People want to know: has Jarvis got a brand new bag?
Sunday 19 January 1997
Jarvis Cocker is a pop paradox: lyric genius, nylon-wrapped lounge-lizard and big girl's blouse. One moment he's crooning about how many suburban housewives he's seduced over their candlewick, the next he's on Shooting Stars, throwing individually-wrapped cheeses "in the style of a girl" through the mouth of a giant cardboard Judy Finnegan. If he doesn't have a handbag, he should get one, as it would not only counterpoint the Wildean nature of Cocker's crushed-velvet aestheticism, but give him somewhere to keep his packet of Spangles.
Although they've always been popular on the continent, handbags for men are still seen in this country as tantamount to transvestism. Unstinting in their regard for chunky black record bags with discreet club logos and briefcases with oh-so-exciting combination locks, British men remain unpersuaded by the minor flood of butch(ish) little bags emerging from American design houses like Calvin Klein and Jill Stuart.
Alex, 24, is a surveyor and plays football at the weekends. "Are you sure these are for men?" he asks, looking in disbelief at a cutting on the subject from American Vogue. "That one is really hideous," he exclaims, singling out the black zip-top faux-Octopus bag from Genius Dilletante. He's less than flattering about some of the others: Jill Stuart's soft- sided plaid bag might have been "made out of a golfer's trousers". All of them are far too dinky to carry a copy of Loaded. The "real man's" natural revulsion for evening accessories also asserts itself in Paul, 22, a student, who contends that everything a man needs, he can keep in his pants: "Men don't really use bags unless they're going to work or away for the weekend. But even if they did, you wouldn't catch me going out with any of these hanging off me. I wouldn't get away with it." But what if he was Jarvis Cocker? "Ah, well, that would be different".
Life & Style blogs
How Stephen Hawking is still alive, defying ALS and the worst expectations
The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
Mother's Day 2015: When is it – and how did it first come about?
Children warned to not listen to music for more than one hour a day
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
Half of Ukip voters say they are prejudiced against people of other races
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
- 1 Forget 'The Dress': Here are five of the biggest news stories you might have missed
- 2 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
- 5 Saudi Muslim cleric claims the Earth is 'stationary' and the sun rotates around it
£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...
£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...
£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...