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The Thing: our newfound appreciation for the classic backpack

The Thing: our newfound appreciation for the classic backpack
(Image: Jessica Milan)

Backpacks, a natural extension of the scruffy-prep “found-this-in-the-back-of-my-closet” look, are everywhere this summer, and for good reason. The schoolyard staple is eminently practical, a bag that’s purpose-built for carrying life’s real necessities: gym clothes, organic sausages, six-packs. Knapsacks even showed up on the runway at the most recent LG Fashion Week. Branksome-girls-turned-design-darlings Chloé and Parris Gordon (Chloé Comme Parris) featured iterations so chic they could have been ripped right off Kate Moss’s bony back, and a Bay Blanket bag was the jewel of the ridiculously buzzy Klaxon Howl show. Meanwhile, Queen West’s haute hipster outposts are churning out simpler versions that are big and boxy, with subtle flourishes like exposed stitching and leather trim. The look is almost anti-fashion, which, of course, makes it even more fashionable. But what we like most is having hands-free storage space and shoulders that don’t ache at the end of a long day. Whoever said “fashion before function” needs to update their accessories.

Left, Herschel Claim, $85. Right, Duluth Scout Pack, $148. Both from The Future of Frances Watson, 1390 Queen St. W., 416-531-8892.

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