Monday, April 30, 2007

Big Bags: The Next Generation

By Ki Hackney

Handbags seem to be getting smaller and there’s a stream of fresh-faced clutch styles in-store. However, balancing this new proportion is the next generation of large, larger, and oversized handbags and totes.

Marc Jacobs' Python Patchwork Stam Bag ($4,000) is so popuklar that it's no longer available online. Better call 1.877.551.SAKS (7257) to inquire about availability.
I thought this Spring crop would be the last, however, according to Ricky Aina, Northeast Regional Manager for Furla U.S.A., there are some even bigger big bags coming for fall.

That’s the good news for me, because there never seems to be a bag big enough for all the day-to-day stuff: cell phone, portable hard drive, notebook/pens, a digital, my red iPod, a wallet big enough to hold credit cards, the grocery and drug store discount cards, as well as paper money and pounds of change (I’ve started saving most of those coins that seem harmless but weigh a ton, on a semi-regular basis, and will treat myself to something at the end of the year), keys, two pair of reading glasses, sunglasses, my Filofax, Altoid Ginger Mints and all those little receipts and pieces of paper that pile up, to say nothing of a small brush, lipstick and powder, Kleenex or my favorite handkerchiefs, etc.

Some days, I don’t know how we ever changed bags for almost every outfit, let alone kept track of everything. And, even if a working woman carries a smart little handbag, she still has to have a generous tote in tow.
Clockwise from top left: Bluejeans large tote in soft tan leather from Henry Cuir, $1,475.00, at Barney’s, 660 Madison at 61st Street, 212-826-8900 or; Large tote in patched, brown nappa leather from Miu Miu, $1,185.00, at Barney’s; Golden touch metallic leather Kansas tote from Lanvin, at Barney’s, $2,030.00; From Givenchy, the hot, hot Nightengale big bag, $1,695.00, at Barney’s.
The bad news, for me, is that just over a year ago, I hoisted the biggest bag I had over my shoulder, as I have done all of my life, and lugged it through the airports in NYC and Orlando and all over Winter Park and Vero Beach with one of the straps always falling down onto my arm, as they were about an inch too short to hook well over the shoulder (a complaint I hear all the time about many shoulder bags).

Only this time, with the added weight of a PowrBook, which must always travel with me, a book, my jewelry (because, God knows you can not check it, or your electronic gear, in your suitcase where all the chargers, extension cords, etc. were traveling in their zip-lock bag), a magazine or two, pertinent work files, and probably parts of the Sunday New York Times, it was too much. I damaged the nerve in my neck. It took the acupuncturist several months to bring it back to normal…until I started traveling again.
L. to r.: Yves St. Laurent silver metallic leather tote with front compartment/zippers, at Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Avenue between 57th/58th Streets, 212-753-7300 or; Ibiza Bag from Ralph Lauren (All sold out, sorry kiddies).
L. to r.: Tan leather Lizzy tall tote from Hogan, $1,045.00, at Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Avenue between 57th/58th Streets, 212-753-7300 or; The luggage tan leather Maude tote from coach, $998.00, at Coach Stores or call 866-262-2440.
This time I just carried a heavy tote plus a normal handbag. Neither ever saw my shoulder. But, after five trips in the first few months, the chiropractor is now trying to straighten out the whole side of my body. I am currently looking for a stylish wheely office, so to speak, to replace the big tote. And from now on, my big bag can rest on top of the wheely instead of my shoulder.

What’s in store this season: A quick tour through Bloomingdale’s, across 57th Street, over to Bergdorf’s, then up Madison Avenue, plus a chat with Saks provided the overview.
Transparent Fairfax bag with white patent leather trim from Oscar de la Renta, $850.00, at Bergdorf Goodman 754 Fifth Avenue between 57th/58th Streets, 212-753-7300 or; Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Avenue at 50th Street, 212-753-4000 or; and Jeffrey, 449 W 14th St, New York, 10014, 212-206-3928.
Red patent leather April big bag, 615.00, at Furla, 598 Madison Avenue between 57th Street, 212-980-3208; Crocodile embossed and cut-out Havana tote in coffee brown or white leather, $460, at Furla.
This year, in brief, the three big trends seem to be tan leather, patent leather and shiny leather, soft metallics, and some delightfully clear styles. The shapes are the usual suspects, totes, satchels, etc. And, Jimmy Choo’s black leather Fold-Over Clutch in black leather with suede or bright blue shiny leather sets the pace for big clutch bags. We’ll round up the new clutches on the Diary in a couple of weeks. For now, heave ho.
Clockwise from top left: Tod’s restyled “D” bag in black patent leather, $1,495.00, at Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Avenue at 50th Street, 212-753-4000 or; Large camel colored calfskin Bucket Bag from Jimmy Choo, $1,850.00, at Saks Fifth Avenue; Embroidered and beaded Spy bag with its own coin purse from Fendi, $6,040.00, at Saks Fifth Avenue; Gold python and white straw tote from Nancy Gonzalez, $2,170.00, at Saks Fifth Avenue.
The Big foldover clutch bag from Jimmy Choo, $1,250.00, at Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Avenue between 57th/58th Streets, 212-753-7300 or

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