The Goods

Who Would Buy Montunas’ $435 Tote That Resembles a Charming Bathroom Trash Can?

MONTUNAS  Trellis Lirio rope-trimmed acetate and linen tote
MONTUNAS Trellis Lirio rope-trimmed acetate and linen tote Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Net-a-Porter.

It’s that time of the year again, when the pollen-heavy rains of spring have overstayed their welcome, and we all breathlessly await the real arrival of summer. Along with the prospect of beach days comes the annual opportunity to guess what new trends and takes on warm-weather staples will overtake Instagram. Throwing her hat into the predicting ring early is Who What Wear senior news editor Erin Fitzpatrick, who declares that “the Montunas’s Trellis Lirio Rope-Trimmed Acetate and Linen Tote … is ripe to become a summer It bag.” How exactly Fitzpatrick has divined this forecast isn’t entirely clear, but the Montunas bag is certainly ripe to be named of the strangest objects I’ve ever laid eyes on.

Apparently inspired by the “shape of plant pots,” the Trellis Lirio tote is a curious little bag that costs a mere $435 and resembles either an inverted lampshade or one of the little trash cans that one keeps in their bathroom. Or perhaps a half-full, to-go cup of ice cream. Maybe an Easter basket?

The tote features a structural exterior made of acetate pearlescent slats and a drawstring pouch interior. There’s also a pink tassel involved. The website copy suggests that buyers “match your lip color to the pretty pink rope handle” and that the tote is “one for Instagram,” which makes sense since it looks as if it will fit approximately three things. Other bags in the Montunas line are comparably … eccentric. The Guaria tote, for example, looks a bit like a rectangular green spice rack attached to a silk scarf and is “inspired by hanging pots and planters.” The Lirio bag is similar in structure to the Trellis Lirio, except without the slats, which somehow makes it look even more like a bathroom trash can, albeit one cast in resin. According to one of the founders of Montanaus, all of the acetate bags are inspired by their orchid house in the mountains of Costa Rica.

The shapes are all based on orchid pots and vessels, and the names are native Costa Rican orchids. For us, nature is our biggest inspiration—it’s not hard when you’re from Costa Rica! The new Pearl collection fuses together the two important parts of nature there: the jungle and the sea.

Yes, of course. Now that I’ve read that, I definitely understand the raison d’être for this little trashcan orchid pot bag. While the entire “bag” strikes me as nonsensical, what I will say is that the most confounding part is that the little interior linen pouch is apparently removable, which feels both like a security risk and a huge hassle. Whoever owns this purse is stuck holding it perfectly upright, lest their linen bag of three things tumble out onto the street. Or should you leave your home without the linen pouch, you’re walking around with what is functionally a bucket with slats through which anyone can see what three things you’ve chosen to carry with you. Actually, now that I think about it, this might be the perfect bag for a concert venue where you’re only allowed to bring in a transparent vessel.

Price: $435

Who would buy this thing? Cher Horowitz going Easter egg hunting