Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Brief History of the Chanel 2.55 Bag

One of the most iconic designer bags in the world is Coco Chanel's quilted chain-handle bag, the Chanel 2.55; still as popular today as its initial creation in 1955. 

Carried on arms of the rich and famous over the worldthe Chanel 2.55 chain bag represents the epitome of style and the ultimate status symbol. The bag takes its name from the year of its birth, 1955 and is made from silk, lambskin, calfskin or fur, in a combination of colors. 

Whilst today, it has been updated in various guises (including the fastenings) the iconic Chanel 2.55 is still instantly recognizable, and remains one of the world’s most sought after bags. According to Bagsnob.com, the Chanel 2.55 is one of the two designer bags stylish women of the world should know about; the other is the Hermès Birkin.

The Chanel 2.55 bag has inspired many imitations. However, Coco Chanel, herself had a very refreshing attitude to copies of her famous designs: “I would shed tears the day no one copied me.”

During the 1980s, a Chanel bag was the most coveted status symbol, according to Anna Johnson in her book Handbags, the Power of the Purse. With its famous quilting, the 2.55 is based on the quilted coats worn by boys at the race track, as Coco Chanel’s designs were influenced by her love of horse racing.

Chanel used a running stitch, quilting the bag in a diamond or herringbone pattern, according to Stephanie Pendersen, in Handbags, What Every Woman Should Know, and introduced pockets into the bag, another passion of Mademoiselle Chanel's. The 2.55 contains a secret pocket inside the front flap, where is it claimed that in her original, Coco Chanel hid love letters received from a beau.

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