I was just reading an article on today's trends and one of them is collapse-ability. This is the ability to shrink something down that would normally be of a larger size, such as travel toiletries, tote bags, umbrellas even furniture such as drop leaf tables. HERE is the full article on Handmade News if you want to read it. My point is that we are all trying to find that one thing that can do more or be more than initially intended or is a space saver. I like the idea of both, having space saving items as well as items that can do more than one thing or have several looks. The picture shows a few of these items that are either multi use or shrinks down for storage.
In jewelry, you have convertible necklaces. Those necklaces that can be worn long or as a belt or wrapped a couple of times around the neck for a layered look. I've even seen them with large bail pendants strung into the middle. You also have bracelets with removable links, charms or beads such as Pandora. I make charm earrings, which is an earring that has multiple gemstone and pearl drops that are interchangeable. Lots of different looks with just one item.
Clothing has several items that can be considered multi use such as scarves. Buy one and wear it several different ways around the neck and then there is the sarong which can be a dress or a skirt. There is also a purse out on the market Miche that uses one basic black and has several options of changing the look with magnetic covers. This isn't too different from a purse back in the 70's called a Bermuda Bag which had a wooden handle and the covers were attached via buttons to the lining. I love the idea but are we limiting our style? I think for someone on a budget these are all great options that provide several looks for one price. FYI, you can still purchase a Bermuda bag at The Jesse B Collection HERE or you can buy the handles and pattern to make your own bag at Tall Poppy Craft products.
I never had a Bermuda bag, but I did purchase a Miche bag last year. I used it a few times and still have it, but I prefer a larger bag with more pockets. Great concept.
What other items can we find that are space savers or multi use? How about a kitchen item? The first thing that comes to my mind is a Kitchen Aid mixer. I never new it had so many attachments. In going through my mother in laws kitchen cleaning, she had an old Kitchen Aid on the counter, in drawers and in the closet were tons of attachments. Some for mixing bread dough, grinding meat and whipping. There were some attachments that I don't even know what they do. But think of it, one piece of kitchen equipment that has been around forever that can do almost anything.
Another great item is collapsible boxes. We have some of these in our closet and when not in use they fold down to 1 inch in height, but when made into the box they are the size of a shoe box. How about a collapsible bike, yes that's right a bike, pretty cool for those with little or no space to store one. Check out these folding bikes. In looking at other space saving items that we have around, I found our dog crate. Our dogs for the most part do not need to be crated, but when we travel we take along a crate for hotel rooms, etc. This crate is perfect and since we purchased the large size, but dogs fit in it fine. Here is one option if you want to check it out.
I don't think these are gimmicks or a trend that will go out of style. I really do believe that these items reflect a change in our society and our values.
Collapsible tote bag is by Cat Fluff http://www.artfire.com/modules.php?name=Shop&op=listing&product_id=157209.