Purse mania has taken the world of fashion by storm, edging out shoes, jeans, and jewelry as the must-have possession. The bag craze reflects a strong luxury goods market, to be sure, but also conveys a contemporary woman's thoughts, feelings, and dreams. According to cultural critic Winifred Gallagher, this everyday object isn't just something a woman has, but an extension of who she is. It's in the Bag is a short, lively look at handbags?their history, their lure, and their emotional meaning. Gallagher invites us to explore one seemingly simple object's complex significance to the people who design, produce, market, assess, and use it. We meet high-profile designers who strive to combine talent, perfect timing, recognizable trademarks, personal charisma, and celebrity endorsements in the creation of a must-have "It" bag; fashion editors, the powerful tastemakers who shape our sensibility; psychologists who probe the purse's symbolism; and some very different women who express a range of attitudes about handbags, from an army major's antipathy to a collector's obsession.
Researched and erudite yet always fun, It's in the Bag is a charming look at modern women as seen through one of their keenest cultural obsessions. No fashionista worth her weight in Prada will want to miss this inside look at what's really "in the bag."
A short, lively look at handbags, their history, their lure, and their emotional value. The time is perfect for a short, smart purse book. The "good bag" has nudged out shoes, jeans, and jewelry as the must-have fashion possession. Despite price hikes 900 for a Prada bowler bag that once cost 600, the craze for high-end purses helps fuel the booming luxury-goods market and, via knock-offs, hugely influences the multi-billion-a-year mainstream handbag industry. But purse mania isn't just an outgrowth of a strong luxury-goods market , human thoughts, feelings, and dreams are involved, too. This cultural history of the handbag borrows from psychology (Freud noted that sometimes a purse is a vagina -- which is perhaps why the first "handbags" were carried by men!), sociology (a purse as a "status symbol") and even economics (Why have prices become so steep?). Researched and erudite yet always fun, IT'S IN THE BAG is a charming theory of modern identity as seen through one of our keenest obsessions.