Not just my mother's bag
VOGUE India|September 2020
Not just my mother's bag
Earlier this year, Alessandro Michele launched the Jackie 1961, a new version of the classic, spotlighting an important conversation in fashion. Nonita Kalra delves into the handbag as a totem of a personal and cultural narrative in the year of the pandemic
Nonita Kalra

It seemed almost prescient that one of spring 2020’s biggest trends was the micro bag. Spotted on runways, this necklace bag (with some of the hottest offerings as small as two inches) was designed to fit just a lipstick, a credit card and AirPods. A representative of a minimalist lifestyle (with the invariably impressive price tag), the nano sac was all about travelling light and paring down your belongings to the bare essentials.

Post March 2020, as the world came to a hard stop, this edit became the norm. Conversations were dominated by safety concerns and sanitisers, and face masks fast became the new black. A petite pouch was now seen as a must-have only because it could store house keys while leaving your hands free to spray disinfectant on every possible surface.

It has been over four months since I took out my favourite tote, let alone thought about accessorising my outfit. Truth be told, it has been that long since I wore a pair of heels or slipped into a little black dress. And yet, I don’t miss that as much as I miss organising my handbag, often packed with makeup, essential medicines, a hairbrush, pens, my wallet, dark glasses, prescription spectacles, tampons and, in a crisis, even a Tide stain remover stick. Now, my bags lie empty, wiped down every month and returned to their dust covers. Is this where their future lies? Unused and unnecessary?


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September 2020