A Bag Lady at the V&A’s Bags Inside Out Exhibition πŸ‘›πŸ‘œ

Am I trying to make myself look cultured by having two consecutive posts about Museum visits? Not on purpose, but I’ll take the hit! 

I have not posted in a while because I have been insanely busy as well as going through a lot of random stuff. On the plus side, I had a fantastic time in Edinburgh for Halloween (yeah the post is gonna come out at Christmas at this rate), and have been busy killing it at the gym (another post whoop whoop).

This weekend, a friend and I went to the Bags: Inside Out Exhibition at the V&A. As an officially diagnosed bag addict, this was a perfect way to indulge in the addiction without financially relapsing : all the bags were under thick plexiglass (damn it).

I really enjoyed the way the exhibition was sectioned, but was rather disappointed by the fact that it was less put together than other exhibitions I have been too at the V&A.Β 

For instance, I really appreciated the tidbits about the various usages and types of bags like military bags, beauty pouches throughout the ages, travel etc

The exhibition also had a few bits and pieces from around the world, which is always appreciated.

As I was saying to my friend, I really admire the work that used to be put in bags back in the day : proper metal clasps, structure and attention to detail. That Hermes bag is pretty awesome to me – and considering it is from the 60’s it looks pretty immaculate.

How gorgeous is the belt bag at the top?? I would totally rock this at a festival instead of an 80s bum bag!

One of the sections was about reticules, which are pouches made of various materials like net, brocade, silk, beading etc and had a lady’s essentials. I absolutely love how detailed the stitching is as well as how thorough these pouches were in terms of what they carry : girls weren’t playing then either!

But we don’t just carry beauty essentials, we also carry our documents and travel essentials …

The next section was about bags as status symbols – and both my friend and I recoiled at the sight of Margaret Thatcher’s handbag … Literally! We reckon this bag still has her energy and we REBUKE!

I have always hated the whole ‘celebrity statement bag’ thing – people spending 5k on a bag because some z-lister is promoting it, rather than because it fits their own aesthetic? I can’t relate! I love hunting for pieces that fit me, rather than trying to fit pieces to me. Hence, I have always abhorred bags with huge logos and ‘it bags’ like the ones below.

That Versace safety pin bag? I WANT!

Excuse the shitty picture, but these evening bags were hidden under 3 layers of plexiglass, probably because there is Β£50k worth of goodies there – including a FabergΓ© egg … But my favourite is the McQueen clutch.

Some more evening clutches – how amazing is the work on these?

I feel like society is totally devolving when it comes to quality and aesthetics. The advent of fast fashion and mass producing really has destroyed any semblant of uniqueness and pursuit of individuality.

The next section was about ‘bags as statements‘ – this was quite interesting, but I am pretty sure there are plenty more iconic bags that could have been used there. Still, it was enjoyable.

As much as I hate consumerism, I need a Chanel bag in my life … *goes to play the lottery*

The upstairs section was about some more exhibits but also design and patterns. Very interesting and opened up my eyes to the work that goes on in the luxury bag world.

There was a section with some more ‘unique’ and ‘fancy’ pieces, which frankly to me were more of how can brands take the piss out of their rich customers by selling them tat under the guise of the brand. Harsh? maybe. But that’s what it is to me.

This clutch was very cute though and I appreciated the design and thought behind it.Β 

Absolutely hated this Gucci bag. Can you guess why?

The quirky bag section was fun to walk through – and of course, I had to snap the skull!

I also hated this Prada bag (I am very fair innit!).Β 

Don’t you love a brand stating ‘stop the fashion system’ whilst charging Β£3k for a bag?

The work on this heart is amazing to me – so much artistry. Forever21 could never!

We then walked through a section about prototypes. Super interesting too!

Things took a turn to the left and more flashy handbags appeared!

The exhibition was interesting and I am glad we went to see it. It really did reiterate my thoughts on celebrity and influencer culture, and how this is a poison to individuality. Even looking through photos of 1950’s and 1960s women, you could see that women were building entire outfits, and the accessories were complimenting the outfit, not the other way round. These days, people throw on whatever as long as the ‘bag of the season’ is seen on their elbow crease.Β 

I am glad that I source my bits and pieces in many places, including charity shops, Primark, ebay because not only i find pieces I genuinely like, but I feel creative in building looks that are unique to me.

Talking about looks, we went for a stroll in the fashion section and I took some snaps…

I don’t have any more museum trips planned for now, but I am looking forward to going to more events and updating the blog. Stay tuned!

With Love & a Blown Up Credit Card,


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