaudeville joke used to mock characters who walked onto stage with large bags, boxes and other props. The joke is that the prop is proportional in size to an African hut. My college theater professor used variations of it often, and it stuck.

    If that insults you, then you are reading the wrong blog.

    May 13, 2011/Reply
  8. Christine says:

    Oh, I have a bag very similar to this from Banana Republic a year and a half ago! Only it has another zippered pocket on the front the full length of the bag. It also has silver hardware and a red lining. I bought it for my work bag when I first moved to DC and love it! I know that doesn't really help except to say a bag like that actually exists!

    May 16, 2011/Reply
  9. Reshma says:

    tell your Mom that just like her I only wear bags with silver hardware and thinks the Pippa bag is perfect for the same reasons.
    And I waited for 2 years for them to make this bag in black with silver hardware but I’m extremely happy to report that they finally did 🙂 It’s about time!! They made the bag in other colors with silver hardware first and I impatiently waited until now August 2013. She has to grab it quickly from Modalu website if she is interested! It’s on there as limited edition. I got 2. Love them 🙂

    August 27, 2013/Reply