You can never know enough about purses
A little arm candy doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.
1. The Birkin: No must-have bag list is complete without this one.
In 1984, actress Jane Birkin (who jokes that the bag’s success has upstaged her own) was on a plane seated next to the president of Hermès. She spilled the contents of her too-small bag on his lap and the Birkin bag was born. It’s probably best remembered as the bag Kim Cattrall’s character, Samantha Jones, tried desperately to get after being wait-listed for one in a Season 4 episode of Sex and the City. The starting price? Around $7,000. (All prices approximate, in Canadian dollars.)
Banana Republic’s Heritage leather tote (about $475; www.bananarepublic.com) has the same streamlined look and is big enough to carry all your working-girl must-haves.
2. Simply Chanel:
The Parisian fashion house’s iconic bag.
An icon along with the Birkin, the Chanel 2.55 was designed and introduced by Coco Chanel herself in February 1955 (hence the name, 2.55) because she wanted a shoulder bag to free up her hands. The quilted bag, which was inspired by the jackets worn by jockeys, was reissued and updated in 2005 for its 50th anniversary, with a turning clasp instead of the original logo clasp. These aren’t easy to come by. Ebay’s your best bet, with auctions starting at around $1,500.
Who can fit anything in those tiny shoulder bags, anyway? Juicy Couture’s Quilted Leather Bowler (about $400) offers a fresh take on the modern gal’s idea of freeing up her hands by keeping more than her mirror compact out of the way. Visit www.juicycouture.com for store locations. If you do prefer a cute little clutch, Old Navy’s Quilted Wristlets even have a Chanel-inspired chain strap ($5; visit www.oldnavy.com).
3. Louis’ Luxe Logos:
Monogram fever started with this brand.
One of the most counterfeited bags around, Louis Vuitton’s Monogram Canvas design was created in 1896. Since then, it has gained international status, adorning the arms of celebs and socialites everywhere. Collaboration with various designers such as Takashi Murakami and Marc Jacobs has resulted in modernized versions of the traditional design, such as graffiti, cherries and most recently, the "Speedy Miroir"’s flashy silver or gold finish (about $1,300).
For a playful take on logo-envy, Guess’ Corinne line (about $100; visit guess.ca) offers a more affordable way to try the trend.
4. Chloé’s Classic
Keep your goods under lock and key.
Apparently sold out before they even hit shelves, Chloé’s leather Paddington bag – 8,000 of which were produced for the Spring/Summer 2005 collection – features a functioning padlock and key. At around $1,700, some are now available at net-a-porter.com.
Sure, Aldo’s “Spain” bag (visit aldoshoes.com) closes with a metal clasp rather than a lock, but for $50 we’ve decided we’re not that paranoid about having our stuff stolen anyway.
Written by: Christine Walewski