It’s no longer enough to carry a messenger bag across the body. You’d also want a “harness bag” or what could be half a garment
Left: Yuki Hashimoto’s biker jacket half added to a trench coat. Photo: Yuki Hashimoto. Right: A Dior “harness bag” worn over a suit jacket. Photo: Isidore Montag/gorunway.com
Fashion brands are constantly finding something other than what they already make to sell to you. Extra revenue streams do not only come from tempting you with useful wares such as a satchel, but also from creating newness with either former successes or, sometimes, with, frankly, use-limited items to seduce you.
Some bags, of late, fall in the latter category, such as this one-sided front-pack from Dior (right), featured in its recent, still talked-about presentation in Miami. It looks like a Japanese one-shoulder bag, popular with the less fashion-oriented: a flat,single strap (in the case of Dior, and extra one to wear around the waist) case usually worn across the bag until recently, in front. Dior calls its version a “harness bag”, and it’s co-designed with Matthew Williams, the guy behind Alyx and the chest rig craze.
The bag nearly obscures the house’s new-classic “oblique jacket” and is worn almost like half-a-vest. It is hard to imagine how much one can store in it or how much weight one might wish to carry on one side of the torso. Surely, no that much can be carried even by the looks of it, a notebook can sit comfortably in it.
Designers, it seems, are constantly finding newer ways to wear or carry a bag. The bum-bag has its place across the chest and under the belly button. The supermarket bag, now used as a tote, is carried under the arm. The sacoche, inspired by the chest rig, is hung from the neck to rest right on the solar plexus.
Unconventional bag placement on the body could have started—on a smaller scale—with the holster bag that appeared in the first Virgil Abloh men’s collection for Louis Vuitton, designed for Insta-likes than utilitarian value. After all, why does anyone want to wear something that feels like a pistol is within reach?
Perhaps, more compelling is Yuki Hashimoto’s one side of a bike jacket (left) from the autumn/winter 2019 season. It caught our attention because the garment feels more authentic and less a bag trying to be something else. We also like the pairing of what’s essentially an item of rebellion with an article of elegance, even when the trench has roots in the military—a sum which captures Japanese fashion’s predilection for the unexpected, not just the new.
Mr Hashimoto, although a fresh name in the Japanese design scene (the eponymous brand debuted with the spring/summer 2019 collection) has an impressive résumé. He did his overseas studies at the Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Art after graduating from Kyoto University of Fine Art and Design, and served as design assistant to Raf Simons, Kris Van Ascche, and at Maison Margiela before striking out on his own. His label seems poised to follow compatriots such as Junya Watanabe and Jun Takahashi in leading men’s wear innovation further into the new decade.
For that, we’re looking for creativity beyond carrying bags across every part of the body until there’s none left to explore. Our body deserves better.