What women do not say, often tell the bags. Clutch, Clutch, Shoulder Bag: Before it becomes fashionable, the bag is a novel with a designer’s signature cover and the words written by the wearer. A just-published book, “Fifty Bags That Changed the World” (50 bags that changed the world, Robert Anderson / Desgin Museum) tells the story of this accessory analyzing the most famous models. From the Victorian era of Shakespeare to the Internet of today. From the pattern found in a sarcophagus, 4500 years ago, the legendary Hermès Birkin. It will be because it has no size problems, or maybe because it does not hurt your feet like high heels. It is in fact that the bag remains the easiest of accessories, the best-selling, the well-haven on which the pillars of the luxury empires stand.
Satchel is one of the first models to go down in history: born in the mid 1600s, it has satchel with two front straps and a long shoulder strap. It served to host documents and is even quoted by Shakespeare in the monologue of “How do you like it”. The Hermès Kelly, however, is a kind of passport of the social status of a woman. Designed by Robert Dumas-Hermès in 1930 as a “small bag Women’s belt”, takes its current name from the Princess Grace wore during her first pregnancy, in 1956. Since then he has the pass of wealth, a safe-conduct Which puts those wearing a step above all the others. Available from 5,000 euros up, today boasts waiting lists and extra luxury versions.
From the plastic versions of Swedish minimalism to the crocodile of the gangways massimalism, the book shows how a handbag can become not only a portrait of a woman for what it contains but also the self-portrait of the one who created it.This is the case of the 2.55 Chanel, the legendary golden clutch bag with shoulder strap that still sells so many copies to make the brand not to advertise too much to its classic black leather matellassè. The fruit of the volcanic and ruthless genius of Mademoiselle Coco, takes its name from the date of birth: February 1955. But it is the symbol behind its shape to move and, together, to make the chills: a mixture of revenge and revenge against Men and religion. In fact, his skirt remembers the English cavalry dresses, that is, the symbol of male power. Color, on the other hand, refers to the orphanage uniform, while the black-colored chain speaks of rigid education in the convent. In a sense, 2.55 is a synthesis of feminism before becoming a luxury synonym.
But let’s go back to the story. In the Arms of first ladies (Jackie ‘O with Gucci model) to those of the Iron Lady (Margaret Tatcher with clutch by Salvatore Ferragamo), this accessory undergoes a sea change, from luxury to snobbery, thanks toMiuccia Prada Which, in the eighties, laid the foundations for the success of the brand bearing its surname by destroying a common place: the stock-status par excellence must be precious and expensive.
In its place, the Milanese stylist proposes a model in a nylon yarn, or plastic, which makes the square clean of all competitors.
After this ram’s head, there’s the it-bag, the cult bags that each season the designers propose. From the first, Fendi’s “Baguette” (an envelope to hold under her arm, like the French bread loaf) to Lady Dior or Louis Vuitton Speedy. Today, there is no maison that does not launch into the harbor-worship arena: the names are so numerous to lose the compass.Falabella, Sicily, Muse, Downtown, New Bamboo, Obo … Until the proper names of celebrities such as Alexa Mulberry, dedicated by the British brand to the it-girl Alexa Chung. At the time of internet and red-carpet live on the iPad, in fact, ending up with a star’s arm is the sine qua non to make the sold-out in online business. The rest of the other bags, as Shakespeare would say, is silent.