Has high tea gone high fashion?

For Spring/Summer 2022, the pastime has managed to materialize itself in the world of fashion. As the kitsch trends of the late 2000s/ early 2010s begin to claw themselves back to the forefront of fashion, campy accoutrements are creeping back into our wardrobes. British high street label and Kate Middleton favorite Ted Baker, who is responsible for creating the jelly tote bag that became the status symbol for teens to use to carry their PE kits circa 2010, have undergone some stylistic changes as of late. Taking cues from runway references, the label has created a more catwalk-aware offering, thus, the ‘Teapota’ and ‘Teacupp’ styles have been born just in time for spring. Available in two colorways – black or a delightfully dainty Wedgwood-esque faded floral – these handbags are perfectly pretty and are sure to add a whimsical charm to spring ensembles.

Image may contain: Saucer, Pottery, and Cup

If, like the typical Tatler reader, you’re looking for a more luxurious option, Judith Leiber Couture is the answer. The house that has boasted a cornucopia of Swarovski crystal-bedecked minaudieres since 1968 has been a treasure trove for collectors thanks to their vast array of novelty shapes including dalmatians, martini glasses, stacks of dollars and even a bunch of asparagus stems. The Hiltons can’t get enough of them, Kris Jenner gifts them to her brood on special occasions, and since 2017, the label has been headed up by Tommy Hilfiger’s designer wife Dee. For SS22 she presents the ‘Breakfast Teapot’; a bedazzled clutch in the likeness of the beloved crockery piece featuring champagne-coloured hardware, a metallic leather lining and dazzling lovebird motif. It’s currently available to preorder for £3,988.72.

Judith Leiber Couture ‘Breakfast Pot’ bag

Society illustrator Daisy de Villeneuve with her Kate Spade teapot bag, 2016

David M. Benett

However, it isn’t the first time we’ve seen this shape materialized as a handbag. As most Anglophiles will attest, Alice in Wonderland themed accessories are rather charming; a fact New York designer Kate Spade knows all too well. Tapping into English inspiration, she has presented tea-inspired collections via her ongoing capsule with Disney, ‘Down The Rabbit Hole’, since 2016. The label has bought out a smörgåsbord of Alice-adjacent high tea paraphernalia in the form of luxury accessories, from blue wicker teapots to coin purses disguised as cups of Earl Gray – with two slices of leather lemon of course.

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