Thursday, March 24, 2005

The history of handbags

Jasmine sent me a really interesting article from the New York Times about "status" handbags, and how the idea of carrying a bag that displays individuality and wealth goes back much farther than you might think.

The article also mentions a recently-ended exhibition at the Louvre which was devoted to handbags from around the world and throughout history:

The exhibition was organized not chronologically but according to archetype. For instance, a primitive bag woven of coconut fronds was juxtaposed with a nearly identical organza bag designed by Christian Lacroix years later for his 1994 haute couture collection. Similarly, the heavy antique carpetbags of a Moroccan nomad seemed to be the model for the Japanese designer Junya Watanabe's creations in 2000. The rectangular shape and construction of a generic 20's school bag made way for a Chanel purse with the same shape and as many straps. The designers at Hermes, who underwrote the show, seemed to be inspired by 19th-century saddlebags -- their rough, heavily grained leather and sturdy builds were replicated in the classic Kelly, which was designed around 1930 and named after Grace Kelly in 1956, when she used the bag to shield her pregnant stomach from photographers.

How sad am I to have missed this?


  • At 6:35 AM, Blogger Amblus said…

    Oh, that sounds like an amazing exhibit. I love stuff like that.


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