It's been a big year for the Brits. Everyone's still obsessed with Kate and Wills more than a year after the royal wedding kept us all up into the wee hours of the morning trying to figure out who would design Kate's dress. The Queen's Diamond Jubilee, celebrating Elizabeth II's 60 years on the throne, got huge international media coverage and resulted in what appeared to be a weekend-long party for Londoners. Still to come are the 2012 Olympics, which will open in London in July and give the country its biggest international stage since...well, since the royal wedding. Like I said, life's been pretty swell recently if you work for the country's tourism board.
London is also home to a number of awesome accessories brands, and this summer, it seems like they've all agreed in unison to create Union Jack handbags that celebrate their country in its finest hour. All the way from Alexander McQueen, which has been festooning its box clutches with Union Jacks in a variety of colors and materials for years, to Mulberry, which chose to go for the most subtle pride statement, we've got the best of the uniquely British trend after the jump.
Of course, we have to start with McQueen - the brand's been using the Union Jack heavily for years. Here are some of his current best:
Alexander McQueen Britannia Skull Clutch, $1545 via Net-a-Porter
Alexander McQueen Crystal Britannia Skull Clutch, $2295 via Neiman Marcus
Alexander McQueen Pickstitched Britannia Box Clutch, $2095 via Neiman Marcus
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British model-cum-designer Charlotte Dellal is a relative newcomer, but her line has been a favorite in the fashion set since its debut. The adorable Charlotte Olympia London 2012 Pandora Perspex Box Clutch not only comes with a Union Jack liner that means both it and the exterior clear clutch can be used independently or together, but the brand's signature spider closure is hand-decorated with Union Jack enamel. $965 via Net-a-Porter.
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If wearing a country's flag loud and proud just doesn't fit with your personal style, there's always Mulberry. The brand recently released a limited edition set of four tan bags, three leather and one ostrich, with the brand's signature gold buckle closure engraved with the lines of the Union Jack. Of all the options out there right now (and there are many), these are the most long-term wearable.
Mulberry Union Jack Ostrich Lily, £1700 via Mulberry
Mulberry Union Jack Bayswater, £795 via Mulberry
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Unfortunately, Jimmy Choo's takes on the Union Jack are the tackiest members of the group.
Jimmy Choo Candy Union Jack Acrylic Clutch, $795 via Net-a-Porter
Jimmy Choo Union Jack Print Denim Tote, $1425 via Nordstrom
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If you don't want to spend a zillion dollars but still want a piece that's well made and full of personality, quirky Brit Lulu Guinness is your best bet. Her pieces are my favorite of the entire trend.
Lulu Guinness Sequined Union Jack Oversized Felicity, $435 via Lulu Guinness
Lulu Guinness Snakeskin Union Jack Lips Clutch, $750 via Lulu Guinness
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Lastly, there's just the plain weird (but in a fun way). The Markus Lupfer Union Jack Bag Sequined Sweater has a sparkly Union Jack mini crossbody appliquéd straight onto it. No word on whether or not the bag is actually functional, but wouldn't it be hilarious if it were? $465 via Net-a-Porter.