The Basket Case

There is a certain poetry in carrying an item frequently associated with summer – dreaming all year long, the lusciously intertwined canes that upon touch evoke recollections of all the ardent encounters, at times unbearably warm air, sticky and sweet;The laughter, the dancing, the music one can almost hear.


©AnneLiseArnesen
©AnneLiseArnesen

Endlessly charismatic and delightfully sumptuous, the wicker bag has seemingly managed to  accomplish the inconceivable task of detaching itself from its associations with costumey demeanor, and has since been able to triumphantly claim the title of a modern-day staple. Imbued in all the allure of holiday nostalgia one can possibly wish for, this little charmer is simultaneously reminiscent of summers passed as it equally holds the promise of holiday adventures to come.
There is a certain poetry in carrying an item frequently associated with summer – dreaming all year long – the lusciously intertwined canes that upon touch evoke recollections of all the ardent encounters, at times unbearably warm air, sticky and sweet; the salty taste the sea has left on one’s lips; a flashback to tanned skin sensuously peaking out from underneath breezy fabrics, the stroll down the rocky path as one makes their way towards a farmers market. The laughter, the dancing, the music one can almost hear.

Once considered merely an item of utility, recognized for it’s unparalleled lightness and durability, the wicker bag has due to its uncanny ability to transform come a long way since it’s humble origins. But don’t be hasty to disregard it is an item lacking preciousness due to its spartan appearance, as the art of wicker– diverging from the machine-made shoppers found on every corner during a summer holiday – is a result of exquisite craftsmanship.
It takes around 3 years for a novice to master the delicate craft of braiding the sensuously soft core of a willow, or the brittle stem of a bamboo into the delectably charming form used to cradle one’s possessions. And then, it takes another 5 to achieve the required skill to create the gravity defying lacing that has outlined the success of the eponymous American furniture maker Haywood/Wakefield in the early 1900’s.


©AnneLiseArnesen
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While few of us are ready to surrender to the despotic grandeur of the notorious ‘peacock’ chair and allow its dominance to be asserted within a confined living space, no matter how much of the holiday allure it evokes, the imaginatively crafted wicker bag is a far less intrusive choice.
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Opting for something so seemingly easy going, yet so exquisitely intricate quietly announces the wearer’s confidence and ownership – choosing not to opt for one of the highly lauded designer trinkets requires a certain level of tenacity. Albeit the reward is worth the diligence involved, as the delightfully surprising element of spotting something so out-of-place evokes a certain amusement and most probably hidden admiration within the onlooker, making the wicker bag an exhilarating choice. Skilfully paired with a modern attire and sleek lines, the wicker bag thus ads a delicately alluring element unveiling the wearers savviness in all matters of the art of dressing.

 

Ultimately  the wicker bag’s obsolete charm lies in the fable – rooted in its rural origin and the myth created by french-amie Jane Birkin there are very few items so laden in symbolism that they immediately evoke a feeling of familiarity and longing without regard for culture or age. Nor do so many pair the charm of the ornate object with unyielding sturdiness and utility as many iterations of the form allow for convenience of finding the suitable one.
But also in the age of rising digitalisation where man-made objects seemingly belong to the utopian past, holding onto something so archaically bipedal holds a certain sentiment. Indeed – maybe carrying the wicker bag is the quiet symbol of holding onto something human in the age of technology.

wicker ©AnneLiseArnesen