Friday, July 26, 2013

what was old is now new


While strolling through the flower market (yes, I was back for more plants to add to my growing indoor garden) I was drawn to a very familiar pattern and color scheme being displayed in a shop.  Red, white and blue "amah" bags, or hung bak lam doi, were used to transport goods back in Hong Kong's heyday as a bustling port city.  The bags are very hardy which is why they are still very popular with people transporting goods over the border or, in SB's case, transporting the guts of your exploded suitcase from the hotel to the apartment when he moved here the second time around and packed like a chimpanzee.  Instead of a dragon emitting colorful tales, I think that the Hong Kong logo should be the hung bak lam doi.  Everyone recognizes it, which is why it was one of my most successful and popular Halloween costumes a few years ago.


You can still buy these iconic bags for pocket change but there are also plenty of designers who have been inspired by the bags, including Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton.  The artist that I think of is Stanley Wong (anothermountainman), and so I was delighted to find his goods on the shelf, and for a good cause, no less.  Proceeds from sales at the shop, rwb330, go to New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association.


The saleswoman in the store was more than happy to take me on a tour of the goods, which also included a section by Chocolate Rain, if you are a fan of Prudence Mak as well.  She translated some of the clever and cute slogans that were stitched into the larger items for sale.

A bag states, "do not dread bearing weight."

The backpack wants us to "be able to shoulder."

The handbag tells us to "unload your mind."

The moon shaped bag urges positive thinking.

I was torn between buying a messenger bag and a tote. In the end I chose the messenger bag because I have enough totes.

tote bag

I love my new bag in old HK style! www.rwb330.hk, 192 Prince Edward Rd W. 

 my new messenger bag 

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