The Making Of The 2.55 Chanel Bag

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Here is the exclusive  insight of the making of the infamous 2.55 Chanel bag.

Here is the view of “The secrets of the Handbag” and its press release:

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 they are today.

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,”

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 (eh…yuck), 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 (amazing!).

A new part of fashion was born. From then on, Mademoiselle Chanel constantly used this idea, until she eventually created the bag commonly known as the “2.55” (the name states the date of birth of the bag) 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 Coco Chanel wanted it to be functional, so she gave it a double flap which has a zip-fastened pocket inside it. The reason for this pocket she said was, a secret place for storing a love letter or blank notes. The three other pockets inside the bag and particularly the tube pocket for lipstick and two others are equally useful as the front pocket.

Coco Chanel wanted to give the bag volume and shape. She said “it has to have body” .

So the result was that  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, just like any 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 most people might have thought, 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 and wants to own.

Launched into orbit by Mademoiselle Chanel, this bag is just as popular today as it was back then and today it is propelled into the contemporary world by Karl Lagerfeld.

He adorns the bag 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 (jumbo flap) or a lilliputian(mini flap).

Or, in a practical frame of mind, fulfilling the demands of a new generation of women, he metamorphoses it, with gentle wit, into a rucksack, banana bag or vanity case.

Constantly inspired by contemporary trends, Karl Lagerfeld has 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 manufacturing of the bag, is done with its 180 essential operations but it still requires a level of precision and craftsmanship.

1955-2002 – Mademoiselle Chanel once said 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” and so continue women all over do world in her foot steps the only difference they might not all be carrying a Chanel 2.55 but I am pretty sure most of them wish they were.

I hope that you have enjoyed this post, the pictures and the making of the Chanel 2.55 bag.

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