The Increase In Major Character Accessories
For a while now, pigeons have been waiting for their big fashion break. But for $795, the resin pigeon bag by Irish designer JW Anderson is the undeniable accessory of the season for fall.That is, if you can manage to acquire one. The pigeon has already sold out on Net-a-Porter and has a waiting list on the brand’s website, where it was the most popular item in August. And that was before Sarah Jessica Parker this week on the set of the new season of And Just Like That was seen with the pigeon. A pigeon unpacking video on TikTok has received more than 27,000 views
The pigeon may be a sack, but it serves no useful use. It is hollow within, with room for maybe a credit card and some lip balm. Instead, this is a gimmick, a stunt, or a real-life meme. More of a main character item than a bag.competing for attention with other comparable designs? the solid gold bag seen on the Coperni catwalk for €100,000 (£87,928), the £1,290 “garbage” bag by Balenciaga, and the £1,980 “paint can” bag by Louis Vuitton.
It can seem strange to have a bag that doesn’t have a purpose. However, according to Charlie Porter, the author of What Artists Wear, “novelty – with this double meaning because novelty means new as well as meaning kind of ‘ha ha'” is what appeals to people. Brands must produce uniqueness and freshness.
It’s true that handbags are currently experiencing some difficulties. We can now leave the house with just our smartphone, which used to be the item that we owned that worked the hardest.
With its minibag, Jacquemus was the first contemporary designer to respond to this. The Mini Le Chiquito was symbolically enormous when it was released in 2019 because of the practical issues of actually carrying it.
However, the fun bag trend goes beyond alterations in way of life. Absurdist bags are a part of a larger fashion trend that favours pieces and designs that work well in a society that is rife with memes and other visual jokes. Last includes huge suits by Balenciaga, which Justin Bieber wore to the Grammys this year, gowns from 2019 by Viktor & Rolf with slogans like “Sorry I’m late, I didn’t want to come,” and £1,200 shoes by Loewe (also designed by Anderson), whose spike heel looks like a shattered egg.
Memes are now “a formative component of public conversation [and] a terrific method for brands to stimulate more interest in what they are doing,” according to Reilly, the creator of the well-known fashion meme Instagram account @heyreilly. These online moments do indeed result in sales. Even while not everyone will purchase the garbage bag, it may lead them to the Balenciaga website.
The early nineteenth century saw the invention of minibags. These little decorative pouches were referred to as reticules. The size quickly became the target of satirists’ mockery and earned the moniker “ridicules”.For decades, Judith Leiber produced crystal purses with images of everyday objects and sold them for four figure sums.
Raf Simons introduced paper shopping bags to the catwalk in 2012 and charged $290 (£260) for coated versions of the disposables. Phoebe Philo created a collection at Celine in 2013 utilising checks you would recognise from bags you carry to the laundromat. This strategy has been used for a while; in 2017, Demna Gvasalia created a blue holdall that closely resembled the Ikea Frakta bag.
Porter contends that the accessories worn by the major characters obstruct the “gendered jumble of the handbag.” He makes the point that pockets helped liberate female factory workers during the Second World War, but after the war the fashion industry “forced women back to being gendered, and carrying their stuff in a lovely handbag.” When the good handbag turns out to be a pigeon imitation, all of these assumptions are rendered absurd.
One may argue that these bags reflect the art world’s penchant for removing pictures from their natural setting, as seen in works like Duchamp’s urinal from 1917, Dali’s 1938 sofa inspired by Mae West’s lips, and Elsa Schiaparelli’s surrealistically contemporary 1937 shoe hat. The parallels are evident, according to Kathryn Johnson, curator of the Design Museum’s new surrealist design exhibition, Objects of Desire. These pieces were created in a surrealist-style atmosphere of provocation, daring, and fun, according to the artist. “[It’s] giving ignored, common, or discounted items the status of riches.”
With his soup cans and Brillo boxes from the 1960s, they also pay homage to Andy Warhol. The pigeon and the trash bag are on the dirtier, grimier side of human existence, while Warhol elevated the ordinary goods that make up our homes (soup nourishes, Brillo cleans). With his show during Paris Fashion Week this month, Gvasalia went above and beyond. Models carried bags made of stuffed animals you could find in a skip as they walked down a catwalk made of muck.
Making a primary character accessory which is sure to sell for hundreds of pounds look like junk is arguably the ultimate prank. Again, in Johnson’s opinion, this is consistent with surrealism. “It sticks up for the importance of art and design in these times,” she says. “It doesn’t minimise or shy away from the darker side of life, it’s not escapist.” Dorothea Tanning once said, “Art has always been the raft we ascend to keep our sanity. I can’t think of another use for it right now.