Why those in the know are no longer in
with the It Bag more here
The once-fashionable accessory does not carry the same weight it once did. Harriet Walker reports on new trend for the utility bag.
The It Bag is dead! Long live the It Bag!
In fashion circles, there's always a new piece of designer luggage to tote, but this season you'd be hard-pressed to spot it. With the overkill and overexposure of so many labels, what with celebs parading their goods everywhere from red carpets to the final of Britain's Got Talent, the style cognoscenti have turned to the last word in understated and elite accessories: the utility bag. Such a bag is likely to be quiet, casual, anonymous and – of course –staggeringly expensive.
"It's to do with the fact that fashion has gone so overground," explains Iain R. Webb, professor of fashion at Central Saint Martins in London. "Cheryl Cole wears all the latest London designers on The X Factor, it's all show, show, show.
"This is the way that the high-end fashion industry returns to elitism.”
The industry is not, of course, shunning the highly lucrative market for OTT and bling – only this week, a Gucci handbag costing £11,040, made from crocodile skin and topped with a bamboo cane handle, sold out on Net-a-Porter.com. But some of the season's other offerings – and some of the most popular among those in the know – are rather quieter in the way they proclaim their fashion credentials.
"Fashions happen in cycles,”
Professor Webb continues. "It was the same in the early Nineties, too. With them..., as soon as you see it, you know – but with these..., only those in the know will know.”
"Fashion is once again becoming something more artistic, and less commercial," Professor Webb adds.