Margot Mifflin
September 26, 1997 AT 04:00 AM EDT

In the Bag

Current Status
In Season
Samuele Mazza
Pop Culture

We gave it a B

In the Bag by Samuele Mazza — a collection of pictures of high-concept purses — is a visual feast and a textual disaster. Bag the essays, however, and you’ll enjoy the pocketbook theater contained in these pages: a pink ”Mama purse” with a clear plastic umbilical cord attached to a cloth embryo, a ”Pirate Chest” handbag made of wire fencing that’s as elegantly fashioned as a chandelier, and a telephone-inspired design in which the receiver serves as a handle. Cristina Morozzi, the only contributor of substance, draws analogies between purse design and architecture (comparing see-through bags to glass houses), confirming that In the Bag is a subject bursting with metaphoric possibilities. B

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