phone and kitchen sink
When TV3 said they were looking for a strong set of shoulders to help carry their morning show, Ireland AM, one didn’t think they were speaking quite so literally.
But presenter Sinead Desmond is well accustomed to carrying a considerable weight on her elegant and capable shoulders her handbag weighs over half a stone.
“My bag is like an emergency kit,” the 33 year old says, by way of explanation. “I carry everything. It’s a massive Marc Jacobs sack and it’s always full. I operate on the premise that if there was ever a fire in my house, I’d be able to live out of my bag.”
She won’t be short of champagne corks and a plastic shamrock good luck charm either. These are among the more eccentric items in Sinead’s bag. “I’ve always been a bit of a Mary Poppins. I like the idea of having every item for every possible eventuality. But it is stupidly heavy.”
At over half a stone, Sinead’s bag is heavier than the average revealed last week to be three pounds per handbag. The bag,
the accessory to have these days, has been growing as rapidly in size as in cost.
Previously, one of the largest bags was the Hermes Birkin, but this has been overshadowed by creations from Chloe, Mulberry or Marc Jacobss.
Recently Kate Moss was papped carrying a Chanel shopper, into which the model could have quite neatly fitted herself. Its official name is the Chanel ’07 Tote Caviar and you can buy Kate’s model on eBay for a snip at $2,300.
But, even with the phenomenon of ‘Mulberry shoulder’ the street slang for the syndrome affecting women who love outsize designer bags there is no sating our appetite for huge bags into which to hold the contents of our lives.
And they reveal a multitude about the carrier’s life.
In any one of these sacks, apart from the obligatory phone, keys and purse, you will find clues to real or imagined dietary restrictions, preferred vitamin supplements, upcoming appointments and whether they favour matt or gloss lipstick. But the hard part is actually locating something in the cavernous depths of these massive totes.
The end result? Sore shoulder. Forgotten appointments. Missed phonecalls.
Walking, too, is made near impossible while carrying around this gargantuan load. We may have mastered the half mile walk in three inch heels. Add a great lumbering weight and that journey becomes prohibitively precarious.
Unfortunately, it seems tote tyranny will continue well into next season. Shelley Corkery, head of fashion direction at Brown Thomas, says that big bags are here to stay for the foreseeable future. “Overall bags are definitely changing in size. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are all getting smaller but they are certainly neater and less hardware is being used.”
It is testament to the kinds of paraphernal omega watches ia we have come to expect on our bags, that the use of a word like ‘hardware’ is deemed perfectly acceptable. Take the Paddington hangbag. Had your parents ever offered you a padlock with which to accessorise your outfit, you would have thrown your eyes to heaven, declared them past it and sauntered out the door shaking your head. But a padlock proffered by the House of Chloe is so chic, Papa! Carry around that bag and you can expect the average weight of three pounds to ratchet up by several more.
Unsurprisingly, the practice does the posture no good. “If you’re going to carry one of those bags every day, then you will become imbalanced,” says Dr Ros Drake, chiropractor at the Harkness Clinic in Dublin. “The side on which the woman carries the bag will be affected and, as a result, the posture will change. The body has to compensate for this.
“And what results is neck pain, shoulder pain and pain between the shoulder blades.”
But the alternative is far too unfashionable for any self respecting baglady to countenance. “Ideally you should carry it evenly between the two shoulders, strapped close to the body, so it should be carried over both shoulders.”
And if omega watches that’s not bad enough, there’s an even worse fashion fate in store for career omega watches girls who insist upon lugging around their laptops. “I advise them to get a trolley bag,” says Dr Drake.
Perish the very thought, but the chiropractor has some more acceptable advice for those who have to be prized from their pouches. “It is difficult when you want to be fashionable because the bigger the bag, the more you’ll put in it. The fashion of big bags is great because you can fit everything in, but you end up carrying stuff that’s completely pointless.
“You need to go through the bag at the end of each week and remove the stuff you don’t need, clear out receipts and ditch empty perfume bottles and out of date make up.
“If you don’t believe what that great weight of handba omega watches g is doing, then stand in front of the mirror, throw your bag on your shoulder or arm and see what happens to your posture.”
Eva Nash (25) is an advertising executive.
Based in Dublin, she frequently travels to clients in the course of her job. “All my work bags are satchel size they have to be. There are so many things you need during the day, especially when you’re travelling.
“Last week, for example, I had to be in Killkenny so you need a stock of items to make sure you’re not doing without.
“It is quite heavy but I tend to leave it in the car. I carry a much smaller bag when I go out at the weekends.
“I do try to empty my bag every so often and sometimes you would find odd things in there. A couple of times, I’ve found buttons and I’ve no idea where they’ve come from.”
Ronan Graham (27) is a sales manager at the Guess store on South Anne Street in Dublin.
“I got a bag when I started riding a motorbike about two years ago. It just made things simpler and easier. I wouldn’t have it packed to the gills, just whatever I’d need on the day. I would travel around a lot to clients as well so I’m carrying files I can’t afford to damage. The bag I’m carrying at the moment is a Guess one. I don’t think there’s an issue with men carrying bags any more, but I definitely don’t think mine would ever weigh 3lbs.”