If we had to summarise fashion’s various new endeavours this year, “a play on size” is not that far off the mark. A phrase that can quite accurately encapsulate most of 2018’s trends, it reflects the obsession we have with freedom and space, something that comes inevitably with an ever-shrinking world. From larger-than-life sneakers to the tiniest sunglasses, it certainly is no random phenomena that the fashion world suddenly got hit by this fetish for sizing oddities.
Most recently, the most affected fashion item of this movement has been bags. Ever since Jacquemus’s Le Sac Chiquito, and most recently the Le Sac Minho, started dangling off of the fingertips of celebrities like Ariana Grande, Kourtney Kardashian and Rihanna, younger brands like Mansur Gavriel and Simon Miller have been putting out miniature barely-hold-anythings of their own to follow suit, while larger fashion houses like Fendi and Louis Vuitton are bringing back mini classics that were either already mini to begin with, or shrunken to sizes smaller than your iPhone.
If this isn’t just some random nostalgia-driven 2000s throwback, then what else could urge these people to buy bags that would be much better off as a mantle display-pieces?
If only choices made in the fashion industry could really be so easily and logically explained. These small bags may seem to fail in functionality, but they do oddly excel in conveying a sense of ease and confidence that goes hand-in-hand with how today’s “wonder woman” wants to present herself to the world.
The kinds of “small” all these bags come in will invariably remind you of the kid-versions of handbags that were built to maybe store one beaded bracelet and a couple of individually-wrapped sweets. Their function is, likewise, to be filled, but with what exactly is not so much the concern. But when you actually have to carry around a wallet, credit cards, a phone and so much more, doing the same with tiny carriers made of high-quality artisan fabrics and have a laughable size-to-price ratio definitely does not sound as appealing. So what then makes the petit sac so covetable?
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Perhaps its the feeling of lightness you get from only needing to lightly grasp the handle(s) of your bag to swing it around. It is in that carefree nonchalance of having one’s hands mobile and free from excess weight (other than of the bag itself) that makes these small things so attractive and empowering, making you feel like a child, who at the tender age of single digits, will be swinging of her mini-me bag around just for the sake of enjoying the pendular motion. Baggage is something we can now be free from, so what’s stopping you from doing what you want to do? That is the question.
Forcing yourself to edit your essentials to the very bare minimum also gives you the chance to practice the art of selection; this means planning (for your day) ahead and prioritising what is most important to you now—a good way to clarify your goals and overall direction life. The need to disengage with objects will help you to physically and metaphorically lift weight off the shoulders, uplifting your spirits. Say goodbye to loose change and random pamphlets squeezed into unused pockets, and hello to hands-free partying and dancing and a healthy snack-free diet. You actually worry less and will probably feel more organized (and not in an overly-serious way too), because fewer things to carry around mean less heavy a sense of responsibility.
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Call this idealistic all you want, but all of us know far too well the difference between saying and doing. Saying you are in control is not the same as actually being able to justify every single decision you make. Likewise, the micro bag may very well be the most useless bag in the world, but it still does its job in commanding a kind of order that—despite only being a semblance—gets us thinking and on our feet to actively re-evaluate the wants and needs in our lives.
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So maybe these bags don’t fail in practicality after all. They look pretty, get your life in order, and have the ability to liberate and empower the wearer to feel more grounded in the physical reality that isn’t shrinking as quickly as our digital one. When your bag literally fits nothing else but a breath of fresh air, you’ll finally be able to size up all that’s standing in your way with a ready state of mind, calm and collected to engage. Just take it one purse at a time.