It's back to school, and that means revisiting an accessory that traditionally does not have much fashion cachet: the backpack. I view it as a necessary evil. I've dabbled with cute bookbags and totes, but when it comes to lugging my various pieces of academic equipment around (and I've never been one to pack light), the only way to really get the job done is by strapping a glorified sack onto my body. However, much to my surprise, the rarefied world of high fashion is starting to embrace this most utilitarian of objects. Of course, once the price of backpacks starts exceeding the cost of a new laptop, practical value is pretty much out the window, but it is fun to look at some of the most outrageous and decadent bags available while I hunt down the tattered denim satchel I took to summer camp.
Leopard-Print Suede Backpack, net-a-porter.com, $1,650
Undoubtedly the top of the line on backpacks. I tell myself that this beauty and I wouldn't be happy together anyway, as it would probably object to being stuffed with papers and inevitably stained by Wite-Out and highlighter ink. As true as my love is, I couldn't keep this bag in the lifestyle to which it has been accustomed. Henceforth, I shall refer to it as the Bag that Got Away.
Leather print backpack, asos.com, $119
This backpack is produced by a London-based company, and it definitely has that urban, punky-hipster edge. It evokes street art with its depictions of skyscrapers, boldly slashed slogans, and chaotic lines. White leather, again, is perhaps not the most pragmatic option, but I love the eye-catching monochromatic design; it has the air of a noir cartoon.
Snake Print Bomber Backpack, luisaviaroma.com, $513
Absolutely beautiful, and a work of art. Sleek, timeless, but a little badass. This bag also comes in black and mint, but the former is too neutral for my tastes and the latter is not as elegant as the navy. For a fashionista who is dedicated enough to spend top dollar, this is the backpack worth the investment.