Every now and then a designer label takes a pause from creating immaculate couture dresses, trend-defying suits, and forward-thinking patterns to get a little silly and create something a little more tongue-in-cheek. That's exactly what one fashion house did when they decided to debut their own shopping bags — but with a very couture price attached. Céline designed a plastic bag that costs $590, and people don't know whether to laugh or cry.
It looks like a plastic bag you get along with your ridiculously-long receipt at a drugstore, but it made its way down the Céline's Spring 2018 runway along with the rest of the collection. The show was a mix of '80s businesswoman themes, like big shoulder pads, side-pleated skirts, and giant envelope totes. So the runway was filled with minimalist, impeccably tailored suits and separates, and not quirky and whimsical pieces that would warrant a model holding a plastic bag like it was a tote.
Which is what makes it so fun. It's unexpected and just a little too shocking.
At first you might think that this is just a way for the common man to get his hands on a bag from Céline. You can throw your Target buys into there and walk home pretending you took a spin down the designer street in your city. But the bags that Céline pack your purchases into are made out of fancy paper — this one is clear like a sandwich bag, with the words "Céline Paris" and "Warning" stamped across it in black. And considering how it costs a dizzying $590, it's not exactly the same price as those reusable bags you snap up while waiting in line for the register.
However, getting your hands on this conversation piece isn't going to be as easy as walking into a Céline boutique. As of right now it's only available in one temporary Céline x Nordstrom pop-up shop in downtown Seattle, which will only be around until May 29. This makes it a pretty exclusive piece.
Céline isn't the first brand to play around with everyday things and elevate them to a fashion-house aesthetic. Moschino designed a dry cleaner bag dress in 2017 that cost $700 and literally looked like the plastic bag you get with your freshly pressed blazers. The neckline said "We Love Our Customers," and the words "Free Pickup & Delivery" were stamped down its length, and it was meant to be layered on top of a dress or outfit like a sheer piece.
Meanwhile, Miami-based designer Gelareh Mizrahi created a $1,500 python bag that looked identical to shopping bags that are emblazoned with the words "Thank You" across them.
That's one way to carry your grocery bags back home in style. Then Tiffany's made an "Everday Object" home line, where they took everyday home objects and made them "extraordinary." They took paper cups and re-imagined them into bone china and sterling silver, grabbed tin cans and reworked them with sterling silver, and even took a ball of yarn and priced it at $9,000.
To take something lying around in our every day lives and then rework it with luxurious materials or contrast it against couture looks makes it avant garde and artistic. Some people might think it's weird, or the rich playing "middle class," but it's also pretty creative. While accessorizing your outfit with a sandwich bag might not be the look du jour on a Friday night, accessorizing your dress with a clear Céline bag, and popping your clutch into it, could be quite a fun layered look.
And if you don't have the $590 to swing it, just get a clear shopping bag and DIY it yourself.