Have You Bought Your $1,400 Burlap-Sack Dress for Spring Yet?

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Clockwise from left: a $1,400 Miu Miu burlap dress, the $595 Miu Miu burlap shoe, the $1,930 Fendi bag, and the $1,395 Burberry bag. Photo: Imaxtree, Barneys, Burberry, Netaporter,

The Great Depression is back and it has brought its clothes with it, which is why we saw a lot of burlap fabric on the spring runways. Now that bling has made way for potato sacks, Lauren Bush's Feed bags represent only a small fraction of apparel items on the market made from coarse brown sack material. Raffia is another popular burlap-esque fabric for spring. It's made from dried palm leaves and is often used for place mats, but Azzedine Alaïa used it for skirts and wedge heels. Christopher Bailey made bucket hats and totes out of it for Burberry. And Karl Lagerfeld made handbags with it for Fendi. But just because we've gone back to making clothes from humble brown fibers that cost almost nothing doesn't mean the designer items made from them are any more affordable. For instance, Miu Miu's burlap dresses cost $1,400, while the label's burlap pumps cost $595. Fendi's sand fabric Peek-a-Boo bag is $1,930. And Burberry's straw patchwork tote bag is $1,395. But these price points make sense, you see, because we can't expect all those rich people who are currently embarrassed by their wealth to start shopping at Forever 21. They will know that they spent $2,000 on their Miu Miu burlap outfit, and that is all that matters.

The New Primitive, High in Fiber [NYT]