Hobo Inspiration: How the Hobo Bag Came to Be Read more
Fashion historian Milana Abieva talks specifically for the online magazine «Shipyards» about the emergence of a hobo bag or bag-bag.
No matter how keenly you follow the fleeting fashion trends, I am sure that you could not help but notice the increased popularity of the hobo bag, reminiscent of the simplest bag tied on the shoulder. Many of this model is familiar from the fashion of the seventies. Then it was wildly popular, the younger generations remember it from the gossip columns of the 2000s, but today the hobo bag has returned to the most talked about catwalks of the world. And it seems that in the next couple of years it is not going to give up its positions.
“It sounds terrible, but most of the time the most flamboyant outfits come into fashion from the poorest segments of the population,” designer Christian Lacroix once said. In fact, the history of the hobo bag originates in the same place — among unemployed American migrants. They traveled around the country with a single bundle, which later served as the prototype for fashion handbags.
And the cost of these handbags often exceeds tens of hundreds of dollars. Already in the second half of the twentieth century, eminent designers repeatedly drew inspiration from the poor and vagabonds.
This is how controversial, but because of this, the most discussed collections in the history of fashion were created. John Galliano, Vivienne Westwood, Martin Margiela — these designers, and many others, actively introduced “homeless” motives into the aesthetics of their shows, which could not pass without leaving a trace.
Today, the generation that grew up on the work of these haute couture gurus is actively broadcasting its vision of modern fashion, and it has not done without a “vagrant” heritage. One of the brightest and most influential designers can be called our compatriot Demnu Gvasalia, who heads the Balenciaga fashion house. With each collection, he shocks the public more and more and promotes the idea of the so-called “street fashion”, which is so dear to him.
Oversized sweaters and sweatshirts, oversized sweatpants, frayed caps — the source of inspiration for all these looks is obvious. And if we recall the scandalous story with the Balenciaga window in the Selfridges department store, when the mannequins unambiguously lay on the floor, becoming the prototype of people without a fixed place of residence, then there is no doubt that “homeless” fashion is the main source of inspiration for designers today.
It’s no surprise that this «new» aesthetic entailed a resuscitation of the long-forgotten «hobo» bag, right? After all, the so-called «poor man’s bag» perfectly complements such relevant street images and serves as a bright fashionable accent for those who do not dare to fully dress in an expensive analogue of rags.
Over the past two seasons, the popularity of the hobo bag has grown so much that the collection of almost no fashion brand can do without such a model. And fashion houses, whose track records once included ultra-fashionable hobo bags, revived their iconic models with enviable speed.
However, it is important to note that today there are a great many varieties of such a handbag model. From a bulky version resembling an authentic bag in shape and size, to miniature versions. The latter will easily complement not only an elegant everyday look, but even a cocktail dress. You can style these bags in a variety of ways — depending on the stylistic preferences of their owners.
Of course, options that clearly resemble the style of tramps on the streets of a big city should not be written off. Rough boots, ripped jeans, an oversized cardigan and a scarf — this is the perfect modern and ultra-fashionable street style. A hobo bag will suit this look in the best possible way and will not leave people around you in doubt about your fashion awareness.
But, if such radical stylistic decisions are not for you and you are unable to part with your favorite elegant wardrobe, then the rule of mixing styles will always come to your rescue. One fashionable accent in the face of a voluminous hobo bag will be more than enough. Such a bag will perfectly complement the looks with an elegant coat-robe and palazzo trousers, or with cropped trousers-pipes and classic loafers or brogues.
If you don’t need a large size, then I advise you to pay attention to miniature hobo bags, the popularity of which today has replaced even the most classic bag models in social media photo feeds. A petite nylon or leather bag is the perfect complement to such versatile combinations as a pantsuit with a turtleneck, a flowy dress with Cossacks, and even an oversized sweater with a biker jacket. A nice bonus of this model is that it can be styled with a cocktail dress or a women’s tuxedo.
Do not forget about options made of silk or velvet — contrary to popular belief that such materials are not intended for social events and evening events, such handbags go well with long flowing skirts, sundresses stylized with boots with massive soles and, of course, jeans and leather jackets and a jacket.