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Honey, I shrunk your bag: the rise of the micro-handbag

In recent years, we, as consumers, find ourselves being more and more influenced by what we see on social media. Since Instagram started in 2010, it has shown us an easier way to keep up to date with current trends, but just how far will it go?

Instagram constantly bombards us with fads and fashions from useful beauty hacks to the not-so-useful micro-handbag. Are these ridiculous trends just a psychological test to see how far we’ll go? And do any of these trends promote style at all?

When fashion meets meme culture

Do celebrities deliberately turn themselves into memes by following these trends? Or is Instagram making these trends memes? For some, carrying a micro-bag on the red carpet will be a show of higher status. A case of, “someone else can carry my stuff.” But for some, we mean you, Lizzo, it seems to be a statement showing how ridiculous the fad is.

At the American Music Awards, Lizzo toted a micro-bag so small, that it makes you wonder what it could possibly hold. “I’ve got tampons in here, a flask of tequila, condoms” was what she joked when asked about its contents. By responding this way, did Lizzo know she was contributing to meme culture or was she simply stepping on the band wagon?

Micro-handbag history

The micro-bag isn’t just a modern trend for modern celebrities. In fact, the micro-bag has been used by women since the 18th Century! In those days, they gained a nickname; “ridicule” because of their ridiculous size. In Jane Austen’s ‘Emma’, Mrs Elton is noted to be carrying a “purple and gold ridicule.

During the 1920s, these micro-bags grew to become the slightly bigger tapestry bags. The drawstring the bags previously used was now a neat top clasp. These little bags were all hand sewn with intricate detail. Each bag often showed a social scene or had a design of historical significance, making them ideal to show off to intellectual women.

Following a slight lull, the micro-bags gained a popularity many times larger than their size throughout the 90s and 00s. Film stars such as Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada (2006) and Cher Horowitz in Clueless (1995) pay homage the peculiar little bags.

Micro-handbags on the catwalk

Over the last few seasons, we’ve seen a resurgence of the micro-handbag in fashion shows. Designers from Valentino to Fendi have been producing and reproducing the micro-bag. In spring/summer 19, Jacquemus launched a micro-bag called ‘Le Sac Chiquito’, of which Rihanna is a HUGE fan.

In Paris for his autumn/winter 19 collection, Jacquemus re-introduced us to the micro-handbag. However, this time it was so small, it was barley noticeable at all. Despite seeming quite ridiculous, the teeny tiny micro-handbag completely sold out on Jacquemus’ website, even if it did cost a whopping £258. This bag really does take his Le Sac Chiquito a whole step further!

The super micro-handbag has become something of a meme among those of us who know we can never afford one. All over the internet, meme savvy students are comparing the size of the bag to their student loans and all I can say is, isn’t that relatable.

Can the micro-handbag really effect our psychology?

Being bombarded with endless trends and beauty ideals has surely got to have some effect on our mental health. But is it positive or should we all be worried? Of all the social media we use in our lives today, Instagram has been found to have the most negative effect on young people’s mental health. It was found that Instagram affects body image the most, causing people to feel inadequate within themselves. But, of course, it’s not all bad. Instagram ranked highest for encouraging self-identity, and self-expression.

If you type ‘Instagram trends’ into your search engine, you will be faced with hundreds of articles telling you which trends to look out for based on Instagram. So if Instagram is so influential, what need is there for fashion shows and top designers?

These Instagram trends aren’t often your everyday, ‘poor person’ trends. These trends have been carefully curated by top brands and influential celebrities to give consumers a peak at how catwalk trends can be put into practice by the rich and famous.

Instagram can be a great tool to show us the highlights of the fashion world through influencers and celebrities. We can pick out our favourite trends and see how we can use them in our own lives.

Instagram can even bring a humorous aspect to fashion that we may not have seen before.

When a trend moves from the sublime to the ridiculous, what is there left to do but make it a meme.


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