Just by the time I was thinking that the bag, as we knew it, is totally and utterly dead, V&A's exhibition 'Bags: Inside Out' comes as the perfect obituary of the handy item.
Initially, I was thinking that the "normal" statement bag is dead for me alone. This, after working on a humanitarian mission with people who had to unexpectedly leave their settled lives and who were carrying their personal documents in self-made pouches sown to their pants, banknote savings incorporated in their belts and familly-jewelry stuffed in their bras. Having wan smuggled mountain-crossings and wild boat-rides these ultimate survival champions had emerged on their second-life shores free of all "normal" statement bags. Else to say the "normal" statement bag is of the items that liveth not a second life.
Having realised that, I then and there started wearing a suede, handmade Belly-Belt Bag, also know as fanny-purse, containing my ids, phones, wallet, portable wifi, external battery and cables - in a word everything needed for a swift evacuation - and never took it off. Everything else, "The things that I won't mind to loose", such as the newspaper, the magazine, the water, the cigarettes and the nuts, I carry, like a Bag Lady, in a simple fabric bag, which I freely leave here and there - say by the door at an exhibition opening, or by the dj panel at a party - and so far had never felt to collect. "There is no force on earth" said I to my Multiple-Furla-Bags-Proprietaire of a friend in Sofia last summer "To make me carry "a normal" handbag anymore. Let alone a leather one. They are heavy - even the lightest of them and unhandy".
Then, I found out that the statement bag is dead not only to me, but surprisingly to women owners of statement bags. It's only that they still don't know it. Say my Multiple-Furla-Bags-Proprietaire of a friend in London - when she goes shoping, or walking her dog in the Heath she doesn't take her Furla bag, probably because she doesn't want to strike too posh of a pose, not even at Waitrose, let alone at tue dog walk, but as she doesn't have cheap bags she throws her sunglasses and wallet in ...well, a Bag Lady's fabric bag just like me.
Since, I've noticed many a well-kept-looking ladies taking the bus "For couple of stops only", or farmers' market-shopping carrying Bag Lady Bags alone. And no other handbag - because they, obviously, don't have a cheap enough handbag, normal enough as to carry on public transport or at commoners' markets. For them too the "normal" statement bag is dead - as they've given it away while on 3/4 of their daily missions, but they are simply not yet conscious of it.
I could go on and on about the death of the "normal" statement bag as we knew it, but let's see first V&A's comprehensive obituary "Bags: Inside Out"