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A Dream in the bag; Janet Tansley looks at the the must-have bags of the year Collette's top 10 bags for hire.

Byline: Janet Tansley

FORGET who's on your arm, it what's on your arm that's important these days.

Thanks to celebs like Coleen McLoughlin, Posh and SJP, no look or outfit is complete without a designer handbag swinging at your side.

But one Mersey fashion fiend has bagged a brand new business to make sure you can carry a Chloe or flaunt a Fendi - without having to fork out thousands for the privilege.

Collette Jones, 30, from Heswall, set up bagmybag.com in November last year, to hire out those top named luxury accessories.

Says Collette: "I came across an American website called Bag, Borrowor Steal where you could rent designer handbags and I thought what a great idea. Friends used to borrow my bags.

"People have hired out hats before, so why not bags? They are the new must-have accessory. Bags make an outfit and they give you confidence."

She adds: "I went out recently with a Gucci Indy bag worth pounds 1,300 which I would never have bought myself - it's the price of a holiday - but it was amazing how people were opening doors for me, they were nice to me and I thought, this is because of the bag."

Collette's own passion for handbags started when she worked at top city store Cricket "a long time ago", helping to dress the celebrities and visiting fashion shows in Milan, Paris and London.

She built up her own collection of around 30: "My favourite is a Mulberry Bayswater purple patent bag which I bought in Amsterdam.

Coleen had one," she says.

But now she has around 45with many more on order for hire including names like Fendi, Mulberry, Stella McCartney, Chloe and Gucci.

She is on awaiting list for a Hermes Birken bag which she reckons will be hers for hire in around six months and has ordered some Fendi Baguette bags, made famous by the series Sex and the City and which, she believes, will be big again when the film comes out later this year.

She says: "It's not just the name on the bag that makes it a must-have, it's the quality. Better to save up and cherish something and use it all the time than buy one of poorer quality and throw it away."

With bagmybag.com customers can register and become a member for pounds 7.50 per month and then hire out top named bags from as little as pounds 10 a week plus postage.

"Not everyone can afford these bags," says Collette. "I am giving people the opportunity to carry a bag and feel great.

"To live a dream." Just like Coleen...

Gucci Indy Bag: pounds 1300/pounds 30 pw, pounds 90 pm

A real statement bag as owned by Coleen and Eva Longoria. Comes in the softest of chocolate leather.

Prada Ombre Leather Bag: pounds 900/pounds 25 pw, pounds 75 pm. This two-tone effect is very now. Penelope Cruz and Liv Tyler have been seen with this bag. It comes in nappa leather with gold tone hardware.

Longchamp Legend Bag: pounds 660/pounds 25 pw, pounds 65pm. Designed by Kate Moss, loved by Madonna, Claudia Schiffer and Kate herself. The bag opens in the style of a Doctors bag, and has a fabulous red lining!

Mulberry Bayswater Bag: pounds 595/pounds 25 pw, pounds 65 pm.

Alexa Chung is the girl of the moment and both she and Coleen have been spotted with this bag.

Fendi Sweetbox Bag: Price to buy pounds 640/Price for hire pounds 30 per week or pounds 60 per month. This season's must. Unavailable to buy in this hot orange colour. "There are only two in this country and I have one of them."

Jimmy Choo Leather Ring Tote Bag: pounds 890/pounds 25 pw, pounds 80 pm. This is a very sexy glamourous bag - as owned by Cat Deeley. Comes in black shiny leather with gold tone fittings and a gold signature plaque on the top of the handle.

Stella McCartney Clutch Bag: pounds 400/pounds 20 pw, pounds 60 pm. Louise Redknapp loves this bag. Bang on trend being a black clutch with a magnetic metal fastening, and double-zipped feature Stella charms on the front. The bag comes with a detachable coin purse!

Fendi Spy Bag: pounds 1200/ pounds 30 pw, pounds 95 pm. This bag is a celebrity must with fans including Victoria Beckham, Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Richie and Jennifer Lopez. Fendi call this bag the Cognac napa leather spy, it has a purse at the front of the bag and a secret compartment girls love.

Juicy Couture Bowling Bag: pounds 320/ pounds 15 pw, pounds 45 pm. Paris Hilton is a fan and why not? Comes in a beautiful cocoa brown leather with turquoise contrast stitching and brass hardware.

Louis Vuitton Speedy Bag: pounds 300/ pounds 15 pw, pounds 35 pm. Jessica Simpson adores this classic monogram print bag with padlock.

CAPTION(S):

BAG LADY: Coleen has a collection of some of the most fashionable and elegant bags in the UK's top ten for this year; BAG LADY: Collette Jones set up bagmybag.com to hire out those luxury accessories; LOOKS: Alex Curran sports some fashionable choices in bag wear
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Feb 13, 2008
Words:869
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