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06-06-2007
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The Death of the It Bag
from the london times...

Quote:
Thrilling times for bags, Last month they became a symbol of all that is divisive in our current approach to saving – or very possibly not saving – the planet. This month they’re at the white-hot centre of the battle to become Deputy Prime Minister, as well as emblematic of the fissure between rich and poor.

What next? A government White Paper blaming the housing shortage on overconcentration of manual labour in the Mulberry factory?

But let us begin with the Justice Minister, Harriet Harman, who last week said that Britain was a divided society in which some people struggle and “others spend £10,000 on a handbag”.

The Justice Minister seems to have been scratching at a weeping wound. For in weighed Yvette Cooper, the Housing Minister, with the right-on news that her favourite bag cost an unimpeachable £70 (ie, not so cheap as to imply slave labour, but well below what Victoria Beckham might spend on a nail file).

One of Harman’s rivals to become Deputy Prime Minister, Hazel “Mine’s a £250 Orla Kiely” Blears, hit back by telling them both to bog off, in so many words, because the Right Honourable Member didn’t believe that “it’s the job of politicians to tell people what they should spend money on”.

Next came Tessa “Marie-Antoinette” Jowell, flaunting her £750 Chloé bag. But then, as the Tory backbencher Justine Greening (a natty dresser, if memory serves) explosively revealed: “Westminster life is tough on bags.”

Sadly, Greening didn’t reveal whether Tory policy would be tough on the causes of so many bags now at large in society. But – and I don’t think I’m kicking anything into the long grass here –it’s probably a safe assumption, given the role of Samantha Cameron (David’s wife) as creative director of Smythson, purveyor of luxurious stationery and er, bags, that the party will be taking a traditionally Conservative approach to the free market in Chloé and Dior.

Now, it isn’t often that I get to write the words Justice Minister in the fashion section, so allow me to savour them and repeat what the Justice Minister said about the price of bags – namely that “it is a matter for society”. At ease, all those traumatised at the thought that Labour might be about to inaugurate a Bag Price Czar. There is a large part of my heart that knows whence the Justice Minister cometh: is there a stronger argument against free markets, excessively blingy bags and the downfall of civilisation than the one that can be summed up in the words Paris and Hilton?

Still, I think it is incumbent on us to accept that Blingy, Overpriced Pieces of Dreck have always been with us. Should we not also, in the name of tolerance, acknowledge that one person’s idea of appalling what-this-country-needs-is-another-bout-of-austerity vulgarity is another WAG’s idea of this week’s hottest investment?

And yet, and yet. It has not escaped the attention of this fashion desk that prices of bags have, in the past two years or so, vaulted from the ludicrous to the “Are they having a laugh?” category. Nor can we endorse the current trend for back-breaking sacks with more shiny metal bits impaled on them than a rapper’s dentures, and the concurrent spiral of debt into which the nation appears to have tumbled.

Things change constantly in this modern morality tale. For starters, Lulu Guinness reports that she has removed the label from the front of Penelope, one of her “couture” bags: “People want to be special and have something different. It depends on the customer and whether they need a brand to fit into a tribe. I think the only way it can go is limited editions, something that’s not easy to get your hands on. Luxury as a concept means difficult to obtain. True sophistication is no logo.”

So, the day of the It Bag is definitively over – or it is until someone comes up with the one bag we all want. In its place is a general lust for all things vaguely baggish. According to Tina Lamb, the accessories and shoe buyer at Harvey Nichols: “There is an increasing interest in nonobvious bags – a move to making a fashion statement with the actual bag, as opposed to the label. It’s about quality, style and exclusivity.”

Along with Harrods and Matches, Lamb is finding that logo-free bags from companies that are deemed, whether accurately or inaccurately, not to be part of a huge global brand are steadily finding favour, with labels such as Bottega Veneta (no logos), Nancy Gonzalez (alligator) and Zagliani (crocodile injected with silicone to make it as soft and squashy as cashmere) are gaining credence over the overexposed Chloé’s Paddington and Marc Jacobs’s Stam bag. Naturally, a nonblingy bag exuding style, exclusivity and silicone softness costs even more than the blingy ones.

However, jubilation is at hand because finally, after years of churning out absolute dross, the high street is fighting back. Marks & Spencer’s soft synthetic Slouch bag in pale blue-grey or pink (£35) has been doing a roaring trade with the Times fashion department (bag-pickier than whom it was not previously possible to be). There is also a healthy supply of bags around the £200-£250 mark. OK, a few years ago we all thought that was a prince’s ransom, but in so many troubling ways we’re all Posh now. Reason enough to rein back, you might think. Ultimately, perhaps, the happy ending lies in spending what we can individually afford.

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06-06-2007
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Maybe its because of the prices in general for designer wear?... Or maybe people are realizing that some non-expensive stuff are just as fashionable?

