Saturday, July 14, 2007

Homage to an Icon

For me there is only one designer handbag - forever and always the Chanel 2.55. I am a lover of all things iconic and you can't get more iconic then the original 'it bag' can you? Created in February 1955 (hence the name), by the words-cannot-describe-how-brilliant, Coco Chanel, the 2.55 has been, with little over a half a century, a symbol of wealth, success, beauty and fashion the world over.
The Original

It was love at first sight. July 2004, Teen Vogue, an interview with Mischa Barton, a photograph of the then teen -TV idol with a sumptuous, salmon - pink, 2.55 swung nonchalantly over her shoulder. My heart skipped a beat. I was in love. After that I noticed Barton's on - screen role, Marissa, forever equipped with her iconic shoulder wear. The following summer, one purchase of a Zara imitation bag later, and I was obsessed.

The picture that stole my heart (Teen Vogue July '04
In typical egotistical Coco style, the design of the bag was made to suit her needs. Too busy, for all that clutching at your purse nonsense, the first lady of fashion, lent a double chain shoulder strap to the original bag design. Inspired by the quilted diamond pattern of the jockey de jour blazers, a legend had created a legend.

In 2005 to celebrate its 50th birthday, a remake of this object of desire was reissued, bringing about a whole new generation of fashionistas lionizing the 2.55. Suddenly every young celebrity, not only Mischa Barton, was snapped with their precious Chanel.

2005 Anniversary Edition

There may be the Chloe Paddington, the Hermes Birkin, the McQueen Novak, the Fendi Spy and the Mulberry Emmy, but there is only one handbag eternally in vogue.