Alexander Fury: Supermarket chic? No, just a weakness for stupid bags

Wear, what, why, when?

I have a fetish for bags. Which, as far as fashion confessions go, isn't terribly sensational. Whole dynasties have been built on that kind of fixation, in fact. But my hankering is rather more specific. I like stupid bags. Not stupidly expensive (though, usually, they wind up being that too), but bags that, generally, look like exactly what they aren't.

I have a bag that looks like a scrunched-up carrier bag, in white vinyl by Maison Martin Margiela. I have another, in pale-green PVC from Jil Sander, that closely resembles the kind you get almost-free at Marks & Spencer. I used to have one in Sainsbury's orange plastic. I have a leather one, too, by Prada – but it's simply cut, like Tesco's Finest.

I'm by no means alone: those Jil Sander bags, designed by Raf Simons and dubbed “Market” bags – because they look like something a market stall would put your wares in, rather than something you would buy on one – are ubiquitous. 10 magazine's executive fashion director, Garth Spencer, had one, until his flatmate threw it away in the assumption that it was an especially sturdy but not particularly valuable supermarket number.

That is part of the appeal of these bags for many. There's a knowingness to them, the assumption that you have to be part of the fashion world really to “get” them. There's a lot of hyper-intellectualising about inversions of luxury that could be thrown at my propensity to tote a lump of plastic imbued with cultural capital rather than, say, a lump of crocodile with actual worth in concrete sterling.

But I don't really believe that, especially as my No 1 bag-that-isn't-a-bag choice would be a bejewelled Judith Leiber gewgaw. Perhaps a rhinestone-encrusted aubergine, or a cupcake, or a hinged apple minaudière? I'm not suggesting I'd tote one about. It's neither practical nor attractive for me (alas, I'm not Alexis Carrington), but it would be one hell of a conversation piece. Unfortunately the apple alone is a cool £2.5k. Cultural capital meeting cold, hard cash.

News
One Direction's Zayn Malik gazes at a bouquet of flowers in the 'Night Changes' music video
people
News
people
News
'Free the Nipple' film screening after party with We Are The XX, New York, America - 04 Feb 2014
news
Arts and Entertainment
Russell Tovey, Myanna Buring and Julian Rhind Tutt star in Banished
tvReview: The latest episode was a smidgen less depressing... but it’s hardly a bonza beach party
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Manager

    £35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity to...

    Recruitment Genius: Trainee Manager - Production

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Trainee Managers are required to join the UK's...

    Recruitment Genius: Telesales Manager

    £25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will maximise the effective...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + uncapped commission : SThree: Hello! I know most ...

    Day In a Page

    The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

    The saffron censorship that governs India

    Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

    Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
    Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

    How did fandom get so dark?

    Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
    The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

    Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
    The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

    Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

    Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
    Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

    Disney's mega money-making formula

    'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
    Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

    14 best Easter decorations

    Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
    Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

    The future of GM

    The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
    Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

    Britain's mild winters could be numbered

    Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
    Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

    The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

    The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
    Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

    Cowslips vs honeysuckle

    It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
    Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss
    Tony Blair joins a strange and exclusive club of political leaders whose careers have been blighted by the Middle East

    Blair has joined a strange and exclusive club

    A new tomb has just gone up in the Middle East's graveyard of US and British political reputations, says Patrick Cockburn
    Election 2015: Meet the top 12 wacky candidates seeking your vote in May

    Election 2015

    Meet the top 12 wacky candidates seeking your vote in May