mardi 1 février 2011

Stylish old bags


I don't often find myself at the supermarket in the middle of the day. After today's trip, I'm thinking I should venture out midday more often. I do get outside in the middle of the day, but it is almost always to take Neko for a walk in Lincoln Park. The most recent Lincoln Park masher has cooled my enthusiam a bit. He's the guy who feigns shin splints or follows women joggers until he is close enough to fake a fall from behind them, which requires grabbing onto their hips and planting his nose between their butt cheeks. Yes, you read that correctly. He claims he really just happened to fall in this way four times and that each time, the body he reached for to break his fall was that of a woman in spandex.

Anyway, the subject is stylish old bags. I was waiting in line to pay for my purchases and had a look around. I wish I had my camera. The very, very, very old woman at the counter to my left, paying for her dozen eggs with an American Express card, was wearing an off-white, fitted Chanel coat with a matching belt, under which could be seen her chocolate brown tights and matching short boots. She finished off the look with a Louis Vuitton bag (the one in the photo) that definitely qualifies as vintage. It was in mint condition. She was too, and must have been around 90.

Then I noticed the woman in front of me. She was also about 90, but had opted for the more casual Pacific NW chic look. She was a study in mauve, purple and periwinkle blue from head to foot. She had clearly thought about how to layer herself up for the day. She had put on a soft pink shade of lipstick and was wearing lots of eye makeup. The frames on her glasses tied together her lipstick and the mauve wool hat. She looked fabulous.

Against my will I visited the Louis Vuitton store on the Champs-Elysées while in Paris. It was under construction forever, or so it seemed, and finally opened its doors in 2005. I am guessing it cost the budget of a small Latin American government to remodel. The resulting concept store - and this should come as no surprise - is completely over-the-top, totally bling-bling. There are tons of photos on the internet, but none that quite do it justice; my camera was certainly no match for the gawdy splendor and sheer volume of the place. And it is a zoo, especially on a Saturday afternoon. Most of the masses streaming in and out are foreign tourists, and I am not going to say how I know that. Monique and I looked at the price tags and scoffed, agreeing that we would never buy anything so obnoxiously branded. Later that evening, an Australian friend who lives in Paris said the French don't buy Vuitton and would not be caught dead wearing it because it is too bling-bling vulgar. But the old lady with the Amex card probably doesn't care what the French or anyone else would think.