Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Final Solution and the Most Expensive Purse in the World

So I needed a new purse.

My old purse was a champion, a good soldier, withstanding harrowing encounters with all manner of weather, condiments, dozens of trans-Atlantic voyages, and (more impressively) frequent assaults by my monkey, who regards any sort of stitch, zip, or button as a personal affront to her desire to make the house into her own personal jungle of disorganization and shit. This purse has been with me through thick and thin. It has concealed more tampax, trashy romance novels, and illegal paraphernalia than I would ever care to admit.

Buckling under the ravages of time and the eight gabillion pennies lost in the lining that I never bothered to remove, the old girl finally gave in at approximately 7 PM EST, just in time for me to get on a plane to Miami. And so I began my quest to find a replacement.

I had no idea when I set out of a dangerous and insidious epidemic which speaks to the very unraveling of society itself, a terrifying cultural phenomenon which pits logic against lust, frugality against taste, and functionality against greed. If I had to boil my sociological observations down into one thesis paper title, it would be this:

Bitches be crazy.

So here I am looking for a receptacle to fling over my shoulder and hold all my crap, and I come face to face with this:

and this:

and this:

Firstly: what the fuck is this? What's with all the feathers and fringe and huge ugly bows? Was I somehow not informed about the new trend of adorning your arm with the grotesque offspring of a bridesmaid dress and a bag lady's kerchief collection? And although the hideousness of these purses kind of offends my aesthetic sensibilities, I'm ready for the reality TV crew to come out laughing and telling me how this is all a big setup when I discover that you too can own all of the above items for around $800 a piece.

$800?? What the fuck does a purse that costs that much money even do? Taxes?? I mean, come on now. Are you really going to spend the equivalent of a third world worker's entire annual wages on something whose function could be carried out just as well by an old sheet and a stick?

And sure, the ol' sheet-n-stick isn't exactly high fashion. But is someone actually going to tell me that this bullshit is chic? It looks like some 3rd grader went slap-happy with big fake plastic rhinestones the color of bile.

And hideousness aside, what the hell can you fit inside this dinky thing anyway? There isn't a chapter book in the entire world slim enough to ride along. Then again, maybe Prada does know their demographics. Because it does look just about the right size for a tube of mascara, a bottle of prescription painkillers, and a toothbrush to help you purge.

I began to think that perhaps this is some sort of elaborate practical joke on consumers. Like the time they got us to pay for bottled water. Except times 800. And instead of hydrating us, the product brands us as a tacky gullible moron with nothing better to do than collect arbitrary symbols of status and vacuousness.

As if it couldn't get any worse, in my attempt to bolster my argument for this post, I stumbled across this beauty. It's the Louis Vuitton limited edition, signature, tribute patchwork purse. And the cost of owning this stunning piece of arm candy?


Hold on, let me give you time to recover your breath and sanity while looking at this picture of an adorable kitty.

Now back to business. Fifty two THOUSAND dollars. For a frankenstinean mess of shiny alligator flesh and gaudy gold rivets that looks like it was made by a sweatshop kid who was so malnourished he was hallucinating?

Here's my new plan for world peace. Are you listening corporate America? Here's your chance to start doing some good. Market more products like this. Hordes of them. Gobs of solid gold neckties and limited edition designer toilet paper. And then anytime someone purchases one of these items, promptly launch them into space. Please. For the sake of humanity. Stop the madness.

P.S. If you're going to pay an assload of money for a purse, at least let it be hilarious. Maybe some of these?

And for all you sarcastic subversives out there...




  1. i tried to explain the ideals of expensive designer pursedom to my gay friend today and failed. i again fail at trying to articulate the need for such expensive (albeit trashy in some cases) purses. its a status thing if nothing else.

  2. On the upside it makes it easy to identify stupid rich people. It's things like these that make me want to become a con man.

