You know a bag has reached icon status when it hits the big screen. Just like the Fendi Baguette was immortalized in Sex and the City, this time around it’s the turn of Balenciaga’s Hourglass in And Just Like That… Carrie Bradshaw’s new It-bag has been a highlight in the show we all love to hate; the sculptural design a signal that the columnist known for her eclectic taste still keeps a finger on the fashion pulse – even if just one.
Carrie did not just buy any Hourglass bag. The Manolo addict selected one from Gucci’s “hacking” of Balenciaga, whereby Alessandro Michele borrowed tropes from his Kering stablemate Demna’s work, including Balenciaga’s striking hourglass tailoring and its matching handbag.
The Hourglass’s origins lie in house founder Cristóbal Balenciaga’s Basque waistcoats from the ’50s. The bold curvature of the sharply elegant Hourglass mirrors the lines of the garments firmly ingrained in the house’s DNA and which Demna continues to reimagine and pay forward in fresh ways.
Fashionistas other than Bradshaw are fans of the architectural bag, launched for fall 2019 and designed to sit on the hip, suspended from a removable cross-body strap, or carried by the small top handle. The three sizes and multitude of colorways and finishings ensure there’s a different Hourglass for brand fans, including Hailey Bieber, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Adut Akech, to carry without ever doubling up (these days, it’s all about adaptability in the leather goods market—the cash cow for fashion labels).
Kim proves glitter and crushed velvet are fashion-forward bedfellows in the hands of Demna. Photo: Getty
But no one loves the eye-catching arm candy as much as Balenciaga disciple Kim Kardashian, whose commitment to Demna’s vision frequently involves her wiggling into full-look stretch-satin to realize her street-style art. Kim’s glitter-encrusted Hourglass turned out to be the perfect accessory for her string of SNL looks, ranging from crushed velvet pink tailoring to plush leather trench coats thrown over her shiny, Spandexy catsuits.
Of course Balenciaga is well-versed in what it takes to make an It-bag. Its City and Motorcycle styles which were nestled in the arms of Kate Moss and Sienna Miller in the Noughties are enjoying something of a renaissance in line with the decade’s resurgence. Designed by then-creative director Nicolas Ghesquière at the turn of the century, the slouchy totes are like the rock‘n’roll sister of the Hourglass; all scuffed leather worn like a badge of honor, in contrast to its ultra-slick modern counterpart.
The Hacker Project small Hourglass bag
That’s not to say the Hourglass is lacking character. You only need to look at the nine lives that its bold B logo has already had on Kim and co to see that it brings a certain angular, directional quality to its wearer’s wardrobe. And just like that… an It-bag is born.
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Originally published on Vogue.com