My name is Lulu Guinness and I’m an accessories designer, mostly handbags and I’m so delighted to be standing so close to one of my favourite images ever. It’s called Nude London by Bill Brandt who has to be one of my all-time favourite photographers. What I really love about this photograph is that its strong, its graphic, its black and white, it’s of a woman. I’m obsessed with women’s faces and a lot of my bags are either lips, or eyes or the whole face, or just eyelashes and fringe. I also love the subtlety of the fact it’s in nude. It’s just a very subtle and elegant part of the picture. There is an element of mystery and romance and I usually like to know the history of whether this person is their muse, or their wife, or their lover, I don’t know. I wonder who this lady is, but the fact is that it’s called Nude London I love because that’s what my bags are called. It is the London tote.
LG: I want it to arrest people but then it’s got to be beautifully made as well
M1: Right. It’s got to be well made and have longevity. This knife here is going to cut out all your panels, cut the white and then we will cut the black. Once all the parts are cut then we will start putting it together. Once that’s done we stick it into the front panel of the bag.
LG: So how long will it take from beginning to end?
M1: You’re looking to do about once it’s all set up about two or three hours before you get a bag off the end of the production line.
LG: Because we’re in England, to see this actually being constructed is like a dream, it’s fabulous.
LG: I learnt a lot about photography when I lived in Paris because my boyfriend was a photographer and he gave me a book on Bill Brandt out of the whole book this was the photograph that I just fell in love with. Because I had that picture up as a poster for about two years I think on the wall, you kind of sometimes don’t even see it but you know it, it’s in your head and that’s what this poster was for me. This was when I was about twenty in Paris. I’m driven to do things that are different from other people. This is where I get to do it really.