The Accordion Bag by Chanel

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The Accordion Bag by Chanel: the elegance of the quilted 2.55 meets the gussets of the traditional instrument from Hamburg. Chanel’s Métiers d’Art runway took place in the same German port town where Karl Otto Lagerfeld was born. More than six decades later, he’s making a triumphant return. The creative director is celebrating the greatest era in his native city, composed like an odyssey. By occupying the Elbphilharmonie for a runway, what with its surreal and dreamy architecture, Karl Lagerfeld is articulating the junction between various times and spaces.

The Chanel Métiers d’Art collection presented looks like characters, sometimes from the past, sometimes from the present, but always here and now. The highly symbolic navy motifs of the Hamburg of yesteryear, filled with sailors most notably, is released in the purest Chanel vein here – with all the exceptional crafts of France. Chanel’s fashion prowess is today yielding a bag as funny as it is fascinating: the Accordion bag, with two gold chained straps. The traditional local instrument meets the distinct and legendary 2.55 quilted motif, making for something that’s pure and simple chic.

Amidst a philharmonic concert, these workshops once more demonstrated their ability to integrate themselves into the present day under the auspices of Chanel. The moment oscillated deftly between a respect for tradition and a desire for lightness and mischief. This was the perfect occasion to introduce the Accordion bag, that incarnates the animated nature of Hamburg in the 60s. It’s as improbable as it is desirable!

Dior Lady Art, the Second Collection

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Dior introduced the Lady Art project in November 2016 at Art Basel Miami. This iconic bag, first bequeathed to Princess Diana on a visit to Paris, would be revisited by a number of renowned artists. The fine arts have long been at the heart of Dior’s creations – Monsieur Dior counted a number of friends in his inner circle that were some of the most influential in their time. Names like Max Ernst, Alexander Calder, Alberto Giacometti, and Pablo Picasso were often shown off in Christian Dior’s gallery. This is the heritage that Maria Grazia Chiuri is working with today; you may recall her Spring/Summer 2018 collection that put a spotlight on artist Niki de Saint Phalle.

This time, for Dior Lady Art #2, the brand is teaming up with 10 contemporary artists from across the world, most notably from the UK and the U.S. These artists are big figures in contemporary art, such as Friedrich Kunath, Jamilla Okubo, and Spencer Sweeney. The latter is transforming the Lady Dior into a kaleidoscopic piece through his favorite material, silver mirror fragments. After more than 60 attempts, the Seoul-based artist finally arrived at a dazzling and captivating new Lady Dior. This exuberance suits the magnanimity of the bag’s lines quite well.

Another notable bag is Davis Wiseman, who surprises with perforated flowers on a metallic calfskin material. “My sculptures in ceramic, bronze, argyle, always start with a drawing. I then imagine how different elements, often inspired by nature, come together. I followed the same process for this bag. I first imagined a floral motif that working with perforated leather allowed me to create.” Finally, perhaps the most hypnotic piece is Friedrich Kunath’s – a rainbow with the colors of a Hollywood sunset. “I was born in East Germany and I work in Los Angeles. I like to explore the array of emotions between sadness and optimism. Here I wanted to evoke the graphicness of a beach towel on Venice Beach with the idea of a melancholic Parisian winter day. The rainbow is a nod to my paintings.” This yields a calfskin Lady Dior printed in relief with clouds of lambskin. These exceptional pieces are available now.

Tod’s Faubourg Saint-Honoré Pop Up Store in Honor of the Sella Bag

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The Sella by Tod’s marvelously incarnates the philosophy, DNA, and aesthetic so adored and defended by Diego Della Valle’s brand; with measured distinction but no complexes. Its graphic lines and minimalism is made for an active and sporty woman. And the Sella has a secret: its multiple changing looks. The new version of the Sella is imagined as the key element for an outfit. In mini, petite, or large sizes, this Tod’s piece is available in a variety of colors and features smooth leather with a double handle, ring charms and keychains, a zipper, varnished leather edges, a removable strap, and patch pockets. The Sella is the fruit of a chic, timeless breed of craftsmanship that’s 100% made in Italy.

On October 2, Tod’s inaugurated its new pop up store dedicated to the bag – in its Faubourg Saint-Honoré boutique in Paris, the must-have of the season got a worthy setup indeed. This leather bag is inspired by production techniques of master saddlers; it’s thus only natural to find a mounting dynamic here. Galloping horses, conveyors of luxury and liberty, denote the stylistic ardor of the Tod’s Sella bag. In colorful pony veal or quilted with a tricolor graphic, the Sella’s distinctive lines open a new chapter in the timeless elegance that Tod’s has built. To incarnate the chic and class of the Sella, the brand invited muses and celebrities for an exclusive cocktail mixer. Naomi Campbell, Isabelle Adjani, Zanita Whittington, Chriselle Lim, Danielle Bernestein, Derek Blasberg, Giovanna Battaglia, and Inès de la Fressange were all present, with a Sella in hand!