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06-06-2007
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I think all trends come and go... people are sick of logos, they are everywhere and so many of them are fake. Logos don't represent style and class anymore, they represent trying to "buy" style and a certain lifestyle. Because of this tacky reputation, people are moving towards logo-free luxury. Kinda' like they don't want logos because they don't have to prove it to anyone. Does that make any sense?? Just my $0.02

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06-06-2007
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Great news. I have a general dislike for all these season bags. Ugh.

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06-06-2007
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maybe it's because a lot od luxury designer bags this season seem to be breeding and creating hybrids of one another. there really isn't a unique bag style this season, they all kinda look the same, and many are very conservative designs. The idea of a huge padlock by chloe years ago? unique and unexpected. the giant chain on the stam that made an otherwise granny-style bag young and hip? genius. The abstract shapes and textures on a spy? avant garde. but has anyone done anything unique lately? no. that's why there is no it bag.

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06-06-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jun3machina View Post
maybe it's because a lot od luxury designer bags this season seem to be breeding and creating hybrids of one another. there really isn't a unique bag style this season, they all kinda look the same, and many are very conservative designs. The idea of a huge padlock by chloe years ago? unique and unexpected. the giant chain on the stam that made an otherwise granny-style bag young and hip? genius. The abstract shapes and textures on a spy? avant garde. but has anyone done anything unique lately? no. that's why there is no it bag.
^ITA. Thanks for putting it all in perspective, Jun. I have both the "overexposed Chloe Paddington and the Marc Jacobs Stam", but I am not going to stop wearing them because they aren't "It" any more. I fell in love with the design, first and foremost. You are totally correct in saying that the "It" bags of late are not unique-- they are completely inspirationless. Add that to the ludicrous price increases and you've got the death of the It bag.

It's about damn time, too!

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07-06-2007
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I've noticed too that there havent really been any must have bags since last summer, I think jun has put it very well. I love bottega veneta and Nancy Gonzalez like the article mentioned, but oh the prices.. too much for me.

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07-06-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jun3machina View Post
maybe it's because a lot od luxury designer bags this season seem to be breeding and creating hybrids of one another. there really isn't a unique bag style this season, they all kinda look the same, and many are very conservative designs. The idea of a huge padlock by chloe years ago? unique and unexpected. the giant chain on the stam that made an otherwise granny-style bag young and hip? genius. The abstract shapes and textures on a spy? avant garde. but has anyone done anything unique lately? no. that's why there is no it bag.
very well put jun, i totally agree with you.

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07-06-2007
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thanks! i think it's rather sad....i dont like seeing stagnant designs....makes me just a wee bit sad.

BUT the lack of cool bags and must haves this season gives me time to catch up on buying some past season bags i have always lusted over....

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07-06-2007
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^^ That, and now I can take the time to actually USE the bags I've bought!

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07-06-2007
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hahaha! good point! /\

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07-06-2007
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I wonder what the next status it item will be, i hope to god its not sunglasses. I think there will always be classic status bags like the birkin and such.

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07-06-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jun3machina View Post
thanks! i think it's rather sad....i dont like seeing stagnant designs....makes me just a wee bit sad.
I was just thinking..."It" bags have taken everyone's attention away from the rest of their respective designers' collection, and now designers are going back to their roots and focusing on the fashion and not accessories. Look at Chloe for example. Now that the Paddington's time has come and gone, their F/W 2007 collection of bags are relatively simpler as they have been in the past. In my opinion, they're not that much to look at. They have taken their place now as accessories, rather than the main event...which is how it should be in the first place.

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07-06-2007
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/\ true. but i think they aren't doing it delibertly. designers make a HUGE (maybe the majority?) of their profits from accessories, and having an $3000 'it' bag which is sold out beyond demand, is much better than a smaller number of people buying up a few $300 shirts and a $900 dress. If you can come up with an "it" bag, you've made it big. it brings noteriety to the house name, gains popularity from celebrity clientel, and gets you in the back of US weekly and People so the gossip readers who shop at k-mart are just as aware of the "it" bag status as your millionaire heiress who lives in beverly hills and the fashionista who is front row at the paris shows.

i think the thing with chloe, is not going back to their roots at all, but the change of design hands at the company. Same happened to Gucci and YSL. (oh, tom ford come back!) Marc Jacobs has LV and MJ and i think because he's got a load of popularity to back him as well as an amazing contract, comes out with hits and misses and it doesn't matter either way.

I love the "it" bags, the hype, the drama, the forums on here and obsessed bag fanatics. I just see a stale air in the bag indutry right now, and i know sooner or later, someones going to hit a chord and we'll have out next "it" bag.....despite the economy anywhere in the world.

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08-06-2007
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Nah.. I think its just because people were caught up in hype's easily before.. but now EVERYONE owns designer bags, they have become common.. and specially 'IT-bags' are seen as fashion victim-ish... people are more after individuality and not 'look I'm carrying a Chloe bag!'

At least that is what has happened in my circles.

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