Perspex bags: There is no silver lining

Perspex bags featured strongly in the 2013 spring/ summer collections of Burberry, Holly Fulton and Simone Rocha which created quite a stir amongst journalists as the plastic lovers battled it out against the traditionalists. However, there was only going to be one side of the fence that myself and the Semple team would be sitting on.

As soon as Perspex bags caught my eye they transported me back to the dreaded exam hall where it was customary to have your stationery visible for the prying eyes of the fear-provoking invigilators. To me, the Perspex bag was just an oversized version of the 99p pencil case that became associated with dread, anxiety and unhappiness. In all fairness, its practicality is an obvious advantage as I know that in using one I would be able to save myself those minutes of heart racing panic as I try and locate my phone at the bottom of my bag. However, it is this aspect that I struggle the most to comprehend. Women are renowned for their impracticalities, and no matter how many times I pay the price for dancing in my beloved Kurt Geiger’s till 3am I will continue to wear them, the same way in which I will continue to buy handbags based purely on their design and not their practicality, even if I know that I will spend the majority of my time rummaging through it.

“A women’s purse is her secret source of power; there are many dark and dangerous things in there that we the male species should know nothing about”. It is this very phrase spoken by the Alpha male character in the film “how to lose a guy in ten days” which shows why designers have clearly forgotten the handbags purpose when designing the Perspex bag. Every time I go to the airport and place my handbag on the x-ray belt a sudden fear creeps over me as I question its content and start to blush at the thought of them seeing a ‘female item’ lurking in the depths of my handbag. This is why I would feel the need to fill a Perspex bag with items for decoration rather than with the items I need.

Another aspect of the Perspex bag which is infuriating is the lack of quality and imagination that seems to have gone into the design and production. Unlike the Mulberry Bayswater and the Birkin bag by Hermes which have become fashion staples due to their high quality and classic designs, the Perspex bag lacks the attention to detail, finishing and material quality that we expect and admire in a designer bag. Whilst Perspex bags will undoubtedly trend during 2013, which I will just have to grin and bear, I think they will also be easily forgotten. Come fall, women will have turned their backs on their plastic bags allowing the traditionalists to reign the arms of their owners once again.

Hattie Lee

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