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A Hip Little Pouch Is the Accessory of the Season

October 12, 1998|MICHELE INGRASSIA

MILAN, Italy — No one would call it a kangaroo court, but what to make of all the pouches showing up on the runways here this year?

At D&G, they were worn apron-style, over metallic-striped plastic dresses. At Versus, they were slung across the chest of the simplest white T-shirt. At Emporio Armani, they were obi sashes around the waist. And at Miu Miu, they were everywhere: not just as little bags tied across belly or rear, but in bits of clothing that designer Miuccia Prada transformed into pouches. Nylon vests were folded and strapped across the chest, the back or around the waist. Think '90s grunge turned millennium cool.

In her signature collection, Prada added even more--pouches in soft fabric and colorful pocketbooks--hitched across the fanny. The look first appeared on the runways of New York designers like Helmut Lang last month, but it may take Prada, who single-handedly turned the utilitarian backpack into the epitome of fashion, to set everyone hopping on pouches. The point, she told Women's Wear Daily, is wearable chic: "My latest obsession is accessories becoming clothing . . . a skirt that becomes a bag, a backpack that becomes a vest."

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