On the (High) Road

Luxe Rucksacks for Spring 2010

If an effect of the recession was to encourage a get-up-and-go mentality, then fashion obliged with appropriate carryalls. In Paris, Milan and New York, designers catered to nimble nomads, producing a wealth of rucksacks and sling bags that swung casually from models’ shoulders as they advanced in a carefree canter down the runways. Crafted with luxurious leathers, or embellished with charms, straps and buckles, these backpacks suggest urban wanderlust rather than rugged treks. Rick Owens offered a hobo-style shoulder bag with an organic, pendulous shape—in sleek black leather, of course.  Alexander Wang opted for a traditional hiker’s shape, although his clientele are more likely to be seen on the Lower East Side than on a mountain. Missoni's blush-pink knapsack (embellished with pink leather tassels) has vacationer flair, while Ralph Lauren remained true to his American roots with a floral bandana-style denim bag trimmed in leather. Marc Jacobs’s vision for Louis Vuitton took the luggage-maker’s heritage in a novel direction, exploring the phenomenon of the New Age traveler: models sporting huge afros and utilitarian parkas carried a variety of monogrammed bags—including a showstopping, foxtail-embellished rucksack and a shoulder-slung military-style version—that combined Vuitton’s couture-grade materials with the happy-clappy accoutrements of festival-hopping Gaia worshippers.

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