Thursday, May 10, 2007

Speaking of IT bags.....

There is simply no more iconic "IT" bag than the Birkin.

And I finally saw one in the wild just yesterday!

I don't know about the two coasts, but here in Chicago in the great Midwest, we don't see too many Birkins strutting their stuff with their owners on the street. Not even on our Park Avenue - the Near North shopping district. In fact, and I've worked in the area for many a year, I've never seen even one until yesterday. Maybe it's a sense of discretion or just plain Midwestern good sense that says "$20,000 +? That's a car price - not a bag price!"

Still, I confess, my heart couldn't help skipping a beat when I realized that the tote on the arm of the woman crossing the street towards my sister and I was one of the infamous (opps, that's famous) Birkins. I'm pretty sure it was the following one:

Rouge VIF Ostrich

But I have to say that, like meeting some famous celeb, I was not as impressed as I thought I would be by the bag itself. To be honest, when I first saw her across the street, I thought it was one of the almost equally iconic Jelly Kellys that were widely available a few years ago - the fun, cheap "inspired" version of the bag.

But closer up it looked to be the real deal. I have to say that basically it just looked like a big gaped mouth tote bag with it's top tucked in. That was due, I believe, to one of the glaring faults of this iconic bag, and it's sister the Kelly - there is no easy way to get your stuff out of it without leaving the bag more or less open! Because of the suitcase type flap over and those straps, inevitably they end up being carried something like this:

(Picture credit: Baghaus)

NOT the ideal if you're trying to make sure your stuff is not simply lifted out of the thing!

Still, I must admit, there was a lot of whispering going on between me and my very less than impressed sister (in all fairness, she is not a bag person and the thought of some handbag going for 20K + borders, for her, on being a mortal sin!) regarding the bag - and the very, shall we say eclectic way the owner was dressed! (My sister speculated that perhaps, having brought the bag, she couldn't afford better! Personally, I think she was doing a Carrie Bradshaw turn having simply mis-matched different designer looks from her closet!)

Dressed for it or not, she was the one carrying the Birkin and I was the one cradling a Franklin tote wristlet - so who's getting the last laugh here? You make the call!

Disappointment or not, for this bag fancier it was the fun sighting of a lifetime!

And trust me, with all my reservations regarding the design of this bag, if someone (preferably a charming older gentleman, exquisitely appointed) walked up to me and handed me a genuine Birkin (preferably in black, red or peacock blue) for my very own - well let's just say I won't be turning it away! ; - )

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