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2.18.2015

The Fanny Pack Attends New York Fashion Week

"I'm not afraid of the fanny pack."
                           -Matthew McConaughey

Marc by Marc Jacobs Fall 2015
The belt bag, hip tote, waist pouch, hands-free satchel, or whatever hipsters want to call the purse that is strapped to their waist ... is still a fanny pack. I used to rock a hot pink one back in the day that was made out of a cheap canvasy-type material. It was perfect for stashing away my gum and lip gloss as an adolescent. Although the fanny pack has been the butt of many jokes, it has slowly been making a comeback the last few years.

Matthew McConaughey, Kate Hudson, and Jared Leto are all fans of the functional bag. "I'm not afraid of the fanny pack," McConaughey said in 2014. "You gotta kinda put it on the side to make it look a little not as nerdy, but still, practicality wins out. I got so much gear in here that I don’t want in my pockets."

Isaac Mizrahi had it right when he said, "You either love them and make them part of your life or you fight them until the end." The designer has not sent one down the runway since the 1992. Only two years before that, an episode of Seinfeld aired where Jerry poked fun at George Costanza's fanny pack by telling him that it "looks like your belt is digesting a small animal."

Rag & Bone Fall 2015
Isaac may not be showcasing the belt bag anymore, but other designers are. At the fall 2015 Marc by Marc Jacobs show this week, the majority of the models walking down the runway were sporting fanny packs. Some were black and some were colorful, but they all had a boxy shape and a hip vibe to them with plenty of room for essentials. Other brands to proudly include the fanny pack in their fall 2015 collections are Rag & Bone and Moschino.

Compared to the neon pink fanny pack that my mom most likely picked up as a freebie at one of my dad's meetings back in the 90s, the new and improved "belt bags" come with a steeper price tag. Net-a-porter.com currently has a calf hair and leather one by Newbark listed for $1,050. There is no doubt that the modern day fanny pack is much more sophisticated than its predecessors. If you're brave enough to make the switch from handbag to belt bag, your aching shoulders will thank you. Even if like Costanza, your friends never let you live it down.

In honor of fashion week, I made a mini collection comprised of three looks. I purchased a wool herringbone textile and used it to construct a dress and skirt. To make the fabric a bit edgier, I sewed down strips of thin black cord. The blue and white top with the zipper down the front is pieced together from fabric scraps I had lying around and is paired with a skirt I made several months ago. The white top is made out of a stretch denim. I added a closure at the neckline with three buttons and made half glove-cuffs to wear with it. It was fun to make and coordinate these three looks. I told my husband that next I would be making a fanny pack for myself. He looked at me like I was certifiably insane. I think the glove-cuffs had already done him in.

 Made in Colorado