  3. You forgot the toilet paper purse. lol.

  4. I feel your pain.....come visit Ukraine and get a good deal on a fake designer purse! ;)

  5. How timely-- I was just given a coach bag as a thank you present from my (gay and super fashionable) boss. Granted he got it at the outlet in LA, so it was just around $100, but I don't really know what to do with the thing. It's too "nice" for me, especially knowing the original cost, aka slightly more than I make in a week. I'm used to fashionable but cheap target purses that I throw in the backseat of my car, stuff full of fast food napkins, and cram every nick and cranny full of receipts. It was a very nice present and it's a beautiful purse (really it is, no bows or huge Cs or feathers or anything, very understated), but I'm afraid of it.

  6. I feel ya. I've been through the agonizing purse struggle:

    Of course these "chic" handbags will always be expensive, and will sadly always be popular. But somebody's gotta keep those third world kids employed! They're doing those 6-year-olds a favor, dammit!

  7. Ah I really liked your Jessica Simpson post- it inspired me to do a purse rant of my own. Thank V. :)

  8. I love looking at expensive purses, but the part that pisses me off the most is that more often than not they are COVERED in some kind of branding. Gross.

    I prefer to get my purses at Walmart, Target (I have the awesome tote with fish on them, from Felix and Rey), or garage sales and flea markets. I've gotten so many more compliments on my Target purse than the free with purchase Coach bag my mother gave me.

    Purses are better off unique AND practical. If I can't carry my macbook, current novel, journal, and various other paraphernalia, its useless.

  9. I hadn't the faintest idea these things go enlightening...reminds me of Captain Sobel in Band of Brothers and the rusty bayonet: "I wouldn't take this rusty piece of shit to war, and I will not take you to war in your condition..."

    Now I know how y'all feel whenever we go shopping for fishing tackle...

  10. Just found out about you, because you're following me on Twitter. And I seriously love your youtube videos, freaking hilarious. Anywho, wondering if you have any extra ARCs of Everything Sucks so I can do a review on it, because seriously it looks and sounds awesome. If you do, let me know at, thank you for the follow.

  11. I try to understand how it must make sense to exceedingly affluent jerks to spend ridiculous amounts of barely-earned cash on such things, but I just can't.

    I prefer indie stores--not as cheap as sweatshop-made crap, but has an added bonus of a free conscience. Besides, I can't use anything that, if damaged, would elicit tears.

    Star Jones owns the $52,000 bag. I think that's all that needs to be said on the subject.

    Love you, and your blog. Just found you tonight! Will likely stalk you forever.

  12. here, in Argentina, I found this small Puma bag which, yes I totally loved, but, to be honest, is so small that I'm pretty sure my WALLET won't fit in there, and and it only costs $400 (which are a bit more than a hundred dollars). Maybe there $100 is not thaat much money, but here, I, a non-rich common citizen, would have to be insane to pay so much for a DIMINUTE BAG!
    so, if it makes you feel better, don't worry. Purses and bags are overpriced all over the world.
    Oh and, by the way, love your blog.

  13. Wow, almost a month again. and the last one was about purses. Kinda do this in fits? Anyway, you made my wife laugh. We read your blog together every time you post. (wow, I sound old! Just 23. She's 24.)

  14. Ohmigod, I LOVED this, even if I do have to admit I have my own unhealthy addiction to Isabella Fiore. I do agree with you about the outrageously priced and incredibly tasteless crap that passes for fashion these days (though I do find the fake Vuitton pictured above far nicer than any of the incredibly ugly authentic stuff). Oh, and by the way... I own the armadillo. Really.

  15. Fashion is expensive and i often find very overpriced for what it is! love the blog :)

  16. This chick is awesome! i make stuff out of leather, and i'm doing my due diligence for a purse that ive been commisined to make. i honestly i hit this link because of the armadillo purse. after a good laugh ive decided i have to charge at least 4x what i think is reasonable and i must repeat MUST bust out my little sisters BeDazzler if i want to keep up with the jones's or in this caser the Viton's and Coach...