Basket Case

By Mao Shan Wang

The era of the It bag may be over, but our affair with the hit bag isn’t quite finished. I don’t suppose it would ever be. Whether it’s a Supreme bumbag or a Dior Diorama, many women need a security/statement bag. Their clothes can be from The Editor’s Market, but their bags won’t be from any place that’s the synonym of pasar.

But sometimes it’s all rather tiresome, even conformist, to just go with what streetwear or luxury brands put out there. That’s why when something unusual comes along, I allow myself to be enamoured. Such as this basket backpack I saw recently at Muji.

To be sure, this is quite the opposite of anything you’d see on bag aficionado Alvin Cher’s Bagaholicboy. It is definitely bears no semblance to anything seen on Jamie Chua’s arm (I doubt she carries anything on her back!), too. In fact, this could pass off as a fancy, fruit collector’s basket employed during harvest time, a period of the year surely alien to us on this island nation.

But this is no ordinary farmland receptacle. This is a select, artisanal item that’s one of a few of this season’s Found Muji highlighting crafts of North America. As part of the Box 3 Series that looks at various boxes used for transporting goods across distances, Muji has included a handsome, light, and sturdy pack basket made of blond maple wood strips, with black cotton twill tapes for straps. If you are into discreet blink, the copper rivets as fastening are a detail to note and appreciate.

What’s appealing to me, apart from its depth and capaciousness, is the potential visual contrast of this rural-looking basket/bag in an urban environment. It is perhaps the same reason why a Shaker chair works beautifully in a Tadao Ando house.

Muji maple wood basket, SGD150, available at Muji Plaza Singapura. Photo: Muji

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