4 Quirky Bags, 4 Cultural Statements
Aug 10, 2011 - by Samantha Lim
Purses and politics may not seem to go hand in hand, but these handbags speak otherwise. Whimsical designs may mask their cultural statements, but they exist nonetheless. Reflections on Nazi Germany and fashion gluttony? Click through to see what we mean.
The whimsical Boot Bag by Belgian designer Saskia Marcotti was made from a children's size Wellington rubber boot, by simply fastening two handles into the sides. Designed for the Belgian label Vlaemsch, it is a charmingly affordable $44, reminding us that making a bold statement does not mean spending a lot of money.
At the beginning of World War II, when Nazi Germany had just developed deadly nerve gas, the British Government equipped every civilian with a gas mask (they delivered 38 million of them). Style seeking women began to fasten straps onto the cardboard boxes the masks were carried in. They also covered them in fabric, painted them, and attached adornments like flowers on them to make the cases more glamorous. Handbag designs started to adapt to the storage of gas masks, similar to how today's handbags have adapted to carry cell phones, leading to a short lived trend in the UK.
The "Fudge the Fashionistas, Let Them Eat Cake" bag by Moschino was a satirical statement made in 1996 on the shopping gluttony of fashionistas. The clever, polished calfskin bag is designed with such luxury you can almost taste it.
How can there be a quirky bag roundup without featuring the iconic lip clutches of Lulu Guinness? A tribute to her love of surrealism and the avant garde, these clutches have become a brand signature. Evoking the lips of 1950's super femme celebs like Marilyn Monroe, the clutch is re-imagined in several styles every season.