Monday, February 9, 2009
Got a spare $3300 sitting around in the change jar? Then this lovely python bag from Tod's can be yours, and you will have the satisfaction of knowing you are smack on trend. Python, and its cousins in the snake kingdom, are the ultimate asp-irational buys for the spring and summer.
Most of us, though, find prices like these rather constricting. If you'd rather eat lunch from now until August than spend the equivalent on an authentic skin handbag, have a look at vintage sources, where they're still within reasonable price ranges.
But tread carefully . . . not all snakeskin is created equal.
Exhibit A: this beautiful clutch purchased for about £40 on eBay. Its small, flat, glossy scales create a pattern to inspire the natural fantasies of Alexander McQueen.
Exhibit B: this vintage purse, also from eBay, which may look alright in scans (why I bought it originally), but features scales so dry, brittle, and rough-textured it's like carrying a satchel crafted from psoriasis. It is the monster in my closet. I need to get rid of it, but the thought of handling it again to get it ready for sale gives me the creeps, and so it sits in the dark, waiting to scare and scare again.
The lesson: if you're buying any kind of reptile product off the internet, ask to see as many scans as possible. Look for scales that are flat, glossy, and arrayed in a lovely clear pattern (a photo taken in raking light is the best for this). If you're buying a vintage snake bag in person, look especially carefully into the folds, where friction might cause the scales to lift. Once you own it, condition it regularly with an appropriate product, to keep it looking deluxe.
Lastly, if you happen to see these two bottom scans on eBay in the coming months, it means I've worked up the courage to pack up the horrid thing for some unlucky winner. Don't bid. You don't need any monsters in your closet.