I have never been to Biarritz, but that didn’t stop me from wandering the quiet streets of Manhattan at the depth of the pandemic with a white canvas tote that shouts, “GOYARD BIARRITZ” along with a big red “G” medallion. The bag reverses to the classic Goyard pattern, but I have only used it with the cloth side out, because it is those magical words: Goyard! Biarritz! that pierce my heart. The tote had been issued to celebrate the opening of a Goyard boutique in that far off beach town, but I purchased it on a perfect afternoon in Paris, in the Goyard shop on the Rue St Honore. This was three years ago, at a time when I could not have imagined that one day its capacious interior would conceal Clorox Wipes, rubber gloves and a wardrobe of masks.
Hardships are a part of life, and even under the most challenging circumstances, we seek solace in all kinds of places—we rely on our favorite music, our favorite films, our favorite foods, our favorite people—and even sometimes our favorite material things to get us through. My satchel, as it turns out, does not just hold the necessities for the crazy times we are living in—it holds a dream as well. It silently promises that someday it will accompany me to Biarritz; sooner or later the border will open and when it does, my bag and I, carefree and dare I imagine mask-less? (there could be a vaccine!) will go dancing down to a waterfront casino without a care in the world.
It may seem that we have been living under the present circumstances forever, but as the saying goes—life is short and art is long—and why can’t a wonderful handbag be considered a piece of art? While waiting for better times to arrive, I dress up. I pair my Goyard with tulle skirts and lacy smock dresses, flower-printed coats and velvet slippers, even when there is no credible excuse to don these costumes, because virtually every professional meeting is taking place virtually, and there is often no reason for a normal person to get out of her sweatpants on many days. But newsflash, I am not a normal person. Clothes have always been central to my identity, and when I pass a mirror, even if it’s in my own house, I don’t want to see a jogging ensemble—I want to see someone in a tutu looking back at me!
So scoff if you will, but may I remind you that during World War One, when another pandemic was ravaging the world, there was a popular song with the lyrics, “Pack up your troubles in your old kit-bag, and smile, smile, smile.” A century later, I am packing up my troubles in a well-loved Goyard tote, and meeting the coming days with a smile on my lips, even if it is sometimes hidden behind my mask.
Click Here to view the full article in our Fall Issue of Bal Harbour Magazine.