My little Handbag Collection II
The Dual Bag
This bag belonged to my mom when she was little. She got it in the 70s.
This bag in particular is for a young girl, so the strap is very short, too short for an adult. The bag itself is made of cotton, and the beaded embroidery is glued to the fabric.
This bag is peculiar because of its double design. In fact, it acts as two bags, back to back, with two independent compartments.
The Doctor Bag
I found this bag some years ago at a flea market in Basel, Switzerland.
With its round shape and rectangular metal clasp, it resembles an old doctor’s bag. The engraving on the lock tells us that this bag was made in an Argentinian luggage factory that no longer exists today.
The bag is very solid, made from quality cowhide. It is lined with leather and has different compartments on the inside (in order to sort medical materials, no doubt). I really like the definition of the front pocket. It was cut from the leather, then secured back into place.
Not just for doctors anymore, this “Doctor Bag” style still exists in the fashion world. In fact, it is one of the more popular handbag styles, a classic that all the large fashion brands have, at one time or another, appropriated.
The Drawstring Purse
I found this small bag among the Torajan people in Sulawesi, Indonesia. In their culture, the funeral rites are also important social gatherings.
In these small, beaded bags, that match their traditional dress, the Torajan women bring tobacco to funerals. Tobacco, along with other things (cigarettes, jewelry, clothing, money…) represents the last gift from the living to the dead, to properly send them off to the afterlife.
These Torajan bags are traditionally red, white, and orange. The cotton fabric is spun by hand and the corners of the bag are highlighted by embroidery in geometric shapes. One detail I’d like to note: the two different straps. One is shorter and woven, while the other is longer and embroidered with beads.
This bag is very precious to me! It is the first gift that my boyfriend gave me when I met up with him in Mexico.
Since then, it has been my go-to travel bag. Mexicans have a long tradition of leather artisanry. This bag is made of vegetable tanned cowhide. It is rigid, very resistant and a lighter color than traditionally pigmented leather. Naturally beige at first, little by little, it has become browner due to exposure to sunlight.
The seams are made with a thin leather strap threaded through holes drilled into the fabric. What I love most about this bag is the patterns printed on the iron that adorns the edges.