In Rear Window, 1954, Grace Kelly’s elegant Mark Cross bag emerges as something of a major character, a twin symbol of desire—Kelly cooly snaps opens the bag, unfurling a fetching neglige—and the domesticity Jimmy Stewart finds so intimidating.
Women’s handbags are more than repositories of oh-so-necessary possessions but a reflection of a woman’s priorities in life, a clue to her values.
The various bags my wife Karen has carried throughout our married life have endured as objects of practical magical. When one of our children scraped a knee in the playground we all rested easy because Karen just reached into her bag and out came a tube of antiseptic and band-aid. Sun too strong? No problem. Karen has sun-block. Headache? Tylenol in a little plastic pill box . Hungry? Fear not, Karen’s got an ample stash of chocolate power bars and pistachio nuts. And always, a thick band of soft tissues when pollen aggravates various allergies.
When we were dating the very first present yours truly bought as a birthday gift for Karen was a butter soft leather shoulder bag from—I splurged wanting to impress—Saks Fifth Avenue. Flattened, beat up, long ago retired, the bag sits in Karen’s closet, a cherished relic of our shared history.
A woman’s handbag is not just an accessory but a trusted companion with whom she trusts intimate secrets.
Here are a few bags that are not only practical—price aside—but beautiful, classic designs.
Karen and I wish all our friends and relatives a lovely and inspirational Shabbat.