ÿþBags are unique as fashion accessories. They are not required cheap nike to enclose a part of the body, which has allowed freedom and inventiveness over the centuries, resulting in creations which are not mere fashion items, but works of art. This phenomenon has reached its logical conclusion in recent years, as brands collaborate with fine artists such as Tracey Emin and Marc Quinn to produce bags that would not look out of place in a gallery, which is indeed where they can be seen in the VA's new exhibition, Bags: Inside Out. But it is not only their aesthetic appeal that can be compared to art. Classic creations by brands like Hermès, Chanel and Dior are increasingly being appreciated for their investment potential.
"We don't really wear bags, we carry them, so they have this degree of independence. They can be designed in very unusual ways, which is how they can easily become a dog, a frog or a little conker," Lucia Savi, curator of the VA's exhibition, tells BBC Culture. "There is a surface which can be decorated or painted on. It's almost like a blank canvas to work with."In the 17th Century, small nike air max 90 sale bags known as sweet purses were exquisitely crafted in unusual shapes such as frogs, while the fashionable technique of filigree was used to create elegant purses which were often exchanged as gifts between aristocrats. The 'reticule' which emerged in the 19th Century and is considered the forerunner of the modern handbag had a flat surface, so offered the perfect opportunity purchase nike air max 90 essential for artistic expression. "There is a surface to be decorated so women would decorate them with patterns and flowers," says Savi.
The witty and innovative designs from the 19th Century, which included bags in the shape of flower baskets, scallop shells and pineapples, influenced the trend for the incongruous objects which appeared in bag design in the 1930s. Designers such as Anne-Marie of Paris created wonderfully eccentric bags in the shape of telephones, champagne coolers and even radios.These in turn had an impact on the jewel-like creations of Hungarian-US designer Judith Leiber, whose sought-after evening bags come in the shape of everything from bunches of asparagus to lipstick, and the British designer Lulu Guinness, whose flower-basket bags from the 1990s can be seen as a three-dimensional interpretation of floral reticule nike air max 97 wholesale designs.
Quinn, who was invited to re-interpret Dior's classic design to commemorate the opening of their New Bond Street Store in 2016, took his Fossil Record the Age of Aluminium print series as inspiration. Embossing orchids in various states of bloom on to metallised lambskin, he created objects of breathtaking beauty.Savi is particularly taken with the International Woman suitcases that Tracey Emin designed to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Longchamp's Le Pliage bags in 2004. "That is a piece where you really see an artist working as if on a piece of art," she says. Made in an edition of 200, each piece carries a unique rosette designed by Emin and is inscribed with a different location which reminds the artist of a moment of love.
The worldwide Black Lives Matter protests that followed the killing of George Floyd earlier in 2020 have sparked renewed interest in the Black Panther Party and its dress codes, as campaigners today look to movements of the past. British Vogue's September issue, which was dedicated to "activism now", saw supermodel Adwoa Aboah appear on the front cover dressed all in black, her beret a clear nod to the Panthers, while dancer and presenter Ashley Banjo later appeared in British GQ in a similar outfit. At marches too, protestors could be spotted in clothes that harked back to those worn by the likes of Fred Hampton and Kathleen Cleaver.
While some of fashion's most prestigious brands are now scrambling to save face, British Vogue has emerged as a beacon for the industry. When Edward Enninful, the son of Ghanaian immigrants and the first black editor-in-chief in the magazine's history, took the helm in 2017, he spoke of his desire for his onine nike air max 97 women Vogue to be inclusive the previous editor had drawn criticism for the dearth of black cover stars and an all-white workforce.Alongside the magazine's September issue that spotlighted black activists, 2020 alone has seen cover stars including Serena Williams, Rihanna, Beyoncé and Lupita Nyong'o. The Vogue website offered extensive coverage of the protests, and now has a dedicated anti-racism section, while people of colour make up a quarter of staff. As Diana Evans writes in her profile of Enninful for Time, "British Vogue has morphed from a white-run glossy of the bourgeois oblivious into a diverse and inclusive on-point fashion platform".