I am, in general, in favor of fun. Pro-fun, if you will. I like ice cream and puppies and most things that are generally considered fun. I do well at parties. What I’m getting bored with, though, is fun fashion. When I see bags like the Moschino one above, I suddenly feel very tired.

The thing about fun is it just has to happen; it can’t be constructed. This is why so many people end up underwhelmed on New Year’s Eve: telling yourself you’re going to go out and have as much fun as possible virtually guarantees you won’t come anywhere near that goal because you’ll be too self-conscious and worried about what you might be missing out on. As we open 2016, novelty bags (and novelty fashion in general) have reached the point of those bad NYE parties; they’re so cripplingly self-aware of the fun they’re trying to have that they end up not being any fun at all.

I haven’t arrived at this opinion without internal conflict. In general, I’m opposed to traditional fashion rules on principle and in favor of people wearing and carrying things that make them feel the most like themselves, even if they’re things I personally find revolting on an aesthetic level. As I write this, I’m sitting in the PurseBlog office wearing a leopard faux fur coat, both because it’s cold in here and because the coat, in all its ridiculousness, is the most glorious thing I currently own. I have purple hair. My philosophy is resolutely “do you.”

Except, like, can we not do this anymore? Moschino is likely the worst offender when it comes to purveying this type of pre-packaged forced fun for fashion audiences, but it’s hardly the only brand in the game right now. In fact, it seems like most designers have taken a swipe at this particular sort of low-hanging fruit. There’s a way to be novel and playful without wading into gimmickry, though, and there’s nothing luxurious about charging a lot of money for something that looks cheap for the sake of a joke. Here’s hoping fashion finds a way to stay on the right side of the line in 2016; after all, isn’t that what we’re paying all this money for?

If you disagree and just hopped in here to find out about the bag up top, it can be yours for $995 via Saks.

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Share Your Thoughts With Us

  • C

    “they’re so cripplingly self-aware of the fun they’re trying to have that they end up not being any fun at all”

    Yes!! You just articulated my nebulously negative feelings regarding special event parties.

  • JAMH

    I have been over these bags forever. Fun is rarely actually fun when it is as contrived as Moschino.

  • Ateet

    I completely agree!! Loved the NYE analogy…so accurate and hilarious lol

  • Sandy

    I would not waste my money on these goofy bags…nothing sophisticated about them. I guess if you are a teenager…with the money to purchase them.

  • PJGambler

    Agree with your post–those type of bags and fashion are definitely not classy. They tell a lot about the wearer though–as if to say, “I’ll wear anything to get you to notice me…”

  • Edia

    I was wondering, do you consider fendi to be part of the forced fun brands? Because i still very much like most things bag bugs and the likes.

    Or anya hindmarchs bagstickers? Too much, or still acceptable?

    • Jerri R

      I was over bag bugs and stickers the second I laid eyes on their pics on the internet.

    • I think Fendi is generally on the right side of the line, and even when things get a little silly for me, all of the brands products still feel really, truly luxurious, which is an important distinction (at least in my mind) between Fendi’s designs and things that feel too forced and cutesy to me. I’m not a big bag sticker person, but I do like quite a few of Hindmarch’s bags–again, they often feel luxurious and fun at the same time, which I’m totally in favor of. With a lot of other brands, I feel like they’re just charging a lot of money for a joke.

  • ElainePG

    I was over them the first time I saw my first one. For the same reason I don’t go to huge NYE parties: I’m not into manufactured fun.

  • Smithy

    To spend anything over $50 for a novelty or “fun” bag is a complete waste of money. This is the kinda stuff I’ll buy at Clare’s….and that’s about it.

  • Lisa

    Well said! Spending a lot of money on a novelty bag just screams “fashion victim” to me. Adding a bag charm or something else to personalize your bag can showcase your originality or playful side, though IMO it undermines any hint of sophistication and is best left to those well under 40.

  • Sara

    Well written! They have lost their quirkiness. They seem cartoon-ish, Halloween-ish and randomly ridiculous.

  • Jen

    I laughed so hard at this because I also recently purchased a faux fur leopard print coat that i adore, and I too, have purple hair. SPIRIT ANIMALS?!?!

    • CN

      That’s funny! I just bought a leopard faux fur coat, too, but my hair is cobalt blue. I had no idea non-standard haircolors and faux fur leopard coats were a thing.

      • Jen

        LOL we’re making it a thing!

  • kindled

    I actually love novelty bags. Give me a clutch that looks like a book, or a bag that looks like a cupcake, origami elephant, etc. etc. and I will want it. I can be moved to spend more money on pieces like that than I will on traditional pieces that I’d get more use out of. Charlotte Olympia and Kate Spade do it really well at two different price points, but I also think Anya Hindmarch and yes, even Moschino, can hit it out of the park sometimes. I have probably an almost equal number of novelty pieces (a clutch that looks like rolled up newspaper? Yup!) as I do normal pieces. And I do use my novelty pieces and they always garner fun comments. I don’t disagree that some are trying way too hard, but some are also so fun.

    • kindled

      I also tend to stick to really classic/undecorated purses (that microbeaded fendi posted is a good example of something I’d never buy) except for my novelty pieces. Evidently I don’t do anything in between!

      • Elizabethlling1

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      • Charityjmcdonald

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      • Brittanyjthompson2

        ?my neighbor’s mate is getting 98$. HOURLY on the internet?….

        A few days ago new McLaren F1 subsequent after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a day ..with extra open doors & weekly. paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn More right Here
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      • @kindled:disqus I’d love for you to check out my novelty bags! http://stefaniephan.com/product-category/clutch-bags/

  • Daisy Tara

    i luv novelty bags! not every one is classic or formal or want to scream “I’m rich”. why not let them exist without discussing how tired you are of them, you don’t have to buy them. no one is forcing you to buy a birkin or a cc flap bag.

  • Sparky

    I think many of them are wonderful, especially from kate spade, but I believe its an age thing. At my age (over 50) it’s all “been there, done that”. I’ve wasted enough money on fads and impulse purchases that I wouldn’t buy a novelty bag. Also I couldn’t carry it more than a few times or it becomes “oh, THAT bag AGAIN”.

    Novelty bags are perfect for my teenaged daughter. She could get away with carrying one for a long time.

  • Prima Bambolina Bags

    Sorry! It doesn’t look like novelty bags are taking their last breath in January. We have to admit some are more enticing than other. (Agree with @kindled:disqus the bags that look like books are fun.)

  • Vicky

    I’ve always loved them, but with the ridiculous price they charge for these “fun” pieces, I only look from afar.

  • Yazi

    I don’t buy these bags. It’a waste of hard-earned money.

  • Doodles78

    To paraphrase ¨Friends¨: I was never under them. :)

  • TexasST

    I hope not because I just got the Anya Hindmarch small ebury sticker tote, LOL.

  • OMG Amanda! You have purple hair?! I want purple hair myself but I am debating it for over a year now!!! Being 44 years old and working in a “serious” office full of engineers, I find it very hard to make myself go do it! But I want to, so much!!

  • Josh Cohen

    I hate to agree, but I do. Moschino seems to make EVERY bag with shtick. I love to thrift and find a fun bag buried in a bin somewhere. I’m all for fun, but it has to feel special. Certain designers, like Fendi with their bag bugs, and Judith Leiber with her fun miniaudiers, can pull it off because they don’t rely on it.