“You know how much that is?” I ask my friend, reaching my hand over to her side of the table, forcing her to look up from her laptop and onto the Instagram post open on my screen.
“How much?” she asks, clearly feigning just enough interest to entertain my oncoming rant, because she’s a good friend who also knows that engaging in the situation will make it end a lot quicker.
“£400,” I say.
She responds with what I have dubbed her (albeit ever-appropriate) catchphrase:
Just the response I needed.
“Like, that doesn’t even fit a lip balm. – What could you even fit in there?!?!” I ask, more as a rhetorical question for emphasis than a genuine enquiry.
“A penny, because that’s all you’ll have left after buying it.”
Who would’ve thought that someone could articulate so well the point that I intended to leave merely implicit. I (metaphorically) kicked myself for not coming up with the line, then decided to use it as the opener for an article, and now here we are.
We were, of course, referring to the trend that took the web by storm last month: Jacquemus’s tiny handbags.
The fact of the matter is that these handbags also made me follow the brand in the first place, so let’s get that out of the way. I’m not a hater. I just like to stir shit sometimes.
The line itself is exactly the breezy, beachy pick-me-up that I need in my dull, Scottish April existence (largely confined, like most of my life, to the library), but I digress. We’re focusing on the bags. On that front, I have defrosted my cold, cold rationality to embrace a) both the massive and the miniature straw numbers (Le Baci), and b) the colourful, tiny-but-can-still-fit-stuff ones (Le Grand Chiquito), which I wouldn’t personally purchase (mainly because I’m already short and have the face of a twelve-year-old) but I can get behind.
The issue, as I pitched it, is with the really, really tiny bags (Le Chiquito). These ones:
Now, listen, because I’m only going to say this once (blatant lie): IF IT CANNOT HOLD MY KEYCHAIN, IT IS NOT A BAG.
Let me elaborate. Here is a list of items I carry around with me on a standard non-uni day:
- Hand cream
- Hand sanitiser
- My planner, or at least post-it’s
- Band-aids, pads, hair ties, other necessary emergency items.
From an entirely practical standpoint, Jacquemus’s really tiny bags are really more of a loose-change compartment, as my friend so eloquently pointed out in our initial exchange. However, from an innovative, having-fun-with-fashion, I-don’t-give-a-fuck-about-norms-and-practicality standpoint, they’re fucking great. Would I ever spend £486 on one (provided I even had £486)? No. But do I kind of like the subtle “fuck you” of a 12 x 6cm bag slung across my body? Fuck yes.
I have to admit that as I’m browsing the Jacquemus website with this new mindset, certain obnoxiously tiny bags (can we call them that?), are beginning to appeal to me, at least in a cynical, “HA! People would hate that!” sort of way.
As you can tell, I’ve once again managed to drive an article absolutely nowhere near where I had intended for it to go. Maybe I should stop pitching opinions, because I’m clearly awful at, erm, having them? I don’t think we should actually call these things I write articles, because really they’re just very clearly very poorly planned, appallingly structured streams of consciousness composed in their entirety on the deadline, in the library.
Speaking of appalling structure, I’ve just thought of another point I want to make!
At the risk of sounding like someone who took social anthropology for the first two years of university (guilty), I’d like to end on the idea that my initial distaste for Jacquemus’s tiny bags was the result of a problem of definition. My conflict of interest is based on a mere technicality: I can’t like the bags because I’ve been viewing them as bags. Kind of like how my articles seem terribly written because you’ve been reading them as articles when, really, I, like Jacquemus, am an innovative creative genius ahead of my time.
Now go scroll through some of Jacquemus’s non-bags on Instagram while you let that sink in. Alternatively you can close this tab and comment something nasty on my Instagram. I don’t care – I know I’m a creative genius ahead of my time.
– Maja Hollmann