During a runway show, you don't expect to see models carrying shopping bags. Despite the fact that women who can afford the clothes that debut at shows like that of Balenciaga Fall 2014 often find themselves carrying shopping bags, most runways try to divorce themselves as much as possible from the drudgery of actually selling clothes, all the way from the performance-art settings to the impracticality of the garments therein. One thing that Balenciaga creative director Alexander Wang is exceptionally good at, though, is moving product, and his Fall 2014 bags are something of an ode to that.
From a distance, it'd be difficult to guess that these bags were anything more than vessels for carrying other very expensive things, but up close, the details come into stark relief, especially on the crocodile versions. The handles, instead of twisted paper or webbing, are fashioned out of super-industrial metal cord, the kind you'd expect to see in a lever-and-pulley situation. Structurally, the bags are faithful to their inspiration, right down to the concave gussets and folded bottoms. Whether or not a bag with such common inspiration can successfully fetch designer prices in large numbers is somewhat questionable, but these are definitely the most luxurious shopping bags I've ever seen. (Yes, they even beat out Chanel's shopping bag purse.)
[Images via Vogue.com]