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La Chanelphile

September 22, 2011

Fashion In the Streets: New York Fashion Week Spring 2012 Presentations

CHANEL Fashion in the Streets

As promised, here are all the images I captured at the tents at Lincoln Center during New York Fashion Week.  For every image I was able to take, there were probably about 5 that I didn’t get.  Ladies get dressed in their best to see fashion shows and for many women, “their best” includes a Chanel bag.

The overwhelming majority of women have the Chanel 2.55 Classic (as opposed to the Chanel 2.55 Reissue).  There were also a few colors represented but for most women, the color of choice was black. I think the reason for that is twofold:  first, black is quintessentially Chanel and second, for many women a Chanel bag is an investment piece.  It’s not a secret that Chanel bags demand a hefty price tag so I think women opt for a color they will get the most wear out of.

One last note, I was taking pictures quickly so there definitely may be some fakes in the mix. I was not able to inspect the bags closely.  Some items I know are faux (like the rhinestone leggings!) but sometimes fakes are so bad that they’re good….

I’ll be making this a regular feature of the site so any feedback would be appreciated! Enjoy!

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Filed under: Chanel,Chanel Handbags,Fashion in the Street — Tags: , , — La Chanelphile @ 1:51 pm

May 17, 2011

“The Secrets of the Handbag” in Los Angeles

making of the chanel 2.55 bagLast weekend The Secrets of the Handbag exhibit made a brief stop in Los Angeles.  I was busy celebrating my Tiny Dancer’s first birthday so I apologize for posting this late. I thought you may still want to see the beautiful images of the process and hear about “the secrets: of the Chanel 2.55 handbag as stated in the Chanel press release via Trendland…

People often ask why CHANEL accessories never seem to age. It is because, having been influenced by the men in her life and even more by her own experience, Mademoiselle Chanel designed them to be practical and, except for a few decorative trimmings, always sensible. Above all, she was her own model: she imagined them, then wore them and finally added the finishing touches. Each detail was there for a reason. She endowed them with perfection and made them the emblem of luxury and elegance.

More than half a century later, still carrying the magic of a great myth, CHANEL accessories remain the symbol of modernity and good taste. This is due to Karl Lagerfeld’s talent. When he took over the famous inheritance of the rue Cambon in 1983, he adopted Goethe’s famous phrase as his motto: “Create a better future from the widened elements of the past,” and endeavored, without ever destroying anything, to change everything nonetheless.

In 1929 Mademoiselle Chanel was the first to introduce an elegant version of the shoulder bag. It did already exist, in the form of a large pouch with a wide strap, but was only used by members of the military on campaign. Women discovered, to their delight, that by using a thin strap they could walk around with their hands free. A new fashion was born. From then on, Mademoiselle Chanel constantly used this idea, until she eventually created the bag commonly known as the “2.55” (which is in fact its “date of birth”) in February 1955.

In leather for day, in silk or jersey for evening, the 2.55 is a “chef d’oeuvre” of refinement and perfection. First and foremost she wanted it to be functional, so she gave it a double flap which has a zip-fastened pocket inside it – a secret place for storing a love letter or blank notes. The three bellow pockets inside the bag and particularly the tube pocket for lipstick are equally useful.

To give it volume and shape – “it has to have body” she insisted – it was quilted in a diamond shaped pattern, using plain stitch, while on the garnet colored lining (the color of the uniform she wore in the orphanage) a double C is stitched like a coat of arms. Lastly, like an artists finishing touch, the rectangular clasp is gilted with gold, and the famous leather and chain shoulder strap slips easily through golden eyelets. Only details, perhaps, but nobody else had ever thought of the them. From then on the 2.55 became an integral part of the legend of CHANEL. Today it is considered a classic amongst leather goods: It is one of the accessories that every elegant woman must own.

Launched into orbit by Mademoiselle Chanel, the famous bag, a mythical object par excellence, has not, as yet, finished its trajectory. Today it is propelled into the contemporary world by Karl Lagerfeld. He adorns it with all the colors of the rainbow, dressing it from season to season in denim, tweed, velvet, sequins or raffia, and as if by the stroke of a magic wand, it is transformed into a giant or a Lilliputian. Or, in a practical frame of mind, fulfilling the demands of a new generation of women, he metamorphosises it, with gentle wit, into a rucksack, banana bag or vanity case.