The Louis Vuitton’s Trunk

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Big travelers knew that Louis Vuitton had the power to create a unique object to accompany them on their adventures. In 1905, the brand created a trunk-bed for Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza’s expedition into the Congo; in 1962, it was a teacase for the Maharajah of Baroda, while in 1939, a trunk-desk was made for King Farouk of Egypt. Vuitton’s trunks incarnate a unique style with neutral colors, sophisticated minimalism, and natural materials. They are evocative and filled with emotions. The greatest names in fashion still collaborate with the brand to reinvent this timeless trunk.

This year it’s American photographer Cindy Sherman’s turn to celebrate the monogram and to revisit the original trunk. This limited edition of only 25 copies includes a luxurious vanity case, a messenger bag for cameras, and 31 drawers to slip her work accessories into: wigs, fake eyes, fake teeth, and fake nails. She also took inspiration from the patchwork of hotel stickers on vintage Louis Vuitton trunks that the founder collected. Hundreds of thousands of trunks have been created by the Louis Vuitton workshops since a century and a half ago, and they can be found in the four corners of the Earth. Some of them are tucked away in attics, others have found their way into museums, and some are still on the road. The iconic Vuitton trunk is reinvented each and every day, allowing for experiences imbued with imagination and emotion alike.

Dover Street Market: On-Point and Non-Conformist Fashion

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Opened in London in 2004, the Dover Street Market surprised shoppers right off the bat with its selection of unpretentious luxury pieces mixed with the work of a few unknown designers. “In the beginning, we approached four people: Hedi [Slimane], Raf [Simons], Alber [Elbaz], and Azzedine [Alaïa],” recalls Adrian Joffe. The four all accepted to create pieces exclusively for the store’s launch. Ever since, Dover Street Market has established itself as the natural home of avant-garde, experimentation, but first and foremost an on-point selection of collections from brands that need no introduction. A temple of fashion that’s both liberated and super-specialized, Dover Street Market is also exceptional in that it presents and composes different universes in a precise and different way. Under the auspices of Rei Kawakubo, designer for Comme des Garçons and emblematic queen of avant-garde, the Dover Street Market is designed like an upscale space that’s overflowing with creativity. Conceptualized by the idea of ‘beautiful chaos’, the store never ceases to attract professionals and fans alike.

With her husband Adrian Joffe, Rei Kawakubo imagined Dover Street Market like a store-cum-art gallery. For the first time, a store took into consideration ideas of environmental conservation, which was rarely done before. It also gave sneakers and other accessories a new status as works of art by presenting them like never before. Dover Street Market would soon become a privileged shopping experience – an antidote to conformism and shopping mall culture. Their approach is more than spontaneous, intuitive, and creative. “In Japan, Burberry recently opened a flagship store for millions of dollars,” Rei Kawakubo pointed out in 2004. “It would be the antithesis of that. Luckily we don’t have a lot of money, so we can’t go overboard. We have to find an idea that doesn’t cost too much.” This deliberately anti-luxury manifesto would soon spread from Tokyo to New York.

Dover Street Market refuses to answer to the demands of industrialized fashion, forced to forget the past, pulled towards novelty. That’s why, in 2014, Prada introduced their famous 2008 collection exclusively for Dover Street Market. In 2016, the store got a makeover. With five stories and 3,000 m2 of Burberry’s old headquarters – the very same inaugurated by Thomas Burberry in 1912 – luxury brands and young labels come together here. Gosha Rubchinskiy and Dior, Loewe and Vetements, Gucci and Jacquemus, these universes all collide into dialogue.

 

The Chiara Loves Tod’s Capsule Collection

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This isn’t Tod’s first time around the block. In 2013, Diego Della Valle’s brand collaborated with Italian blogger Chiara Ferragni on a version of the D-Bag by Tod’s. The idea: give four different perspectives from the same person to illustrate how Tod’s style can satisfy everyone, and how the iconic handbag is ideal for any occasion. This year, the collaboration is going even further as Chiara Ferragni is now releasing a capsule collection under the brand’s auspices.

For summer 2017, the famous blogger with 10 million Instagram followers imagined her own version of the legendary Tod’s Double T moccasins as well as the Tod’s Gommino bag. TheBlondeSalad made nude her favorite shade, making this summer’s color a bit chicer. Even better, Chiara Ferragni adopted two legends in Tod’s leathermaking and customized them with a few modern details that fit with her own style. The Gommino bag and the very special Double T Gommino can be discovered in July in a selection of boutiques and in the brand’s online store.

