Here is a small piece I wrote back in October 2013 (!) for a Company Journalism competition. I didn't win (cause believe me if I had you'd have heard it here first!) but I figured I should publish it on here and get it out there.
''A new wave of generation Size Zero has hit the fashion world for Spring/ Summer 2014, though thankfully its concerned with a different sort of weight we’re carrying other than on our thighs. Bags are shrinking on the catwalks across Paris, New York and London. Small, neat packages are being favoured over hefty, cumbersome totes that have sat unyieldingly in the crooks of our arms for season after season, leaving permanent indentations in our skin and offering a false sense of security in the knowledge that we carry the entire contents of our life around in one beautifully crafted bag.
Some may be sad to see large satchels overshadowed by their slim lined versions for the daily heavy lifting has doubled up as an arm exercise, keeping bingo wings at bay while looking oh so chic with the latest arm candy. Yet for most, lighter and more compact handbags are a welcome change to the heaving sacs we typically keep in tow. We mere mortals are following suit and downsizing our bags and opting for minimal bags à la Stella McCartney, Burberry, YSL and Ellie Saab, to name but just a few.
Even Hermès, who’s iconic Birkin bag reached a whole new level of ‘‘It’’ status has bowed to women’s cry for a lighter bag as the temptation is there with a huge chunk of aesthetically pleasing leather to fill it to the brim without thought on the consequential weight. They say pain is beauty but each woman knows their threshold. The muse herself, Jane Birkin said on these XL bags: ‘‘They’re bloody heavy, they bust your arm. I’m going to have to have an operation for tendonitis in the shoulder.”
The scaled-down miniature bags we saw strut on the runway have trickled down to the cobbled high-street and reflect on our lifestyle and a trend that seems to be influencing aspects of fashion and beauty alike; we are filtering through our possessions, editing in a ruthless manner for the very best of the best, la crème de la crème if you will. With everything from our phones to a hair serum working as multi-functional tools for minimal effort and maximum effect in our day-to-day lives, we want the same from our handbags and we no longer need everything but the kitchen sink hoarded away in our bags.
The uniformity in size doesn’t compromise style, rest assured. Textures, materials and colours all come into play with these miniature totes. The smaller size allows and encourages for a more playful palette. Take the likes of the Chanel Lego clutch bag, the emerald green colour being the showstopper and fitting merely more than your lipstick of choice and your (supposedly overdrawn if you own this bag) credit card. Stripped back to basics, (well as much as a Chanel can be) made out of plastic and holding no embellishment, the bag spoke for itself. The primary functions of a bag, born out of necessity are no longer important and tell a bigger story of self-expression.
The transition from maxi to mini has been a long and winding road, with the mantra ‘bigger is better’ being a tough one to shake off and the oddly alluring WAG culture encouraging us to ‘go large’; strictly in the bag department I might add.
We’ve since evolved from the flashy ‘‘it’’ bag phenomenon and hysteria is dying down, giving way for Spring’s muted styles and miniature portions of luxury.
Nothing says a woman has got her shit together quite like the clutch of a miniature bag; with no space for clutter in her purse or her life. It is liberating and exudes confidence and style. The petite and boxy frames are a refreshing change to the predictable ‘‘Boho Chic’’ hobo bags we have on annual rotate and give a nod to androgynous and minimalist trends which are uncommon for Spring and Summer fashion but pioneered by Coco Chanel, if who’s petite stature is anything to go by, shows size really doesn’t matter.
Women are prepared to sacrifice space for style, the less useful it is, the more necessary it becomes.
After all, they do say the best things come in small packages.''