Constantly inspired by contemporary trends, Karl Lagerfeld has, with a touch of irreverence, turned this legendary bag into the ultimate modern accessory. Even if the clasp still has a double “C” (gold plated, 3 microns), the chain and leather strap is sometimes replaced by one in stitched lambskin, the quilting patterns become more fanciful, herringbones or honeycombs, the CHANEL bag still remains faithful to its style and that “something” which makes it recognizable among all the others. The care taken over the quality of the leather and the finishing touches is just as important for Karl Lagerfeld today as it was in the time of the great Mademoiselle. The manufacture of the bag, with its 180 essential operations, still requires a level of precision and craftsmanship which is jealously guarded.

1955-2002…Mademoiselle Chanel once confided to Paul Morand: “Tired of carrying my bag in my hand and losing it, I added a strap and wore it as a shoulder bag”, must be satisfied. She may be intrigued, but also confident to see that her tradition is constantly renewed. Karl Lagerfeld can certainly prove that he still has more than one cat to let out of his bag!

Source: Trendland, “Chanel: The Making of the 2.55″ by Cyril Foiret

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Filed under: Chanel,Chanel Handbags — Tags: , , — Miss Interns @ 12:18 am

November 16, 2010

Secrets of the Chanel Handbag – Part 2

The Secrets of the Chanel Handbag exhibit made its first stop in San Francisco this past weekend.  The first part of the exhibit explored the process of making a Chanel 2.55 handbag.  The other part of the exhibit highlighted vintage pieces.  When I heard that vintage pieces would be on view I was expecting a lot more than they actually had on display.

The vintage display was only in one of the store windows and featured two mannequins dressed from head-to-toe in vintage Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel.  The pieces were amazing and my favorite by far were the clear/black rain boots with chain stirrup detail in the back – TO-DIE-FOR!  The gold quilted guitar case wasn’t so bad either.  Check out the photos below of the window displays and detail shots of the vintage Chanel pieces from the archive.

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November 15, 2010

Secrets of the Chanel Handbag – Part 1

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.

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November 9, 2010

San Francisco Exhibit: Discover the Secrets of the Handbag

When I received information last week about a Chanel handbag exhibit in San Francisco my day was made.  Usually the really good events are reserved for NY but once in a while, San Francisco gets a taste of the glamorous life.

This coming weekend Chanel San Francisco is hosting Les Secrets Du Sac, The Secrets of the Handbag, an exhibit exploring the iconic Chanel 2.55 Handbag.  The presentation will include bags from the Parisian archives, as well as bags from the new collections.  I will definitely be there – I’m not sure they’ll allow pictures but I will let you know how it is regardless.  I can’t wait!  For more information on the history of the 2.55 bag and how to spot a fake check out a previous post.

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January 21, 2010

Chanel Bags on Fashionphile.com

chanel bags on fashionphile.com

Chanel bags are as pricey as they come – believe me, I know, I’m still saving up for my first!  I want my first bag to be a pristine and brand new black 2.55 Reissue in lambskin (or vintage from the 50s or 60s when Mlle. designed it herself), but that doesn’t stop me from visiting Fashionphile.com every so often to check out what they have in store.

Fashionphile sells gently used luxury items from Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Hermès among others.  They guarantee the authenticity – which is great – because other sites like ebay scare me.

Today, I needed my daily does of Chanel and I spotted some bags on Fashionphile that I would love to own – my favorite being the pearl evening bag – so perfect in it’s simplicity and so very Chanel!

chanel bags on fashionphile.com

chanel bags on fashionphile.com

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December 2, 2009

The History of the Chanel 2.55 Handbag and How to Spot a Fake

I recently came across an informative article that goes over the history of the iconic Chanel 2.55 Handbag and all of the details, and the inspiration behind them on Fashion Pearls of Wisdom.

Chanel 2.55 Handbag Original and Classic

The writer takes us through her most recent find of an original Chanel 2.55 bag from the 1950s-1960s that was designed by Mademoiselle Chanel herself.  So gorgeous!  She then details the differences between the original bag (“reissue”) and the handbag that Karl Lagerfeld tweaked in the 1980s (“classic”).  Both bags are still available today and have very subtle differences.

Finally, the writer gives us tips on how to spot a fake – very helpful clues.  I still don’t have a 2.55 bag and it’s on the top of my wish list but now I would love to get my hands on an original designed by Coco herself.

Read the full article on Fashion Pearls of Wisdom.

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