I was at a mall the other day when I overheard two young ladies talking. It seems one of them had saved for and purchased a fancy handbag and was feeling guilty because she had told a whopping lie to her mother about the price tag. On questioning, she had “confessed ” to spending $150 for the new bag, which she claimed was a knockoff imitation. The truth was that this girl had spent $1500 hard-earned, with no regrets other than fibbing to her mom.
Handbags over Glad Rags
It seems that handbags have become a way to display clout and sophistication, even more than other items of wardrobe like fine clothing or shoes. An “It” hand bag is displayed in the foreground of a personal visual display. Several trendy candidates are already enshrined in the “It” bag hall of fame like the Celine Luggage Tote and the Proenza Schouler PS1. Long gone are the days when a lady could be satisfied by a Louis Vitton monogram bag after it had been counterfeited so frequently.
What does it mean?
For a day or two, this odd snippet of information did not seem so important, but then, other bits and pieces of pop culture stories began to indicate a growing fad. Designer handbags have become very big business as status symbols and trophy accessories to flaunt. At first, this factoid was only mildly interesting, until I heard about the latest jaw dropping development involving the Olsen twins. Remember those cute little girls, who starred in “Growing Pains”?
Child Star Couture
Years later, Mary Kate and Ashley have become magnetic beacons for the paparazzi and gossip culture pundits. The girls are famous for being famous and recently had a major success with their signature handbags, which sold out for $39,000 each. With their latest entry, the twins have pushed the envelope of credibility .
Sarcasm in Sculpture
Pictures of their latest handbag evoke surrealistic memories of the Salvador Dali smoking jacket sculpture with it’s hard edge exposure of a superficial society. While that artwork displayed a mans dinner jacket festooned with shot glasses, each sullied by a soggy cigarette, the Olsen girls offer a more contemporary statement.The new handbag offering from the twins is a sexy black patent leather affair by designer Damien Hirst, composed of Nile crocodile skin and decorated with prescription drugs like Prozac and Viagra. The first dozen are expected to sell quickly at $55,000 each.
What statement is being made? (Other than the Bank Statement)
The questionable influence of this celebrity sell out to the big pharmaceutical companies should cause outrage enough without even going near the topic of the untimely death of Olsen buddy, Heath Ledger from abuse of prescription drugs. This latest manifestation of our “sick” society is proof enough that in the culture of celebrity and the cult of personality, something has gone very wrong.
Here are links to other articles I wrote :
John Wayne and Tarzan with the Hollywood Gang
The Cults of Jane Fonda and Pamela Anderson
A Forgotten Clint Eastwood Movie
Top 10 Books and the Famous Movies They Inspired
Legendary Liz Taylor and Richard Burton in Cleopatra
The Rise and Fall of a Hollywood Empire
Classic Movie Sex Goddesses
Growing Up in Show Business
Women of Fantasy and Science Fiction
Best Comedy TV Shows of the 1960’s
Thanks for reading.