Fashion Fail: Are Fanny Packs Really Making a Comeback?

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The return of the fanny pack!

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No matter what fashion may dictate, when it comes to the dreaded fanny pack, we’d all do well to remember Jerry’s line to George on Seinfeld: “It looks like your belt is digesting a small animal.”

No need to check your calendar, we are in 2011. But you’d be forgiven for thinking the clock has been turned back to a time where the fanny pack ruled supreme. The reason? High-end fashion labels like Diane von Furstenberg’s are bringing out a range of — wait for it — “hands-free bags,” which will set you back a pretty $325. In the words of DVF’s creative director Yvan Mispelaere, they represent “a functional shape, but with a touch of glamour, a touch of luxury and a touch of seriousness.” That’s a lot of touching.

(More on TIME.com: See the top 10 fashion statements of 2010)

New York Fashion Week, which is about to kick off, could signal the first signs of a fanny pack revival (and no amount of “hands-free bags,” or “belted satchels” talk will change the name for good in stores).  And get this: the Korean-American handbag designer Sang A Im-Propp, who calls hers a “belt bag,” is even selling an alligator version for $1,995! In her mind, the term fanny pack, “is just eww, so cheesy, so tacky, so horrible.” And clearly, so not pricey.

Naturally, to achieve respectability among the masses, one requires the explicit approval of celebrities. Rihanna was snapped by the paparazzi while adorning a Louis Vuitton fanny pack on a trip to London in 2009. And in Ciara’s “Gimmie Dat” video, you just couldn’t escape the massive red fanny pack that spelled out the word “FLY.”

(More on TIME.com: See pictures of New York fashion week)

But aspiring designers with an eye on the international market, beware. The word never goes down well in either the U.K. or Australia, where it’s known as a lewd reference to female genitalia. But all you need to do is swap the words fanny pack for bum bag — and no one will laugh at that, right? — and your place among the legends of fashion should be a done deal. (via WSJ)

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