Francesco Lo Iacono
BAGS: INSIDE OUT
Updated: Jun 8, 2022
'Bags: Inside Out' is another unmissable exhibition currently on display at the Victoria&Albert Museum, a must-see for any fashion lover and for those who are (un)consciously addicted to the ultimate accessory.
Born out of necessity, bags can be today a huge style statement and the exhibition starts by tracing back how these precious objects originated to carry items from a place to another. For different purposes, bags have been useful travelling accessories, declined as luggage, handbags, backpacks and more, created to answer our personal and practical needs.
Over the years and across cultures, bags have assumed different shapes and values, they have been made from different materials and for different needs, they have marked eras and they have become symbols and icons.
In the fashion-sphere, bags have soon started to lose their practical purpose in order to become a manifest symbol of our status and identity, an instant way to communicate who we are. Decorations, slogans, logos and more have contributed to making bags tokens of desire and self-expression.
Some bags have become tightly associated with luxury brands and cemented their position as the Holy Grail of every season. In the late 90s, the concept of 'It bags' was born: extremely sought-after bags often created in small numbers or as limited editions by luxury labels such as Fendi, Dior, Prada, Mulberry, Louis Vuitton and more.
Following my visit, I have picked some of the bags that caught my eye for different reasons, in order to present an overview of the phenomenon.
The 'Unicorn D-Styling' bag, created by Tod's in collaboration with Chinese blogger and influencer Tao Liang aka Mr Bags, is quite distinctive of the change of times and how bags can easily become objects of desire. In fact, exclusive capsule collections contribute to the feeling of uniqueness that makes a bag even more coveted.
Season by season, Off-White, under the creative direction of Virgil Abloh, has been delivering new iconic accessories ready to become instant classics. That's the case of this bum bag, part of the Autumn/Winter 2019 collection of the fashion label.
Spanish luxury house Loewe is well-known for creating some of the most iconic bags in the fashion world.
In November 2017, under the creative direction of Jonathan Anderson, Loewe created an exclusive capsule collection inspired by the work of British artist William Morris.
This 'Puzzle Strawberry' bag is part of that collection, using the strawberry thief pattern to infuse new life into the label's classic 'Puzzle' bag.
The 'Hector' handbag has been created by New York designer Thom Browne for his eponymous brand Autumn/Winter 2016 collection and it's moulded on his beloved dog. With its unconventional shape and gained popularity, the handbag has been declined in different materials and colours since its successful debut.