This weekend I went to the Chanel boutique in San Francisco to see the Secrets of the Handbag exhibit, which highlighted how the most iconic handbag – the Chanel 2.55 – is made. The exhibit was on the second floor of the boutique and featured a row of seven mannequins with video screens hanging off of them. Each video screen was encased in a black leather quilted cover complete with chain strap – very reminiscent of the bag the exhibit was celebrating. Alongside each mannequin was a display that highlighted a step in the process of manufacturing the Chanel 2.55 handbag.
If you’ve read this blog then you know that I am DYING for a Chanel 2.55 handbag (black leather lambskin – not caviar thank you very much). I enjoyed seeing each step of the process and it shed a bit of light (just a little) on why those bags are as expensive as they are.
Gabrielle Chanel was a perfectionist and she paid attention to every detail in the manufacture of her bags. Each bag has certain steps that can only be done by hand – white gloved hands that is. Learning about the history of the 2.55 and how it is made gives us a glimpse into the mind of the long-gone couturier.
Please see below for each step in the process (apologies for not getting step 3 – there were people standing in front of it and I forgot to go back ). Images of the vintage Chanel pieces in the store windows and scans of the program soon to come.