Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Trend Tuesdays: History of the Chanel bag


“I would shed tears the day no one copied me”

It was 1955 when Coco Chanel did for bags what she had earlier done for female fashion. She reinvented the style and there has never been another bag that comes close to rivalling the class yet practicality of it. The 2.55 was born. Tired of having to carry her handbag and inspired by the soldiers attire, she added thin straps that I think every woman is thankful for! Famous for wanting to be original, she would no doubt be sad to see the counterfeits of her bag produced today. However, her original design is yet to be bested by other designers, which we hope she would be proud of!

The 2.55 original
Inspired by the cushions in her Parisian apartment, she added a quilted effect to give the bag volume and shape. Personal touches such as the inner lining being burgundy, the colour of the uniforms at the convent she grew up in, give the bag authenticity and the history every stylish handbag deserves. The inner zipped compartment was a hidden pocket where women could keep their love letters and diaries.
The original 2.55 design had a simple rectangular clasp, sturdy and practical, which was named the 'mademoiselle lock' after Coco Chanel who never married. The lock we see today with the intertwining C's was designed by Karl Lagerfeld to add an extra hint of glamour for the modern day woman.

Coco Chanel was the best example of a visionary. She recognised the changing needs of women, starting to combine careers with family life and realised a strap was an essential part of their progression. Not only did she change the most important accessory, she evolved the way women held themselves and created a bag that represented the needs; a bag that didn't just carry makeup, but a bag that carried the evolution of women in the workplace. Women would have, and still do, worked hard to afford such a classic and luxurious design. It represents how far women have come and their independence to afford to buy their own bag. If anything, this should be the outcome Chanel is most proud of achieving, herself being a role model for independence and hard work.

Words by Charlotte Hobbs