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Fashion

Dua Lipa and Callum Turner

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Editor’s Note: Featuring the good, the bad and the ugly, ‘Look of the Week’ is a regular series dedicated to unpacking the most talked about outfit of the last seven days.CNN — 

Romance was in the air at London’s St. Pancras station on Tuesday, and not just because burgeoning power couple Dua Lipa and actor Callum Turner were spotted returning from a trip to Paris.

Beyond their similar leather jackets, there was something nostalgic, even sentimental about their looks. Lipa, carrying a black Hermés bag adorned with a tangled assortment of keychains, a checkerboard claw hair clip and a Hermès Twilly scarf, seemed to be taking cues from another clutter connoisseur — the late Jane Birkin.

Turner wheeled a silver Rimowa cabin case decked out with a smorgasbord of luggage stickers. From afar, the pair could have been mistaken for travelers from the 1960s (though Lipa’s cherry Coke-colored tresses and Puma sneakers slightly give the game away), wistfully accruing mementos and keepsakes from trips abroad.

The fashion for luggage patches began around the 1900s — they were typically offered by grand, palatial hotels. Neil Mockford/GC Images/Getty Images

Luggage patches not dissimilar to the ones stickers spotted on Turner’s case emerged in the 1900s, where they were typically offered by grand, palatial hotels such as the Hotel Sole in Palermo, Italy; or the Hotel Europa in Costa Rica. Inspired by the travel posters of the time, an artfully designed sticker was free advertising for an establishment when slapped across a stylish guest’s case, and enabled the traveler to signpost to their prestigious holidaying habits.

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“In this age of nostalgia… I say bring back the travel sticker,” wrote the New York Times in 1971, insisting that the colorful decorations are key to evoking pleasant memories and standing out from the crowd. Birkin herself confessed her melting pot of bag charms were part of an expression of individuality. “There’s no fun in a bag if it’s not kicked around,” she told Vogue in 2011, “I always put on stickers and beads and worry-beads. You can get them from Greece, Israel, Palestine — from anywhere in the world. I always hang things on my bags because I don’t like them looking like everyone else’s.”

In an increasingly digital age, tangible objects are gaining new reverence. Last December, sales of vinyl records in the UK reached the highest since 1990. Similarly, during Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour in 2023, fans exchanged handmade friendship bracelets instead of Instagram handles.

Perhaps Lipa — who has been steadily building her repertoire of quirky bag charms since November after starting out with just a few woven keychains — is also feeling drawn to the physical memento. Birkin would doubtlessly approve.

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