Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

The It-Bag Parade

The Telegraph also has an informative piece by Judy Rumbold tracking the development of the It bag, from the Fendi Baguette to the present (the YSL Downtown). As she points out:

They transcend tricky divisions to do with weight, age and social status. In short, bags are not just for skinny bitches. There is no such thing as a size-zero bag.
I have two of the bags she mentions, the Baguette (actually, I have two of these, one in red and one in purple suede) and a Leulla Giselle. When I bought the latter, a couple of years ago at a Vogue sample sale in aid of Turkish disaster relief, I was dithering between the Giselle and a Marni, until Alexandra Shulman, editor of UK Vogue, and my oracle at all times of hesitation, came over and told me what to do. 'That bag's a classic,' she said, pointing to the Giselle,'I've got the Marni, the clasp broke.'

I don't use the Giselle all that often but I agree, if you buy a classic bag, even if it once was an It bag, it will come round again. I am not too proud to carry my little suede Baguettes at parties, they are the perfect evening bag, sitting snugly under the shoulder. I just cannot see the point of the bloody clutch. I already need two hands, one for the glass of champagne, the other for the canape. I know you can wedge them under the arm clamping the thing against your rib cage, but that's just more Chinese foot-binding, as far as I'm concerned.


twollin said...

I have never been to a cocktail party/reception/evening "do"/art gallery opening/formal dinner where there is any room on the table to even think of putting a clutch. Unless you are carrying one of those cunning little jewelry cum box businesses which hold a credit card and one lipstick(and which are so small that your date can put it into his coat pocket), you are stuck either with the Chinese footbinding (love that!) business of gripping it between arm and arm pit, or balancing it on your lap (also a mistkae), or the worst - putting it under the chair(if you have one). The number of times I have had to dash back inside someplace to retrieve a clutch from under a chair because I forgot it is legendary in our house.
Bags need something to carry them with - handles, chain..something. I once saw an article about bags which were being "taken up" by Hollywood starlets that had handles made of semiprecious stones and when I saw them, all I could think of was how uncomfortable the owners looked trying to carry them...the stones were digging into their hands.

Linda Grant said...

Good point. At a dinner you'd be bound to spill wine/gravy over a clutch if you leave it on the table, while a Baguette can be slung over the arm of your chair.

Deja Pseu said...

Interesting article. To me, the difference between an "it" bag that will look dated in a year and a potential classic is simple, functional design. The bags that seem to have staying power are those with no logos (or smaller, unobtrusive logos), no of-the-moment hardware, not a lot of gimmickry.

I agree that an evening bag must be able to be worn over the shoulder. I also bring a purse hook with me at all times, which allows a bag to be hung under the table, out of the way of waitstaff who invariably knock it off the back of the chair onto a floor of dubious cleanliness.