The New Handbag Semantics

It wasn’t too long ago I acquired a Vivienne Westwood bowling bag – my treasure. I even christened it Viv; and when Viv wasn’t tucked in her cotton monogrammed covering, her handles were wrenched granny-like in the crook of my arm.

Viv wasn’t just a bag; she was a stylish keeper of secrets – receipts, schedules, make-up and stealth purchases all dutifully zipped from the public eye. She once even harboured an iron – but that’s another story.

You can therefore imagine my consternation upon hearing that the a/w 11 catwalks have espoused a new accessories semantics one which renders my own capacious mála – ‘déclassé’ and ‘démodé’.

Thou shalt now ‘grab’ thine bag; rather than carry it. Bags shall be bijou to allow for clutching at the breast; or crumpled and held away from the body as if disposing of an offending article. Never do, ‘trophy’, ‘big’ and ‘stuffed’ – too gauche and by all means ditch the handles, lest you be tarred and feathered.

This was all too much for me. A bit of lower back pain and carpel tunnel syndrome never hurt anyone. Not only am I being encouraged to trade in my own overfed friend; but I must also acquire the methodology and attendant patois necessary in ‘grabbing’ a bag.

I should have paid better attention. Vogue pre-ordained the advent of grabbing back in 2009 (but of course) when they featured a lexically-puzzling feature delineating The Scramble, The Dangle, The Cuddle and The Twiddle – all precursors to The Grab. I couldn’t help thinking then if its conjugation applied in similar manner to that of Twitter. If I twiddled, did I twaddle or have I twiddled? Similarly, would grabbing a bag indicate pilfering on my part? Oh, the confusion!

Such lexical hijinks would be bound to flummox even the likes of Strunk and White. Although, one wonders whether The Elements of Style is required reading at Conde Nast.

Still, I can’t bear to part with Viv. Fashionable or not, her beaten black leather exterior belies a host of juicy gossip; something which a clutch-come-brooch could ne’er come close. I shall therefore continue to carry her proudly around town. After all, one never knows when they may suddenly require the use of an iron.