Gucci's new bamboo handle bags include a special edition Jane Austen book

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The new Gucci has found it exceptionally easy to seduce, given creative director Alessandro Michele’s fun and fantastical injections of all things otherworldly. From whimsical songs of the jungle to almost psychedelic colours, prints and textures, each season dares to impress. Collections shuffle across past eras, bursting with the nostalgia of the 70s and 80s, and flowering with heady renditions.

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It is not rare that Michele draws inspiration from history, enabling his work with a stunning throwback to bygone, though glorious, days. Almost forgotten classics and stories find life anew with constant reminders, whether in recurring motifs or limited editions, and this season proves no different. Launching a new series of structured top handles in glossy leather and a bamboo handle comes a little surprise inside each bag. A small, pocket-sized Jane Austen book accompanies each handbag, and flaunts a unique printed cover inspired by the collection. Titled "Juvenilia", the limited edition book is a compilation of short stories written by English writer during her teenage years in the late 18th century.

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Gucci's limited edition Jane Austen book as seen on the runway

The surprise book inside each bag is no happy accident, however. At the turn of the 18th century, it was almost customary for women to carry books in their handbags to read on public transportation, lest any unwanted suitors tried to bother them. It is also noteworthy that Austen spent the late 1700s relatively free from societal pressure or censorship, resonating with Gucci’s stunningly creative chaos and enduring contradictions the same way Austen's stories unravel across each page.

As for the glossy leather bag, find a curious juxtaposition between the iconic bamboo handle and an embellished, roaring feline head, finished with coloured enamel and two stones for eyes. The bags also come in red or white leather, and are available online or in selected Gucci shops around the world.

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