Handbags have always been something of a fetish of mine. When you grow up in Paris, you get to witness young teenage girls trading in their old backpack for a hand-held, and therefore a fashion statement, around the age of twelve. It began with huge military-like trends such as the Longchamp Shopper, and Vanessa Bruno’s sequined number, before escalating to become far more individual, a way to express oneself just as much as one’s shoes or hairdo.
I have therefore naturally become addicted to my handbags. I never, EVER leave the house without one, because I somehow never seem to have enough pockets to hold all my
crap absolutely essential items, such as keys, make-up, phone, wallet, pen, paper… and many, many other slightly frivolous things.
But I do tend to admire those who do not need a bag, those parisian women who manage to walk around town all day long with their hands in their pockets, effortlessly conveying that cool, easy, laid-back charm… Trust me, I’ve tried. And failed, yes, failed miserably. I need a bag.
But why the handbag? It’s chic, yes, and classy, and “grown-up”. Nevertheless, over the past two years, backpacks, those long-forgotten friends of ours, have gone from being “ringard” as the French say, to becoming IN, a true fashion statement in their own right. Hurray! A stylish bag that lets us shake people’s hands, take pictures, mess with a Rubix cube… Pretty cool, right? Might I just say, I am not referring to this:
No no no no no no no. That ship has sailed guys, sorry. What I am talking about, boys & girls, ladies and gentlemen, is this:
Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes. Forget Barbie princesses, look to Nelly, Chanel, Elizabeth & James, Alexander Wang and Phillip Lim to get inspired. Even this Meredith Wendell seems to work:
But the main idea behind dropping the handbag is that at the end of the day, it is just another thing you have to carry around, and if like me you tend to pack a lot in… Maybe this “back to school” time of year will inspire you to invest in one of these babies. As long as you remember that your style doesn’t necessarily have to scream “hippy” or “festival” to pull this trend off: the selection is huge, and I think everyone can find one to suit their taste.
Of course, you might just be impossible to convert to the backpack trend, staying true to sore arms in order to be able to access things slightly faster than if they were hanging off your back… Which I get, and respect, and hey, when it comes down to it, I’m more of a handbag girl myself. But it’s nice to know our options, right?
Which side are you on? Handbags or Backpacks?