Saturday, October 10, 2009

Wait, is that... a fanny pack?

Once upon a time I had a friend with a serious boner for all things kitschy nineties vintage. Amongst the most ardent of her obsessions was the insatiable lust she had for fanny packs. One day I wore a cute little neon colored fanny pack, a perfect homage to the burgeoning late 80’s revival happening at the time. As soon as she saw it her whole complexion was flooded with a deep envy green. She told me she had nightly dreams of wandering the 7 mile fair, suddenly discovering the very same object I know casually draped around my hips. She coveted it so powerfully she would not relent in her pursuit of it until I finally agreed to trade for it.

At the time, I thought the fanny pack would be one of those items that remained firmly in fashion history, its usage revived only by those whose eccentric tastes put them on the fringe of even the most rebellious fashion cliques. It’s location proved unflattering to most body types, and then there were the tourist connotations… Let’s just say the bulk of my fanny pack memories include herds of overweight Caucasian Americans in sickeningly bright Hawaiian shirts shuffling around eating stale nacho chips drenched in gooey toxic cheese and guzzling overpriced novelty cups filled with corn syrup at the epicenter of American tackiness.  Disney World.  I’m not going to pretend those memories aren’t some of the best of my childhood, but sometimes the past is best left in the past.

So imagine my surprise to discover a fanny pack elegantly resting on the almost non-existent hip of a model marching down the runway of a Marc Jacobs show. I immediately breezed through the other 52 images that I’d downloaded of the show, and there again! And again! Of course these fanny packs were in tastefully quilted luxury fabrics and on models whose clothing hanger bodies could make anything look attractive. And I’d seen a few stores carry “hip purses” that nodded to the ghost of kitsch past without actually qualifying as bonafide fanny packs. But this was a Marc Jacobs show, and that was definitely a fanny pack, and gosh darn, was I surprised.

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