When Honey brought a Moon Bag to the shop, it was an object I was not readily familiar with, but I could immediately detect a late 1970s Arts and Crafts revival sensibility. This was something I could relate to. I grew up in a crafty home, with my mother teaching me how to paint, draw, sew and hook rugs. As a child, I remember the pleasure that could be found in creating something of your own–something which I completely threw myself into, such as embellishing t-shirts and tote bags with puffy paint (creations I was once proud of, but now find cringe-worthy in old photographs!). Long story short, between dragging me to antique shows and flea markets and sitting around the living room crafting things, my mother placed a premium on appreciating those things made by hand, revealing a past and conveying an improvisational twist of artistry.
So these Moon Bags, which were designed by artist Patricia Smith in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, offered the perfect balance of artistic craftsmanship and practicality, and its design, in my opinion, stands up to this day. Moon Bags were introduced in the late 1970s and were characterized by being (most commonly) medium-sized and in the shape of a clutch with a large enamel or lacquer 'plate' attached to the top. The outstanding feature that made it a "Moon Bag" was its limited run of hand painted motifs on each plate. These plates could be interchangeable with others, which gave the wearer creative license to change the look of the bag.
By the early 1980s, Smith’s bags relished in novel exclusivity, only to be found in boutiques that appreciated Smith’s approach to design and material. Today, Moon Bags are sought after, as Smith only created a limited quantity of bags, having no interest in mass producing them. Distinctive and a true conversation piece, check out our very own Moon Bag in the shop!