Bags are back in a big way. Demand is skyrocketing and women are snatching up their favorites due to a fear of sartorial scarcity. Designers are seeing that demand and matching it with “more and more purses…intended to be worn on top of one another,” according to Kristen Bateman in “Revenge of the Bag Lady” in Town and Country.
You know me--my love for handbags will never waiver--in fact, the team at the KellyGreen corporate office is swooning over this emerging maximalist trend to actually layer them. Honestly, I couldn’t think of a better base layer than the maximalist, scent-suppressant KellyGreen pouch (on sale NOW), with attention to detail overflowing its packable size.
For designer Joseph Altuzzara, the layered bag look is inspired by voyagers, walking with multiple bags while traveling. After a few years of missing out on traveling and on being collectively in public, we are yearning for it, so much so that we have our bags packed for it and on our person every day.
This need to have items of comfort, preparation, and confidence packed into a container symbolizing our freedom to travel isn’t new. Our long love affair with the handbag has its origins when women began spending more time away from home. We needed something to carry what we needed chicly and discretely. And when the pocket became impractical and unfashionable under the high waisted silhouettes of the 1890s, we started carrying the first hand bags called reticules, bags made of soft mesh. Women’s pockets were considered undergarments at the time (they were literally worn under garments) and so these early bags are considered the first instance of underwear worn as outwear, and therefore very risqué (my fav)!
At the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, much more functional bags began to replace the reticule. Made by luggage creators like Louis Vuitton, these utilitarian bags, the first actually to be called “hand-bags,” were essentially miniature suitcases.
A new world emerged for women when they were able to publicly have privacy while also showing off their values, style, and class with the handbag. While what’s inside our handbags is different (we have laptops, deodorant an vape pens to their rouge, visiting cards, and perfume), we carry that legacy on our shoulders or clutched in our manicured hands.
It feels especially appropriate as we emerge from our houses once anew that the handbags we carry out with us are not only an ode to our love of traveling, but also a nod to luggage lineage of the first modern handbags women carried. As our public lives develop again, what we bring with us will inevitably evolve and the KellyGreen pouch is here to help you carry the recharging cannabis sessions of your home chicly and discretely back into the world.