01 March 2007

I just wanted to rescue it.

You know how you feel when you see a parent smack a child just a little too hard for what looks to you like no real reason?

Or when someone yanks on their dog's leash a bit too abruptly because the sweet thing isn't moving quickly enough for its late-for-work owner?

Well, somewhere in between these offenses, with the latter, for me, obviously being the more serious of the two, is how I felt today while waiting in line to buy a birthday card and the Bringing Up Baby DVD at the Borders on 18th and M.

The woman in question wasn't disciplining a child or, for her sake, maltreating a dog in my presence, but she was in criminal possession of a handbag her cheap navy suit, four shades of brown Coach logo-print buckled slides and yes, hunter-green waffle-textured scrunchie not only implied but SCREAMED she did not deserve.

This woman didn't just have a nice handbag, she had a Fendi Spy Bag. A real one.

How do I know it was real? Well, when you covet material items well outside your price range as I do, you tend to spend a great deal of time getting to know the bag, pair of trousers, deconstructed-bow patent leather peep-toes, etc., in whatever form to which you do have access. For me, that pretty much means nothin' but a whole lot of lookin'.

For example, on the ones I've seen sold for $90 on the side streets of Georgetown, the leather braid that cuts down the middle is very loosely knit together with sub-quality leather and often numbers more than six leather diamonds across. On the original, and you can check here, whether you start at the top, in the middle or at the bottom, you'll never find anything less than the highest-quality leather, and no fewer and no more than four diamonds across. Another tell-tale sign of a faux Spy Bag is the absence of the leather grommets on the left and right-hand sides of the straps. And finally, above the upper gold clasp, there should be a leather inlay within another leather inlay shaped like a women's mouth.

This woman's bag had four diamonds across, side-strap leather grommets and the double leather inlay. The more I listened to her and her companion's conversation - both, despite their not-so-much-ready-for-a-bikini figures, had recently stayed at the Four Seasons near Puerto Vallerta - the surer I became I had correctly identified the $2,270 Nicole Richie and Hilary Duff favorite.

Like the puppy I'm convinced is living in squalor next door to me, I so wanted but knew I had no legal right to reach out and rescue this poor, indefensible piece of accessory gorgeousness. I wanted to put it up against my pencil skirt and silk blouse, rock it back and forth and tell it, no, of course it didn't have to go back to the woman with the red, cracked cuticles, thick-strapped beige bra and more than just a little bit of an underbite.

She stepped up to the cashier to buy her Redbook and Gourmet, and then a few minutes later as she was lumbering out the door, I could've sworn I saw those leather inlaid lips open and whisper, "help me, please," but before I could be sure, they both vanished into the M Street lunch crowd cascading in indistinguishable droves past the windows.

It's like my mom always said when I was a child, "Johanna, you can't always help everyone."

Indeed, nor every thing.


bff in chicago said...

No woman who wears a scrunchie owns a real Fendi Spy bag. I don't buy it. Nope. Sorry.

I don't.

I beg to differ.... said...

Usually I'm with you, but I just don't see the fuss about this bag. It looks like it would go well with this jacket: http://www.hemlockvintage.com/dress/80s310.htm
80's distressed leather.

Johanna said...

That's funny.

You know, it's not my favorite bag by any means (I'm more a Bottega Veneta girl, actually), but I do like it. With a very simple casual outfit - skinny jeans, flats and an Ella Moss tee, maybe - I think it would look pretty hip. *Very* '80s, though, you're right.

That jacket you linked to is highly UNhip, however.

Thanks for the comment -- and the dissent!

brown rowergirl said...

I agree with you both. It is totally an 1980's throwback, but that's the fun of it! If I could find a version of it for under $100, I'd tote it around on the weekends in jeans. If I had $2K+ to spend on something, though, I would spend my money elsewhere.

On shoes, probably.