Influencers, fashion students and all who love some arm candy will be queuing along Cromwell Road and into Knightsbridge and beyond when the V&A opens its doors on the highly anticipated exhibition Bags : Inside Out on Nov 21st
Iconic bags such as the Fendi Baguette and the Birkin will feature alongside other notable pieces all with their own backstory to tell. The bag, whatever its size, is the ultimate accessory and can make , or break , the outfit sillouette.
But the history of the humble bag can be traced back to the sixteenth century when women wore a ‘chatelaine’ which was basically a clasp with chains to which household items such as keys were attached.
Moving onto the eighteenth century, ‘chatelaine’ morphed into ‘indispensables” and became more practical with a drawstring enclosure able to enclose more personal items such as a fan or perfume.
However it was in the mid nineteenth century when the first ‘designer’ bag emerged. An up and coming entrepreneur, Samuel Parkinson noticed his wife’s ‘indispensable’ was far too small for the practicalities of travel. He asked for the help of a London based manufacturer of leather goods, H.J. Cave & Sons, to design a larger leather handbag which would distinguish his wife from the less affluent travellers. His designs are said to have inspired Louis Vuitton and Guccio Gucci ……the rest is handbag history !!
Fast forward to the twenty first century and designer handbags have become an object of desire. For many they are out of their price range and as such a huge industry in fake bags emerged. The grades of manufacturing are often so high it can be almost impossible to tell the difference between that and the real thing. For those where the latest IT bag is affordable, yet unattainable, there are other companies who can do the hard work for you. One such London based company Aquarius Luxury Concierge (aquariusconcierge.com) offer a bespoke personnal shopping experience, sourcing luxury products, including handbags, for their clients.
For the rest of us who can only dream of owning such a collection of desirables, we can pop along to the V&A at the end of the month where the endless display of clutches, crossbodies and totes will continue to fuel our handbag fantasies.
Bags: Inside Out opens at the V&A from Nov 21st.
Tickets available https://www.vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/bags