 

Discover Tod’s Italian lifestyle: here and here

 

 

The Auction of the Year: the Birkin Himalaya Niloticus Crocodile Diamond

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While it may seem to us the most classic of classics today, it wasn’t until 1984 that Hermès first imagined the Birkin bag. It all started on a London-Paris flight. Jane Birkin tells: “My Hermès agenda was so full that everything fell out. He told me it would be better to put my personal items in closed pockets. I told him ‘If Hermès put pockets on…’. He replied ‘I’m Mr. Hermès and I’m going to put pockets on for you.’” This is how one of the most beautiful collaborations in fashion history began; and it was Jane herself who drew the lines for it. One month later, Jean-Louis Dumas would send the piece and ask if he could name it after her.

When a scandal surrounding the use of exotic hides in the fashion industry erupted in 2015, Jane Birkin demanded that her name no longer be associated with the bag. By denouncing “cruel slaughter practices” for animals, Birkin convinced Hermès to take the necessary precautions to change the status quo, and the two parties were able to reconcile. It now seems only natural that this Birkin bag that went for auction at Christie’s in Hong Kong on May 31 was much more than just an exceptional piece.

This style is very seldom produced – only two copies are released every year. Today, Hermès is even talking about definitively stopping production, “which partially explains its rise in popularity this season,” declared Matthew Rubinger, head of the international bags and accessories department at Christie’s. The Himalaya Niloticus Crocodile Diamond Birkin 30 bag is made of crocodile leather. Encrusted with diamonds, its finishings are made of gold. This is one of the most coveted luxury bags in the world, according to Christie’s, and it went for the tidy sum of 338,000 Euros to an anonymous bidder.

The Tod’s Gommino Spring/Summer 2017: A True Must

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Tod’s has gradually established itself as the centennial brand of last century. With their workshops currently overseeing design, Tod’s is centering their Spring/Summer 2017 collection on the “Double T” bag, the cornerstone piece in the Fall/Winter 2017 campaign, and on the iconic Gomminos. The brand is placing a timeless lifestyle at the heart of their trends.

You will need to choose between the classic Gommino, the legendary 133-pebbled sole and the new collection, made of an elegant wood, while leather brushes up with a metallic shade in one version for an elegance that’s as sporty as it is nonchalant. Finally, for its most iconic version… The Tod’s workshops also had the idea to interpret the illustrious shoe in a summer 2017 version incarnated in a clog with fringe and chains to give it a touch more of a rebellious side. This breed of experimentation plays with an elegance that is indeed contemporary but, first and foremost, timeless.

Bamboo, an Iconic Gucci Code

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It was at the end of WWII, in the year 1947 to be precise, that Italy faced a shortage of foreign materials. Guccio Gucci was thus forced to experiment with new solutions. To create the handles for his handbags, but also to replace their leather, he turned towards new materials in the luxury universe like hemp, linen, and jute. Bamboo and burnished rattan would prove to be one of the subtlest innovations on behalf of the brand’s artisans. The first bamboo bag was born as an ingenious example of a proverb that says necessity is the mother of all inventions. The Bamboo was thus the first of many emblematic Gucci products to follow in this vein, sacred iconic code of the house, such as the floral motif and the double GG.

The go-to accessory for crowned heads and celebrities, this bag with a brown handle quickly gained favor among the world’s most elegant. The Bamboo Bag became a must-have: Grace Kelly, Queen Frederica of Greece, Elizabeth Taylor, and Deborah Kerr all had one. At the present time, the Bamboo Bag is Beyopncé’s and Jennifer Lopez’s darling. Indeed this bag marvelously unites innovation and craftsmanship, keeping up with the times, as you can see by admiring the Bamboo Shopper Bag…  We found in Gucci’s recent fashion shows the soul of this iconic material, mainly in the Pre-Fall 2017 one that brang to light two new versions of the Bamboo Bag : the Dionysus and the Queen Margaret. However, the bamboo is no longer confined to its eponymous bag. Its eclecticism made for a strong element, in terms of aesthetics as much so as in character. From shoes to jewelry, bamboo became an essential for the brand.

Today, the stylish and colorful wardrobe of Alessandro Michele for the Florentine brand isn’t passing on a new adaptation of this iconic signature, as seen in the 2016 and 2017 Gucci Spring/Summer Fashion Shows. From black leather Gucci pumps with bamboo anchored on the heel to the inevitable handbags, all with bamboo clasps – the entire Gucci universe seems inextricably linked to this material that’s as subtle as it is surprising. In the Michele era, the Bamboo is anchoring itself a bit more in modernity with an ensemble of jewelry or on timepieces that once more perfectly bear their name.

