Friday, 4 March 2011

A Guide to Famous Handbags in Fashion

Whilst fashion accessory trends wax and wane there are a number of classic handbags which will never go out of style. These bags are not so much accessories as heirlooms, and their iconic status has inspired many other designs and imitations throughout fashion history. 

The Chanel 2.55 Bag
Coco Chanel’s quilted, chain–handled bag is as popular with fashionistas today as its initial creation in 1955. The bag takes it name from the year of its birth, and is instantly recognizable by its (at the time) revolutionary chain-strap, and quilted texture. Inspired by the quilted coats worn by boys at the race track which Coco Chanel so often frequented, the Chanel 2.55 has spawned many imitations but is still in a class of its own.
More than 50 years on the Chanel 2.55 remains a firm fashion favorite due to its practical styling. According to designer Karl Lagerfeld, “The 2.55 is the lightest, easiest, most comfortable bag. Everyone who carries it looks modern.”

The Fendi Baguette Bag
A relatively new-kid-on-the-block, the Fendi Baguette was first coveted in the late 1990s. Named after the French baguette because of its slimline shape, with its ability to be carried under the arm, like the French lovingly transport their baguettes.
The bag was the brainchild of Silvia Venturini Fendi, who in 1997, according to imagined a bag with sleekly linear, geometric lines designed so it could also be carried under the arm. She named it Le Baguette.
The popularity of the bag saw the Fendi group releasing 10th anniversary versions in 2007 with 10 new colors and a blank white canvas all purpose version which was accompanied with 10 Pantone color marker pens to allow women to truly personalize their own Baguette bag. Such was its success that for 2010 Fendi have released a woven unfinished DIY Baguette bag, complete with an embroidery kit and instructional DVD, for owners to create their own very individual bag. 

The Hermès Birkin Bag
Possibly the most sought after handbag of all time, the Hermès Birkin is in a class of its own. The high price tag and a 2 year waiting list means that it has become the ultimate status symbol in handbags.
The Birkin was inspired by the singer Jane Birkin, who found herself sitting next to the CEO of Hermès, Jean-Louis Dumas, on a flight from London to Paris. In a conversation with Dumas the singer remarked that she wished her existing overstuffed Hermès bag was bigger and had compartments in it. Approximately one month later Dumas send Birkin a newly designed (larger and more practical) handbag based on her suggestions, and so the Hermès Birkin was born.

The Hermès Kelly Bag

The Hermès Kelly bag joins the ranks of coveted handbags and stands alongside its sister the Birkin in terms of iconic status, quality and craftmanship (it can take around 25 hours to handmake a Kelly of a Birkin).
The purse was thrust into the spotlight it the 1950s when former Hollywood movie star Grace Kelly, now Princess Grace of Monaco, was photographed shyly shielding her (as yet unannounced) pregnancy from the press with her favorite crocodile skin Hermès bag. As Grace was a style maven in her time the bag caused such fervor in the fashion world that Hermès renamed the bag “the Kelly”, in Grace Kelly’s honor.
These four iconic bags withstand the test of time in the fickle world of fashion. Their appeal transcends all trends and age groups and for those who can afford to own the real thing, prove a worthwhile investment.
Handbags in Fashion: