Just as Christian Dior caused a clamour with the relaunch of its famous Saddle bag, so the clothes at Fendi’s recent Milan spring/summer 2019 runway show became almost an afterthought when a new generation of Baguette bags hit the runway
The reinvented Baguette hit the runway for Fendi’s Milan spring/summer 2019 show
Anyone with even a passing interest in fashion during the 1990s will know the Baguette, the first handbag to acquire “It bag” status, seen on the arm of just about anyone considered “important”. Just as Hermès’ Birkin has become more than the sum of its parts, so the Baguette was launched to almost immediate hysteria.
Released in 1997, it was long and thin like its doughy namesake. With a clasp that took the shape of a large double-F, it became one of the most recognised bags in the world. Interest in it reached a frenzy when it appeared on the arm of Carrie Bradshaw (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) on hit TV show Sex and the City, which helped put the Baguette in the minds of every woman of shopping age.
Part of its mystique was the seemingly endless array of designs issued – more than 700. The constant updating of the bag neatly sidestepped the fact that, being long and thin, it was woefully impractical. As with all things that capture the zeitgeist, though, such matters were irrelevant to the women who fought – sometimes literally – to get their hands on the latest iteration. When the estate of Elizabeth Taylor was sold by Christie’s in 2011, for example, it included no less than 17 Baguettes.
At the Fendi show in Milan last week, the Baguette reappeared, now carried in one hand, via a top strap. Often matched with a second, larger bag, both in quilted leather, this latest generation is louche and relaxed. It cropped up in Fendi’s familiar double-F fabric, now gently cradled like something precious. The most surprising move, however, is the denim version, blown up in size and slung across the body like an upscale messenger bag.