Thursday, January 22, 2009

Chanel S/S 09: The Paper-bag bag

Several things about the Chanel S/S 09 runway show stood out to me: the Rue Cambon backdrop, the jewelery, the shoes, the evening wear especially the flamenco-style skirts, the guitar(!) and the male models.

But what really lingered in my mind long after surfing away from style.com was the Chanel carrier bag that Kaiser Karl has choose to do up in leather, and release as part of the S/S 09 collection.

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Essential bag, from style.com

Meant to be released in March 2009, as part of S/S Act II, the name for this leather carrier bag is the Essential.

I still cannot decide if the bag is kitschy or whimsical, but it's definitely a conversation-starter, to say the least. I wonder if Kaiser Karl was being ironic, by reinterpreting the utilitarian carrier bag as a handbag? Or was he indulging his inner Dada-ist and doing a Duchamp by remaking a carrier bag in leather? After all the iconic 2.55 was literally turned on its head in the same runway show and its chain strap attached to what was usually the side of the bag.

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Upside down bag, from style.com

For those who are interested in the above bag, it's named "Upside Down" and is also part of S/S Act II.

Anti-fashion or not, there is no denying that Chanel's cachet will move these bags. Personally, I wouldn't mind owning the essential bag in the largest east-west size in black. For those of you who grew up in Singapore during the late 80s and 90s, I wonder if you still remember the craze over the so-called branded carrier bags? This might not make much sense to those of you born in the US, but it was considered hip among Singaporean teenagers then to be seen toting a carrier bag(literally the paper kind!, the ones they put your purchases in!) from foreign brands like Guess, Esprit, Levis, etc! These brands were considered fashionable among Singaporean teens then, so even if you weren't really wearing its clothing, carrying its carrier still made you cool by association. So to me, the Chanel essential bag is the ultimate carrier - how awesome would I be to my teenage self and peers back then! The essential bag would be such delicious irony, though to be realistic, I just know that the essential bag is something that I admire conceptually, but would not fork out the money for given Chanel's delusional and cut-throat prices.

P.S. I hope I didn't just date myself with this post! ;)

10 comments:

Dominica said...

I remember this too, being a teenager, you just went to school with a carrier bag of a label....
Concerning the Chanel carrier...I think KL has a great sense of humour but is very commercial (thinking) too...I've seen those on the catwalk and they just look great...you can also add it's a eco-bag as you will use this carrier over-and-over again...
(any excuse is good to buy a Chanel, no ?)
The upside down version is also fab - I'm not sure though if it's a timeless piece...but I DO like it and hey, you can always wake me up for some ol' Chanel talk ..;-)

Alice said...

the paper bag bag is so cute! such a great tote bag

STEFANIE said...

Ooh I hadn't seen this upside down bag! How did I miss this? ^-^

The Divinitus said...

i would find it dada as well, but for its price tag I would stay just with oldie 'classics'...

Krystal said...

yes!!!

plasticky said...

Hi Rebecca! how are u?

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now, i'd like to invite u to take a look on my bloh, i hope u like it too...

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i want your opinion, ok?

xx
yasmin

Gerry said...

I thought the bags were ok. Cute, but there's still way too much status involved with anything Chanel for me to even think about buying anything from them. I was half-looking at their clothes the other day while waiting for my mom and I swear every single dress had an interlocking C on it. You could have played a game called spot the Cs.

Nina (femme rationale) said...

i'm not digging the "essential" bag, but i do kinda like the "upside down" bag. i remember us covering our books in shopping bags so that the name of the store showed and we'd use the handles to carry the book. obviously, we had to use bags from "cool" stores (ie: guess, banana republic, gap, j. crew, etc...). so funny to think about this today. haha

Linda Macchi said...

you could do your grocery shopping with the essential bag and not use plastic

Stephany Orillio said...

I would love to have that handbag and do my grocery shopping with it to save from using plastic bags. How classy would that be? I saw the show and enjoyed those really cute guys a lot.