Not long ago I was researching a story about the re-uprising of the brown bag. Such glorious retail-themed journalism is both a blessing and a curse. During my Googles and conversations I became intricately invested in the inner workings of linings and buckles and double leathered straps. In how cuts and shapes could conjure a retrospective aesthetic and how the slinging of a style can completely transform your personal costuming.

Since then, my tote-spotting eye has been eagled. I’ll notice a clasp or a logo or a style as my thumb scrolls the ‘gram or when fashion week is in motion. I’ll take note of its beauty and mentally add to cart. Most recently, it was a tan leather handbag in a shape of buckety perfection that stopped me mid-scroll. I immediately knew it was TOD’s. Its golden horse-bit clasp cemented its preppy foundations, yet its utility-slouch gave it buy-me-now wearability. The TOD’s bucket bag. I was sold.

So, upon hearing of the brand new TOD’s store opening today in Melbourne’s Chadstone, I’m now eager to see what else this 99-year-old Italian label had in store (literally) for us here in Australia. At over 142 metres, this boutique is the largest TOD’s store in Australia. A conceptual fit out that features the house’s exceptionally crafted loafers, soft-leather totes and must-have accessories. The opening event last night drew some of fashion’s most impressive personalities. The crowd all privy to a TOD’s Italian artisan demonstrating the crafting of their classic Gommino shoe while being able to shop the latest in its range of It-bags – the D Styling.

So I’m now in a dilemma of too much choice and my handbag-heart is torn. D Styling or Bucket bag? Perhaps a trip to Chadstone is needed to settle the score…

TOD’s Chadstone is open now (and, good news, the artisan will in-store until May 5 so customers can visit and have small leatherwear purchases hot-stamp-customised).

TOD’s new flagship boutique in Melbourne’s Chadstone
TOD’s store opening, Chadstone, Melbourne
Sarah-Ellen attending the opening of the new TOD’s store
Kate Waterhouse attending the opening of the new TOD’s store