When I visited the Inés Figaredo showroom at the Bristol in Paris this weekend, I wasn’t sure what I’d find. I had not heard of her (she launched her collection in 2011). But as soon as I walked up to one of her bags, I felt a tide of excitement rush over me. Her bags are fun, crazy and beautiful in a Dali-esque kind of way… which seems to be the chicest kind of crazy these days. I’ve noticed lots of eyeballs (Kenzo), hands with red lacquered nails (Delfina Delattraz) and huge cursive writting (Lanvin) popping up on prints or incorporated into jewelry recently.
I’m for anything that lends a little humor to fashion. Which means I was completely intrigued by the handbags of Inés Figaredo. They are clearly very fashionable, but they are also wearable (and collectible) works of art. Her accessories are more objects than bags: a golden cage with a little tuxedoed man inside it, golden hands and feet with changeable fingernails, several styles with eyes on them, a precious little girl face that is happy on one side and sad on the other or just a big, shiny, red enamel apple or a beautiful golden carousel topped by a chic black lizard top (the handbag).
I loved them all. Okay, there was one satchel with fifty eyeballs peeking out from under the mop of frizzy white hair scared me, but that was the point. It was very “Lady Gaga”… but she apparently choose the Swarovski skull bag that looks like mini portable Damien Hirst:
As trendy as “weird” and over-the-top are right now, these bags transcend trendiness. Each bag’s uniqueness is defined not only by its imaginative beauty, but also by the incredible workmanship that goes into each piece. The way gold meets leather or how stones are sewn into silk and then trimmed by metal makes them precious. These bags are timeless.
The best I can do to compare Inés to another handbag designer is to say she is like a Dadaist Judith Leiber. If you wear one of her bags it may very well get more attention than you, kind of like walking around with an adorable chubby-cheeked baby on your hip.
Speaking of babies, Inés Figaredo’s bags will be very popular with the kids. First of all because they look like toys, and secondly, because they are all bags that you will keep forever and hand down to the next generation.
I will be investing in one of these bags soon, I just need to figure out which one… and how to keep my three-year-old daughter from stealing it out of my closet.