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By SUZY MENKES
To celebrate 15 years of the baguette bag, named for the crusty French loaf of bread, Fendi put on display the most colorful and decorative versions.
Thick with embroidery, rich in embellishment, tasseled, fringed and above all colorful, the baguettes drew the attention of passers-by. They have remained must-have purchases over a time span when the “it” bag was supposed to survive barely one season.
A lavishly illustrated 250-page book published by Rizzoli shows the personal inspirations of Silvia Venturini Fendi, such as the sprinkling of daisies by her youngest daughter, a mustard yellow beaded bag or raffia with jet embroidery.
It also includes purses by artists from Damien Hirst through Jeff Koons to Richard Prince. (Ms. Fendi calls them “real artists.”) The bags make lively illustrations, although the final count in the book is far less than the 1,000 original creations made since 1997.
Why baguette? The bags are rectangular, and not long, like the bread. But like the French loaf, they were designed to be tucked under the arm.