Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bags of bags

Until a few years ago I had one bag at a time. For those who think they must have misunderstood, I'll explain. I bought a bag, used it day in day out, sometimes for years, until it became too shabby or worn to tolerate, then I threw it out and bought another. And so on.

Seems weird now, even to me.

Said bags were capacious, neutrally coloured and/or vaguely ethnic, and had either one shoulder strap or two ie they were backpacks. I've been particularly fond of Hedgren bags. I didn't do handbags. Handbags reminded me of my mother, Mrs Thatcher and the Queen, who all wore gloves and carried handbags that matched their shoes. And who, incidentally, all had the same hair do:

Then, about five years ago, I bought a bag I didn't actually need, imagining I was putting it aside for when I would. A bag explosion followed.  I now change bags so often that, last time I was in Melbourne, S and I went hunting for bag organisers - plain, functional inserts with lots of sections, which can lifted out of one bag and plonked into the next, with minimum inconvenience to the owner. It works, up to a point.

I hasten to add that even now I'm no bag queen. I don't spend big money on them, and that's in good part because I don't see the point - they don't give me enough pleasure. Linda Grant's blog stands by the principle that "A good handbag makes the outfit", and when she says "good", she means expensive and designery - a real production. This sort of thing, for instance, which I grabbed at random off the net, and which is actually one of the less exhibitionist of the type. 

If you're connoisseur enough to see that it isn't designery at all, but just some nasty faux piece of plastic, you've made my point for me. I haven't a clue. It's just that this sort of pastel-coloured thing bedevilled with zips and bling and whatnot, does nothing for me at all, whether it's designed by Chanel or sold on a Hong Kong street. 

I do like leather, I must say. And, always my mother's daughter, will invariably pick up any bag (or shoe or glove) claiming to be leather, and give it a investigative sniff. The Shonk Test, Mum used to call it, and she also applied it to good effect on bottles of milk of questionable freshness. But these days, it doesn't matter as much if things aren't leather. One of my favourite bags is a wonderful green that doesn't even bother to pretend to be the real thing. There is no real thing anymore, is there? This is the post-modern era.

But - and now we get to the point - here is my latest bag purchase, an item my younger self would have regarded with derision. Indeed, I own nothing else like it. But The Wedding is coming up, and I was aware that I had nothing remotely suitable for accompanying a posh frock in which to carry a lipstick, a hairbrush and some money. I still nurse doubts about quite how to carry it and suspect I'll try to slip it over one shoulder to avoid holding it by its chain. I can't bear the idea of looking dinky.  

It's beautifully pleated black satin, with nicely understated hardware. The only other thing I'm going to tell you about it is that it cost $15. 

1 comment:

  1. I'd never noticed the amazing hairdo convergence - brilliant. I LOVE the posh little bag! my bag history is very similar to yours, but changing all the stuff over is so challenging that often I just give up and stick with the same old one. The first time I tried to change bags was on my first trip to Paris. I managed to leave my return tickets behind, had to buy new ones, which took all my money, so then (in those pre-EFTPOS days) I had to bludge off my hosts for the whole trip - mortifying.