too. Katy McAuIay unzips the trendification of a once ugly tool.

pecially made for pewters.‘ reads the sclescription of (‘rumpler McBains I.ovechild. a range of colourful laptop bags. ‘.\'ot mugs. Computers. These are bags with holes in the right places. Strong enuff for nu—clear attacks and old dark cracks: but won’t crack ya pewter.‘ Laptop bags used to be there to be square. Designs were based with the businessman in mind. case closed. But a crossover between work and leisure is blurring the lines. As T-shirts and trainers are allowed into the workplace. so our office technology has begun to invade our personal lives. Phone cases and laptop covers now offer a chance for expressions of personal identity. It‘s geek chic and designers such as Julien MacDonald have spotted a gap in the market. last October. MacDonald created three laptop

bags for (iivenchy with the intention of


bridging the gap. Aimed at women. the models had compartments for laptops. phones and. of course. lipsticks and came in ‘understated‘ black. ‘sophisticated‘ white and ‘glamorous’ fuschia. This is great if you have the cash and the desire to cany around a bright pink (iivenchy bag. But those of us who cannot afford such luxury may be interested to hear that some companies are beginning to catch onto the principle that workers need a functional bag that can carry a range of items and if it can look good at the same time. so much the better.

Acme Made. a [TS company currently looking to make the jump over here. is one example. With a range of around 20 colours from plain red or green through to polka dots or an understated grey flannel. the range will keep almost everyone happy. The accessory-crazy can match their bag with shoes or jeweller or it can act as a focal point in itself if twinned with a more demure look.

While style is important. protection is the name of the game here. After all. what is the use of a great looking bag if it fails to protect

106 THE LIST ‘Is Ma, 2cm:

Just because laptop bags are functional, that doesn’t mean they can’t be gorgeous

your £1500 piece of kit'.’ Acme Made 'Slims‘ protect using high impact plastic and a satin quilted lining in a water- resistant. ballistic nylon shell. Starting at $79.99 (£45) they’re not cheap. but they do come with a lifetime warrantee. If the sleeve shape favoured by Acme Made is a little executive in design. (‘rumpler takes a more sporty approach. The London-based company will deliver nationwide and offers a range of intriguingly-named courier-style bags: the School llymn. Wee Bee. Roll-o-Notes or (‘rippy Duck. among others.

These are bags with a tough approach. As the website puts it: ‘(‘rumpler Bags come in different sizes and different styles for different people in different places.‘ They’re waterproof and strong enough for international acts of peacemaking. And £29 £70 is a small price to pay for peace.

l‘inally. if even ('rumpler is too designer" for your taste. there's always the ethical option. Log on to to purchase a laptop case made out of used inner tubes from 7m cars in Mexico City. l'nsurprisingly. black is the only colour choice. but they‘re tough as old tyres and you can bask in the knowledge that you're taking recycling to a new level. The bags cost £49.95.

So will the new vogue for hi-tech fashion. or geek chic catch on. or do we really only want something that won‘t crack our pewters'.’


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1) Crumpler Crisp Suit. £85 ; 2) Acme Designer Slim 15" in Green Dots. $149.99 (approx £80) ; 3) Laptop Bag from Ethical Wares, £47.95; 4) Acme Designer Slim 15" in Panton geometric orange, $149.99 (approx £80); 5) Crumpler McBains Lovechild Medium. £28 ; 6) Acme Designer Slim 15" in charcoal grey circles. $159.99 (approx £85).