Sisterhood of The Traveling Handbags

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November 18, 2013

All the funs in a vintage bag

A new bag is kind of like all the best parts of New Years Eve: purportedly exciting, inarguably fresh and pleasantly rejuvenating when considering the boundless places you’ll carry it (and oh the places you two will go!). It’s representative of the act of leaving tired baggage behind like an overripe year and replacing bygones with the promise of a new, unwritten and therefore highly lucrative beginning.

The most worthwhile of new bags, however, are typically those that are actually old — the ones that once belonged to someone else, that lived through a life of possible anguish and, depending on the state of the bag, hopefully far more glee. They’re the ones that are only new subjectively, because for the first time, one of its kind is yours. But that’s not to discredit who loved them prior: those who cared for them, carried them, and declared them a treasure.

It may seem hyperbolic to view a purse as something more than its intended employment. Surely one could argue that a bag — three letters, one purpose: to hold your crap — possesses no more meaning within its leather or fabric or sequined margins than that of a tissue box, or a thimble. But that is exactly where we beg to differ. A bag contains just as many memories as a journal.

Finding this bag isn’t easy. As was the case with Goldilocks and her failed attempts at finding the perfect meal and bed, when looking for a handbag you’re left to sift through a full lot. Sometimes the bag is too big or too small. Sometimes the handle is too short, the color might be wrong, the fabric isn’t exactly what you hoped it would be and while you’re ready to commit, really, you don’t want to settle.

So you wait. You wait until that special moment finds you. That moment when your heart flutters, nothing else matters and you just know you’ve found each other.

Such was the case, at least for us, last week when we went to LXR & Co’s Pop Up shop in SoHo. On a marginal, not quite urgent search for the bag, fate hit us over the head in primary colors that told a tale of the most recent leg of Louis Vuitton’s renaissance. 

The crayon box of Vuitton bags sat royally in all their colored glory. They were the doctor’s bags of Marc Jacobs’ imagination, saturated tree bark-embossed leather and structured to make plausible the understanding that these bags, under several different reigns of ownership, would holster more lives — and stories — than cats do.

We, of course, just couldn’t help wonder: where had these bags been before?

Maybe in Paris. Individually under the ownership of four different, impossibly chic French women with messy bangs and an endless supply of perfect black jeans. Maybe the green one had belonged to a woman whose husband left her for another man. Could it have been that the red one was once what held together the life of a burlesque dancer from Deauville? And then what if the yellow one lived far across the Seine, in a felt bag, having never been used until the moment she was first picked up in this very Pop Up?

Or maybe the red and blue were being timeshared: split between two friends on different continents (or, you know, boroughs) who shared stories of their lives using the purses to display their victories, dalliances, battle wounds, and most importantly, unwavering amicability for one another.

V9RTmE on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

Or maybe they just were. And now, finally, they could start their lives as brand new individuals, commanding the right attention, emblematizing all that which was and would be chic again — successfully moonlighting as the spectacularly ironic lead roles in the hands of two New Yorkers.

Part of a collaboration with LXR & Co. The LXR & Co. Pop Up store is open November through December at 112 Wooster Street in New York City’s SoHo.

-Written by Leandra Medine and Amelia Diamond

  • Ngozi

    Fab bags!
    dressed2dnines.blogspot.com

  • Whitley

    Lmao @ the gif! Amelia is too adorable and leandra you’re amazing.

  • http://jessjoycej.wordpress.com/ Jessica Joyce

    Oh yeah, I’m definitely going to need this. And yes, it was because of that GIF.

    Your Friend, Jess

  • http://festofstyle.blogspot.com/ Christina

    hahahahaha.loved the gif!!

  • http://www.anorexicescapades.com/ BougieHippie

    WAIT! Brilliant gif lol

    Meanwhile I’m a guy and I having the same problem of finding the right tote for winter and my more dressy looks.

    http://www.anorexicescapades.com

  • http://mafaldadotzero.blogspot.fr/ Mafalda

    You look so French with your Breton top Leandra! I love the flower pot bag too!

    Mafalda ❤
    http://www.mafaldadotzero.blogspot.fr

  • Jessica Rose

    I like the vibrant colours of all the bags….if I could afford one in every shade!
    http://vodkaandarose.blogspot.co.uk
    Jess. x

  • http://rightternes.com/ RightTernes

    I think about the first lives of all my thrift store and vintage finds. Who walked a mile (or let’s face it, maybe a couple of blocks) in the Miu Miu sandals I scored at a thrift shop? It’s a fascinating way for your imagination to come up with the woman who owned those pieces before you.

  • emilyannestyle

    - I was waiting for the Parisian-rooted commentary! :P

    – Great article. You’re right — the colors ARE gorgeous.

    – I’ve been endlessly obsessing over red doctor bags, so that would be my pick.

    – I love your comment about perfect black jeans.

    xo
    Emily
    emilyannestyle.com

  • petra lorietta

    haha the gif is so cute!:D lovely post!♥

    http://www.lorietta.cz

  • Hereshoping Themayanswereright

    Amelia your jeans are cut REALLY CUTE and look quite awesome on you. Could you tell us the brand?

    • Amelia Diamond

      Thank you! They are 7 For All Mankind!

      • Hereshoping Themayanswereright

        thx!!!

  • Guest

    if not already mentioned, where can i get leandra’s denim??

  • http://fashmongers.wordpress.com/ fashmongers
  • Nico

    Great post and I love these bags!

    New post on lowbudget-lowcost Fashion Blog

  • http://www.creamstop.com/ Mademoiselle C.

    I love love love the doctors bags. I want all of them!
    Mlle C. xx
    http://www.creamstop.com

  • Lavender

    Oh, wanna have green one tooooo badly!!!!

    http://lavenderloafers.com

  • LAURA VELA

    Perfect colors, love these bags!! The gif is awesome haha

    Discover an other great style : Laura Vela and her amazing handbags http://on.fb.me/1jj9Y6y

    Check out Laura Vela AW13 collection on http://www.lauravela.com

    x

  • sad fellow journalism grad

    love this blog and your dont-give-a-fuckness,

    but

    your noun definition is a definition of a verb. =(

  • francesca

    i cant get over this!!!

    http://www.franomad.blogspot.com

  • Maui Mendoza

    My first Louis Vuitton was a monogram speedy 40. Got it second hand and I don’t think I’ll be able to bring my self to buy a brand new LV. A used bag is an “experienced” bag but no less than glamorous than its brand new counterparts. I find that their minor scratches, tarnish, and patina give them more character. Like badges of honor, a testament that they’ve gone through lives– people, and places we might never even experience in our lifetime.

  • Lo

    And what about her Breten top? Where is that from? Perfect amount of slouchiness :-)

  • eliza

    hey could you please let me know the brand of the top and jeans? love the shape and everything. thanks eliza

    • eliza

      Please please tell us the brand of the top;o))

  • Martina

    GET OUT!! #elainepush