Last month, we published a photo series by Russian photographer Sergey Stroitelev, titled Photos of Russian Women and the Contents of their Handbags. Stroitelev's project gives you an instantaneous and very clear first impression about each subject, just by looking at the items she carries around every day.
We thought it would be interesting to ask different VICE offices around the world to make their own versions of the project and see if we can make any sweeping generalizations about different countries based on the contents of their women's handbags. This is the UK version, shot by photographer Chloe Orefice. Here's what Chloe had to say about the project:
"I hesitated a lot before taking the commission, mainly because I wasn't sure I would be able to pull in a varied enough bunch of women. Then I thought, I'd better challenge myself a little.
I started by asking women I knew to let me have a peek inside their bags. That was easy enough, and it helped naturally expand the circle to acquaintances and friends of friends. A lot of people didn't seem to get the concept, even though they had agreed to taking part, while some just said, "No, my bag is full of crap." Which made me think, If your bag is full of crap, why are you still carrying it around?
On the whole, most people were onboard until I asked them for an ID photo—a couple of women even backed out at this stage. This experience has taught me that women between the ages of 20 and 35 are far more ashamed of their ID photos than anything else they own. On the contrary, the older ladies did not think twice before showing me whatever I asked for—they didn't seem that bothered about making a good impression. They were also more likely to be carrying something bizarre and less likely to carry makeup.
We'll let you draw your own conclusions.
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