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
McDonald’s launches clothing line using Big Mac prints
Facebook to test 747-sized drones that will beam broadband to the entire world
The distress of some Zayn Malik fans is real, and they need support, say experts
Chair-bound workers 'should move around every hour to reduce physical and mental health risks'
American Apparel gets another ad banned by advertising watchdog for sexualising children
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Andreas Guenter Lubitz intentionally crashed flight 9525 into the Alps in act of mass murder and suicide – latest
- 1 Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
- 2 Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
- 3 Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...