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La Chanelphile

November 17, 2010

The Secrets of the Handbag – Part 3

In the last part of my series on the Secrets of the Handbag exhibit (if I can’t get a hold of that fabulous video!) I’ve scanned the program that they were giving out to attendees.  The info details the seven steps to constructing the Chanel 2.55 handbag and the history of the bag.

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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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