Handbags and Gladrags

Here’s something I don’t understand about the nouveau riche “ladies who lunch” in the upper echelon of society.  You know, the women who are buffed to a high sheen from weekly manicures and facials and plan their schedules around committee meetings about fundraisers and the like?  Why are they so often described as a “socialite and handbag designer” by reporters?  Does the world need thousands of people to draw blueprints for purses? 

It’s not easy to find a good purse.  Every woman knows this.  They’re either too big or too small, too cheaply made or too expensive, or perfect in every way except the straps are too short, or any combination of irritants and shortcomings.  This only holds true if you’re not spending hundreds or thousands on a designer bag, which is something I’m not interested in doing.  I know women who own $6,000 purses and their boast is that “it will last forever”.  Well, I don’t want my bag to last forever.  My tastes evolve and I don’t want to feel obligated to something I no longer love just because I paid so much for it.

I tend to pick up a Liz Claiborne or Nygard or some other designer model, likely on sale, and use it for a few years.  By then I’m tired of it or the colour and I’m ready to move something else into my rotation.  However, this Christmas I was given the amazing Miche bag – the one with the magnetized covers you change on a whim!  It’s a little on the smallish side but I’m not complaining.  I just have to get used to carrying less stuff.

I wonder who is making and selling all of these handbags created by otherwise idle women.  Everyone from the mother of Matthew McConaughey’s child to a Monica Lewinsky is in the handbag business these days.  I perused Lewinsky’s bags on her website and they’re quite pretty but I don’t know how proud I’d be to carry it on my shoulder.  Especially if I happened to be wearing a Gap dress.  But I digress.

I’m not sure if handbag design is perhaps so simple that even a wealthy socialite can do it in between toe exfoliatings or if it’s simply a euphemism for “sitting on my perky hiney all day and telling the help what to do”.  But it’s definitely a trend.  As for me, I’m not a lady who lunches and I don’t have a lot of idle time on my hands but “broadcaster, writer, consultant and handbag designer” has a certain ring to it…don’t you think?