The Kelly Bag by Hermès

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956: during a public outing, barely even in her car, Grace Kelly was trying to protect her budding pregnancy from the avid lenses of the paparazzi – and it was thanks to a Hermès bag that she was able to do it. Soon, the photo would make it around the world; this was but an anecdote to the myth behind one of the most coveted fashion icons in the world. 20 years later, the “small strapped bag” would take the actress’ name and seal their shared destiny forever. Today you can find a nod to this event in the description of this piece by Hermès: “Are you expecting something and don’t want to divulge the news? This bag is made to hide your little bump with regal elegance.” 

This timeless line and Kelly’s pure style traversed generations without losing anything of their obvious appeal. Throughout the years, the bag has diversified itself and is today available in five different sizes – from the Mini Kelly to the “40 centimeter”. There are multiple ways to wear it: floating it nonchalantly at the end of its strap, or carried by hand, it allows you to protect its handle from the heat of the palms thanks to its iconic twilly bands of silk. In its latest release, the Kelly clutch allows you to free up movements to better accompany you to a cocktail party. With its baguette shape and two straps that recall the original design, the Kelly Cut further cements the style as an ideal companion, a life partner of sorts. Even better, the materials and colors available are infinite. This iconic bag has teased the creative minds at Hermès’ workshops and elicited extravagant demand with clientele. Adorned with feathers, exotic skins, precious stones, or Hermès Barénia leather, the only limit is one’s own imagination with the exceptional savoir-faire of Hermès’ workshops able to fulfill any order.

Since the selection of materials in the leathers workshop is demanding, it takes close to two years to be able to obtain a Hermès Kelly. Its assembly takes 15 hours – 15 hours during which each piece is saddle stitched on the interior, the brand’s emblematic touch, then turned back inside out to make the stitches visible. From the bag’s cut to its finishings, the piece is entrusted to one lone artisan who puts his or her initials on the H zipper side of the interior pocket, signature of the artist on a masterpiece. The Kelly is and will remain a Hermès legend, long-lasting, with stars of today able to develop new aesthetics around this one key piece. The Olsen twins, Pharrell Williams, and Victoria Beckham are all proof of its multi-faceted and iconic character.

 

The Kelly bag by Hermès: Key dates

 

1892 : The prototype of the Kelly bag is a large bag used for holding a saddle and is known as Haut à courroies because of its high handle.

1923 : Émile-Maurice Hermès and Ettore Bugatti designed a simple and plain bag for Hermès’s wife Julie. It was meant to fit into a car door and to allow riders to carry their saddle.

 1928 : Hermès’s son-in-law Robert Dumas redesigned it as a spacious travel bag called Sac à dépêches. The handbag gradually went on to become stiff and boxy.

1954 : Alfred Hitchcock allows the costume designer Edith Head to purchase Hermès accessories for the movie “To Catch a Thief”, starring Grace Kelly.

1956 : Grace Kelly falls in love with the bag. Within months of her 1956 marriage the pregnant princess of Monaco is photographed using the handbag to shield her growing belly from the paparazzi on Life magazine. The “Kelly” becomes worldwide famous.

1977 : The bag is officially renamed Kelly Bag.

1977 : The bag officially comes in Togo leather.

1980 – 1990 : Hermès introduces a double version of the Kelly: a softer and a more rigid one, the Retourne and the Sellier, which will be the standard model of the bag for the next decades.

1980 – Today : Twice a year Hermès allows few customers worldwide to customize materials and colours of their Kelly thanks to the Special Order. These one of a kind Kelly bags are signed with a horseshoe.

1981 : Hermès launches the limited edition Kelly Cavalcadour.

1999 : Hermès launches the Kelly in ostrich leather.

2000 : Hermès launches the ironic Quelle Idole version of the Kelly bag.

2002 : Hermès proposes the colourful Kelly bag Vibrato.

2005 : Hermès plays with irony through the Teddy bear limited edition.

2005 : For the first time the Kelly is multicolour with the Multi-colour limited edition.

2008 : The Kelly bag is enriched by a shoulder strap and a foulard on the handle.

2009 : It’s time for the limited edition of Kelly bag in Doblis leather.

2010s : While the Kelly bag once was the Princess’ bag, now the stars fully identify with it. It’s the time of the Birkin bag fans vs. the Kelly bag fans.

2010 : Hermès launches a pochette version of the Kelly bag.

2010 : The Kelly bag is protagonist at the Victoria and Albert Museum during a great exhibition dedicated to the Princess Grace of Monaco.

2011 : It’s the turn of the Mykonos limited edition.

2011 : It’s the time of the Kelly Picnic limited edition.

2013 : Colours are protagonists for the Harlequin limited edition.

2014 : Hermès launches the Kelly Printed, displaying a 1954 Photographic Portrait of Grace Kelly.

2015 : Hermès proposes the Grizzly limited edition.

2018 : In the new collection Hermès fully expands the concept of multicolour Kelly bag.