Tuesday, November 26, 2013

This Space (Occasionally) for Vent

As a new contributor to the DFR I will be posting a blog from time to time regarding some aspect of the fashion business that either rankles, delights, horrifies or astounds me.  My purpose is to entertain both myself and you the reader so let me know how I'm doing. - Laurel Marcus

"Face" It:  High End Handbag Designers are Winking At Us

The "face" is particularly apparent on the Celine two-tone version of the luggage tote

I can't be the only one who thinks Phoebe Philo and other exclusive designers are laughing at us, can I?  Unfortunately, every time I spy one of those uber-pricey Celine Phantom or Luggage Totes all I can see is a face with a tongue sticking out.  Is it too much to ask for a handbag retailing in the $3K and up range to present a slightly more dignified expression than Miley Cyrus?  The Celine "Tie-Totes" remind me of a little square teapot with shrugged  shoulders  about to give a hug.  I am transported back to a time when my kids were little and I'd ask "How big is baby?"  "So big" would be the answer with arms outstretched like the side flaps of this handbag.

Faces are also featured in Fendi's Fall/Winter 2013 line and its proven to be a monster.  These bags, shoes, wallets and coin purses  take the concept of a visage even more literally with their "fur monsters" collection. 

The Fendi Peekaboo with bag bugs

Originally introduced for Fall/Winter 2013 in styles such as the Monsters eyes Peekaboo bag ($5,700) or the Fur Monster Baguette bag ($7,200) the prices may be the most frightening thing about them.  Also featured are the "bag bugs" if you just want a touch of monster. The Fendi website offers a "Bug Selector,"  machine to help you choose one of these little $700 "buggers" in fox or mink which attach via key chain to your classic Fendi for just a touch of whimsy.  By the way, the machine paired me with "Lucifur."  I'm thinking  Pokemon and the pocket monsters from the '90s and yes, the Fendi bags were first debuted (and probably test marketed) in Japan.

Alexander Wang for Balenciaga copies the Dunkin Donuts Munchkin box

If a face seems like a far-fetched inspiration for a luxury handbag then how about a stomach? It is possible that Alexander Wang could have been having a fast food craving when he designed some of the new handbags for Balenciaga.  Several bloggers besides myself have remarked that the method of closure featured on the boxy purses bears a strong likeness to a Dunkin Donuts or McDonald's Happy Meal container the way the handles fold across each other at the top.  I also don't think I'd want to put my hand in there as it looks about as manicure friendly as a steel trap!

Lanvin "trash bag"

Another designer who has put a "twist"(tie) on his carryall creations is Alber Elbaz for Lanvin.  The house of Lanvin may have consumed some of those aforementioned donuts or happy meals and were tossing out the garbage when the "aha" moment hit.   Hence the handbag shown on the runway for Spring/Summer 2014 resembled nothing so much as a Hefty trash bag albeit it a luxe one (retailing for $1,500) in basic black as well as metallics.  Talk about throw-away chic...Emma Roberts wore a Lanvin trash bag dress to the American Music Awards on Sunday evening.

Chanel Spring/Summer 2014 ombre clutch resembles a luxury soap dish

Finally, Chanel's Spring/Summer 2014 Bright Bags should  "clean up."  Their colorful hard cased bags resemble a luxury soap container that you would find in a five-star hotel in Europe.  That way if the "faces" get dirty or the "monsters" say anything inappropriate, the soap is there to wash all the nastiness away.

- Laurel Marcus

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