Judith Leiber has a way of bringing out the silly out of the stiffest of upper Botoxed lips within the Beverly Hills and Upper East Side sets. And yet while some bejeweled diminutive purses are beautiful and tasteful, other ones we'll just never get. (Some readers might also recall how Carrie Bradshaw wondered if the Leiber swan bag that Big gave was a sign that their relationship was DOOMED.) Maybe it takes a social circle filled with ladies named Biffy and Muffy to understand the appeal of say, an Easter-egg-on-acid that costs upwards of four thousand dollars.
A particular clutch among the brand's collection of haute signature bling that we came across this week, however, was a little confusing. Asparagus? What will Judy think of next? OK, so it's not unusual for her designers to fashion wares in the shape of edible objects. A crystal-crusted cupcake is tacky to most, but many ladies like feminine sparkly things and the Sex and the City product placement gave the Judes some younger style creds. Yet a bunch of asparagus spears strikes us as really damn specific. So overtly foodie, even. Not to mention a tad phallic. We asked Jessica Morgan of the fashion crit team Go Fug Yourself for her take on the asparagus reticule and world of Leiber food-inspired bags.
"Honestly, I think they're sort of hilarious. Something about them being proper food items increases the kitsch factor just enough that they become really funny rather than twee."
But how could anyone ever get away with such a thing?
"Part of the problem is that those bags are so expensive, only a certain subset of people are buying them," she explains. "And they're really only cool if they're unexpected. You expect to see an old lady with a Leiber bag. Although, honestly, a little old lady with an asparagus bag would be rather adorable."
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Clearly it's not just for anyone. "I think it has to be someone old and kooky, or someone who is clearly carrying it as a joke. A bedazzled asparagus purse is never not ridiculous. I think I like this bag because it embraces how corny Leiber can be."
So who could pull off such a fashion feat, we ask?
Perhaps it's the pleasing, versatile color scheme that prompted Gilt Groupe customers to snatch up the bags for $2,298, marked down from the original $4,600. For those who've got the cash, or think about such things only in your wildest dreams, is this a Must Have or Hideous? You tell us.