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April 25, 2009

Bring Back the Backpack + Porte Monnaie

I never thought I’d start carrying a backpack again, but I did. It was raining in Paris that day, and I snuck into American Apparel for temporary shelter. Tired of carrying stuff in my plaid wool briefcase that would heavily dig into the crook of my arm or scratch and redden my freakishly soft palms (fun fact: I have won contests because of these silken hands), I decided to get one of their inexpensive bags as an alternate.

with the bag in question, on the Spanish Steps in Rome (worn with Ray-Ban aviators, Zara long cardigan, American Apparel t-shirt, Cheap Monday jeans, Zara shoes)
I was first gravitating towards the metallic duffles, but looking over to the backpacks section, I was suddenly reminded of this post by Steve of Style Salvage, which told the heartwarming story of how his recent purchase of a leather backpack reminded him of the joys of being a backpack-toting kid again. Though still unsure about the idea of carrying a backpack, I threw caution to the wind and purchased the AA metallic backpack in smoke, even at least to give my tired arms and palms the rest they deserved.
Much like in Steve’s story, I now walk with a little more spring in my step when carrying my backpack, perhaps partly owing to the fact that I’m eager to show off something so shiny on my back, and also because I of my delight at being strolling around hands-free. It’s like I’m a child again, carrying my backpack on a supercool field trip to just about anywhere I wanted. Sometimes, I think it makes me almost annoyingly perky.

today: Ray-ban wayfarers, American Apparel sweatshirt and metallic school bag, Topman cobalt blue shorts, loafers from Don Quijote
Now that I look at my favorite bag of the moment, there is something quite Raf Simons for Eastpak about it. It’s got the classic old-school shapes of fall 2008′s backpacks

crossed with the metallic elements of spring 2009.

Boy, has Raf Simons been getting a lot of love from this blog lately.
I think fashion is slowly warming up to backpacks again. Their prevalence in the nineties gave way to the messenger bag, which I didn’t really care much for, because of the way it wrinkled your clothes and awkwardly cut your body diagonally. Then the messenger was taken over by the briefcase/overnight bag which became the accessory of choice on many a Dolce and Gabbana/Gucci runway. Blame it on fashion’s obsession with everything young, or simply on its cyclical fickleness, but I think backpacks are having their moment right now.
In other unrelated news, I just learned about Porte Monnaie wallets from a tweet by Oki-ni. Hand-made in London, they feature minimalist designs, interesting, modern finishes, and my one requirement in buying a wallet: a coin pocket.

The Porte Monnaie classic wallet in black (GBP 69)
Their trademark origami-style coin pockets are achieved through the “paper-like tacitility of flash spun high density polyethylene that forms the back bone of a Porte Monnaie wallet” (from Oki-ni). I’m just not sure how this style of coin pocket would work in a dark parking garage where I’m in a hurry to dispense my coins for fear of being honked at by the car next in line at the exit counter. My other top picks:

the Porte Monnaie Chalk Wallet: white with gray distress marks (GBP 69)

and the Porte Monnaie Bow Tie Wallet (GBP 69). Very thedandyproject, don’t you think?

10 Comments

  • -h
    April 25th, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    that coin piece on the wallets looks intriguing. i wonder how well it actually holds change.

  • wax
    April 25th, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    haha funny, i just bought a duffle bag at american apparel. same color as yours.

  • ALPHABETICAL
    April 25th, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    Aside from the backpack, your Zara shoes are really nice.

  • fuchsiaboy
    April 26th, 2009 at 7:37 am

    just asked a friend to send me a marc by marc jacobs backpack ;)

  • beautiful things
    April 26th, 2009 at 7:55 am

    isn’t oki-ni just awesome

  • chauss
    April 26th, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    hmmm. did you read my blog on my vintage diesel denim back pack a coule of weeks ago?

  • miss a.
    April 27th, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    I have the Raf Simons bag. I battled with this man for it at Printemps in a staring contest.

  • Noelle Chantal
    April 28th, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    Oh wow The Porte Monnaie wallet looks really really nice, Izzy! Same here, I never thought I’ll be wearing backpacks again. hehe your shiny one is really cute. Looks great on your outfit and you look always so chic and perfect wearing shorts. I love the first photo too.

    By the way, binili ko yung straw hats ko sa stalls mismo sa ilalim ng Quaipo bridge. mas cheaper kasi compared sa ibang stores dun. And I think I know that optical shop selling really nice wayfarers including Ray-ban. :)

  • Edrick
    April 29th, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    love this post!

  • wecouldgrowup2gether
    May 2nd, 2009 at 10:21 am

    arent those zara mocassins genius, i wear them in the rain so that they became washed suede LOL


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