So, mini bags. In principle, I love the cuteness of their pint-sized proportions. In practice, as an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink kind of person when it comes to packing, they’re not for me. But practicality is, often, also not for me – so I ordered Loewe’s Mini Gate Dual bag from Matches.
I seem to only ever be interested in Loewe bags, though I initially considered getting something from a different brand to ‘diversify my portfolio’ a little. The Mini Loop from Bottega was also on my mind, but they lost me with the lack of lining. Anyway, you can’t really beat Loewe’s craftsmanship, buttery leather and meticulous attention to detail. I also love that its designs are more unique – in beautiful silhouettes and fresh colours – and lack the in-your-face branding that you typically find at Gucci, Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton and co.
The Mini Gate Dual bag comes in smooth or pebble-grain calfskin. Mine is the latter in the colour Dark Blush, a deep rosewood shade. It has a soft suede interior, and the typical Loewe herringbone canvas lines the pockets. The curved, saddle-style shape that sits flat against the body and feels super light – it’s the perfect city bag in that respect. There’s a magnetic fastening (which I wasn’t expecting, as the older Mini Gates don’t, and Matches’ pictures didn’t show this) for security, which isn’t really necessary as the crossover straps on the front make sure that the flap’s pulled down securely. You’ll find two streamlined pockets on the wall inside. The bag’s named after the gatepost-inspired hardware on the side, which connects to a knotted leather loop that tucks inside the bag. I’m not sure if this is pure decoration or designed to hold keys.
What it fits
This is the type of bag that you can only fit the bare essentials into. For me, that’s my cards, keys and phone. I can fit in tissues, lip balm and a mask on top of that, but that’s about it.
This design has filled the tiny-bag-shaped hole in my wardrobe, and it’s a great everyday (and evening) piece. It’s lightweight; it fits the everyday must-haves; the colour is close enough to being neutral that it goes with a lot of outfits; and the strap adjusts from a long crossbody length to a short on-the-shoulder drop. I’ve worn it to the supermarket and to a wedding. It’s too small to be labelled as ‘versatile’, but I’ll at least say it’s very handy. As a Mini model, this bag was never meant to be a winner in the practicality stakes. It’s good at looking beautiful, with an elegant half-moon shape and perfectly topstitched interlinked straps.