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07-05-2005
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kit
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Bag Porn
Mud slinging

Judy Rumbold
Saturday May 7, 2005
The Guardian

I can't be entirely sure, but my guess is that most conversations about bags border on the mind-rottingly dull, centring solely on their practicality and suitability for the job. These exchanges may occasionally be spiced up with tantalising talk of recyclability or usefulness as receptacles for one-night stop-overs in Peterborough, but, all in all, it's a fair bet that the bulk of bag talk isn't generally troubled by the demands of wit, humour or aesthetic discernment. This goes for the majority of the population, for whom the function of a bag begins and ends with its definition as a thing in which to carry stuff.

For another, significant number of people, however, bags are about so much more. The fact that the main purpose of a bag is its usefulness as a means of transporting personal effects from point A to point B is the least of it. Anyone looking the other way - adjusting the straps on a functional nylon-mix backpack, perhaps - when fashion trends were distributed this season might like to be brought up to speed with the news that Bags Are Hot. But not in a clever, insulated way guaranteed to keep your takeaway warm on the way home.



Hot, in bag terms, means that they have usurped jewellery, belts, sunglasses and footwear as the accessory to get worked up about for the next six months. Such is their appeal, they are, say those learned fashion sages, the new shoes. Not that we should take that literally and attempt to leave the house with our feet stuffed inside handbags instead of lace-ups or, indeed, try carrying our sandwiches in our slingbacks. No, it means that in the world of fashion - a parallel universe peopled by neophiliac hysterics, where seasonal enthusiasms must have a single, intense focus - bags are exceptionally popular this year .

Anyone who has picked up a women's magazine recently will know that we are in the midst of a wave of what can be best described as bag porn. Paparazzi photographs, which were once careful to span the full-length of a celebrity's body in order to take in the shoes, now stop at crotch level and focus on the all-important bag. It seems a short step to showing Kate Moss's latest piece of 100% leather arm candy splayed salaciously open, thereby necessitating a warning sticker on the cover.

Yet I challenge even the most sensible, fashion-frigid woman not to be stirred by the images. The last time I drooled over a bag was at the age of seven, and that was one containing a Sherbet Dip Dab. Since then, I have resisted owning any bags that cost more than 50 or aren't to do with nappies, schoolbooks or groceries. But now I find myself strangely roused by the desire to own the sort of beautiful bag that you don't so much carry as wear. (This fact makes it far easier to justify as a piece of clothing and, therefore, integral to presenting an image of common decency, than as a frivolous and entirely superfluous accessory.) I also find myself wondering what it must be like to be the kind of woman who complains about being guiltily addicted to shoes and bags, but who is simultaneously brazen about not betraying a shred of the kind of remorse that such guilt ought to bring. This, I suspect, is because serial shoe and bag acquisitors think theirs is a higher form of weakness than, say, collecting amusing cheese dishes or ornaments of frogs. It isn't, but it certainly attracts a more excitable assortment of superlatives.

All of a sudden, bags are being talked about with the kind of intensity of feeling normally reserved for newborn babies and small animals. Words that are rarely heard outside the register office - love, cherish, desire, adore - currently run alongside photographs of the latest Chlo, Dior and Mulberry bags.

I am probably not the only woman spending a significant number of waking hours fantasising about having one of these gloriously soft, ruinously expensive bags tucked over my shoulder or swinging ostentatiously from an arm. I have even sworn, in a secret pact with the god of expensive luggage, that I would treat any such bag as a temple and be careful not to subject it to the abuse suffered by previous bags. That would mean no biscuit crumbs, leaking pens, wet swimwear, banana skins or balled-up Woolworths receipts containing spent chewing gum. I suspect the very fact that such detritus figures on my handbag radar disqualifies me from being the kind of person who would ever own a collection of nice bags. But I am still indignant about the great imbalance that exists. Just as the most voracious mobile phone users are invariably those with the least urgent news to convey, so it is a universal truth that the women who own the most bags are those who have the smallest amount of stuff to carry around. The women with the busiest lives are the ones lugging around an ancient shopper and a reserve supply of Tesco carriers. It's not right, it's not just, and the sooner women mobilise themselves to campaign for greater fairness in the distribution of the world's bag resources, the better.

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07-05-2005
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kit
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This thread doesn't seem to have taken on the list , but at least it's here .

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07-05-2005
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crossed wires.
 
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Thanks very much for posting kit that was an interesting read
I, myself much prefer bags over shoes, partially because you don't have to try them on in the shop and trot around whilst the sales assistant looks at you expectantly. I've really been wanting a gorgeous big leather bag of late, and I have noticed an increase in 'it' bags and 'THE bag to have' in magazines and such like rather than such a high focus on shoes.

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07-05-2005
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flaunt the imperfection..
 
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i'm going to read it when i wake up......

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07-05-2005
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kit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by softgrey
i'm going to read it when i wake up......
It's only the middle of the afternoon in NYC , n'est pas ?

You've been giving ALL those SIX new outfits an outing , ALL ON ONE DAY !!!

BTW , " Nice closet " .


Last edited by kit; 07-05-2005 at 05:37 PM.
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07-05-2005
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Hmph!

I coined the term "Bag Porn" to describe the excited feeling I get when you see lots of pics of gorgeous bags in one place (usually Vogue)
That was six months ago. Now everyone's using it!

I suppose I should be flattered I thought of it first...

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08-05-2005
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love the title of this thread.
It made me laugh because my boyfriend has, on many occasions, likened my obsessive TFS thread watching and accessory lusting to porn... he calls it 'fashion porn'. He also says that for a hederosexual female, I certainly spend a lot of time looking at pictures of other scantily-clad women! (star style, runway pics)

I'm a 'fashion porn' addict :p

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08-05-2005
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bags are the new shoes - I've totally been thinking this exact phrase for a while now!

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08-05-2005
  9
Of too many minds
 
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I must admit, the title of this thread drew me in..I didn't quite know what to expect

I have always had a weakness for bags more so than shoes..so much so that most people around me calls me a "bag whore". I have noticed that for the past months, bags have really been getting a lot more attention than any other type of accessories.

It was an interesting read, to have an articles that describes the situation so succintly.

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