Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Rei Kawakubo Knows What's Up

I own a flat, black leather Comme des Garçons (no, not from the H & M line; we've been over this) tote bag. It's by far the simplest accessory I own. There are no pockets, buttons, zippers, bells, or whistles; just two panels of leather and two handles. Most interestingly is how the bag was designed to carry only the essentials. While the bag is deep, if I carry a bottle of water, the shape is grossly distorted, compromising the aesthetic integrity of the bag.

I think our girl Rei Kawakubo knew exactly what was up when she conceived this bag. The only way this tote can retain its shape is if I kept my impedimenta to a minimum. Interesting word, impedimenta. It's the Latin plural for impedimentum, which means "baggage or other things that retard one's progress." Basically JUNK.

As our bags continue to grow bigger—in essence the SUVs of leather goods—we manage to stuff them with impedimenta: fat wallets, two-way pagers, mobiles, bottles of San Pelligrino, iPods, brown bag lunch (we're in a recession, remember?), check books, makeup case, scarf to accommodate the indecisive weather, last month's Bazaar, this month's Paris Vogue, feminine hygiene products, Moleskine notebook, moisturizer, Altoids, lip balm, sunglasses, sunglasses case we never put the sunglasses in, French pocket dictionary even though the trip to Paris was over two years ago, phone charger, those MC Hammer pants that refuse to float away so we plan on consigning them, flats to change into when the heels get to be too much, impedimenta that's been under our work desks for month, ticket stubs, loose receipts, camera and camera case we never put the camera in, Hi-Liter markers, Sharpie markers, mechanical pencil, book we should be reading but haven't gotten to because of the Bazaar and Vogue, yesterday's lunch from Los Dados, a smaller bag for later in the evening because this tote bag is too big, big tub of cocoa butter...

And we wonder why one shoulder is lower than the other.

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