My little Handbag Collection: Part I
For as long as I can remember, I have collected handbags. I just looove them! Everywhere I go, whether I’m travelling to the other side of the world, or only to a flea market down the street, I am always on the lookout for new pieces to add to my collection.
I don’t necessarily seek out big luxury brands, but rather handbags that have a certain something about them — I’m not really sure how to describe it — some little quirk that sparks my imagination and helps me to create my own designs.
Each and every handbag tells a story and carries so many memories. That’s why I want to show you some pieces from my collection. It’s another way to share my passion with you and tell you a bit of my story…
This was one of my first handbags. I was maybe 15 years old when I found it at a flea market in Zurich, Switzerland.
The seller told me that this bag came from England, and when you look it, you can tell that it resembles a messenger bag. Up until the 70s, this type of bag was most commonly used by English students.
The rims are decorated with holes, a detail that harkens back to Brogue shoes, which originated in Scotland and Ireland. The shape of the satchel is deliberately plain. It is designed to be as simple and practical as possible: this is a bag made to hold your everyday items. The leather flap on the back folds over the front to close the bag. The strap, which is worn across the body, replaces the shoulder strap of a traditional school bag.
But in my case, this bag’s strap is attached at the top. Unfortunately, this concept, while elegant, is not practical for everyday use. One cannot hold the bag by the strap and open it at the same time.
This bag belonged to an older woman who was my neighbor. After her death, her house was abandoned for 15 years, until the new owners moved in and found this bag. They wanted to get rid of it, so I took it home.
This small evening bag was handmade in the 60s or 70s. It’s a combination of crochet and beaded embroidery. Brass hoops are linked together with beads in the shape of flowers. The handles are also specially made with beads on a nylon wire. The inside of the bag is made of a lattice of “Swiss yard” (acrylic raffia).
While beautiful and intricate, this bag isn’t very practical: it has no closure and only a space large enough to hold a pack of tissues. On the other hand, it is an original piece that has a timeless appeal.
The Professional Women’s Bag
I found this bag in a thrift store in Uzès, a small town in the south of France, while I was traveling with my friend.
It dates back to the 60s and is particularly well-made and sturdy; even the lining is made of durable cowhide. It is a small women’s briefcase with three separate compartments for your files on the inside. It opens by the two metal latches where the handles meet the body of the bag.
Its shape, chic and timeless, is a style that could have been worn by the likes of Audrey Hepburn or Jackie Kennedy.