No longer new college grads but certainly not fully-minted adults (no matter how much we wanted to be), we were in that phase of reaching for things that at least might make us look self-sufficient and independent and grown-up, even though we knew that we still had no idea what we were doing.And so anytime we stepped into that accessories department, our longings took us straight to a cheerful, colorful display strewn with nylon box bags and satiny single-strap evening purses, slim baguettes, and makeup cases — all in rich hues, sassy stripes, witty little cherries, or that signature large black polka dot.
No one ever says, “Hang on, let me grab my Bag I Stole From My Sister’s Closet Five Years Ago,” but “I left my lipstick in my Kate Spade” makes perfect natural sense — a satisfying sentence to utter, something that also says, “Hello, I am an adult woman with a real professional purse.” We both recall unwrapping our bag from the store’s protective tissue and feeling, finally, ever so mature and self-possessed.
We were not — and we probably shouldn’t have dropped even a relatively tame amount of cash on a bag when we had actual adult bills, too — but those purses were talismans of the possibility that, one day, we might be the person they made us feel like we were.
Spade hadn’t been personally involved with her eponymous brand in more than a decade — she sold her last shares in 2006, it was bought by Liz Claiborne Inc., and it went around the corporate merry-go-round before becoming Kate Spade & Company — and Deborah Lloyd designed it from 2007-2017 before passing the torch to Nicola Glass.
Although Atticus discreetly shakes his head, Scout protests, “But he’s gone and drowned his dinner in syrup.” At that point, Calpurnia, the loving woman who’s helped Atticus raise the children, gets Scout in the kitchen and explains manners, Southern style: “That boy’s yo’ comp’ny and if he wants to eat up the tablecloth you let him, you hear? If ever there is a time when Southern ladies shine, it’s when someone dies. My Aunt Ann always kept a red velvet cake on standby in her freezer.
And there is no doubt what my friend Rosa’s mother, La Velle Kirkpatrick, often carried.