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Published: Friday 29 November, 2013

clothing store canada clothing store canada A storied history of handbags

Not all handbags are created equal some are classics, some are trendy, some are practical, some are simply arm candy. Carried Away: All About Bags, a book published by The Vandome Press with Herm Paris, includes a lexicon of bags. Among the entries:

Accordeon. A lady bag made of two or three pouches side by side, fastened to each other by stitching, snaps or slide fasteners to allow expansion or contraction of the bag, according to its desired capacity.

Balantine. Based on the Greek word for purse, balantion. A type of purse made of leather, fabric or metal, suspended from a long cord, which may be wound around the wrist or the arm. The balantine swings back and forth at knee height as you walk.

Pompadour. Small pouch of velvet or lace, worn hanging from a cord and used to carry smelling salts, a handkerchief, a notebook or money. It was made fashionable in the 18th century by the Marquise de Pompadour.

Pouchette, also called a clutch. Diminutive of poche, meaning pocket from the Frankish word pokka. A small lady bag with neither handle nor shoulder strap.

Reticule, also called string bag, mesh bag or net bag. From the Latin word reticulum. A string bag carried in antiquity as a container for provisions or tools.

Sac dos, or rucksack or backpack. A bag worn on the back, usually held in place by two buckled straps and closed by a drawstring, which is sometimes concealed under a flap.

Sac Seau or bucket bag. A woman carryall bag, cylindrical or flared, with a stiff base. Usually open, but sometimes closed by a flap with a loop to protect against prying eyes. Inspired by fire buckets, the earliest of which were leather.

Serviette, attach case or briefcase. From Latin servire, which means to be a slave. A rectangular bag with a flap secured by one or more clasps, bellows to separate interior compartments, and with or without handles.

According to Carried Away: All About Bags The Vandome Press, the first incarnation of the modern acces clothing store canada sory, the longstringed reticule, came in the late 18th century.

In fashion, it the little things that mean a lot, says Farid Chenoune, who put together the book and an exhibit at the Mus des Arts D in Paris. If you take a little object like this one a handbag, you put together a lot of stories of what life is, what power is, religiosity, what men and women relationships are and it all fashion, too.

But Chenoune definition of fashion goes beyond a glossy magazine. He includes wizard bags, doctor bags and religious bags in his broad scope.

The similarity between an haute couture tote and a satchel belonging to an African witch, he explains, is that both bags hold a secret of some sort.

What you put in your bag is very important to you. That makes a bag very personal, because in it you have a secret. A secret gives you some sort of power. Traditionally, for a woman, a bag holds the things you need for the day, but it also your little beauty factory, which is very important to the identity of the woman, Chenoune says.

Men used to be the ones who give women their purses. Wedding purses were a tradit clothing store canada ional gift from groom to bride through the 15th century, according to Carried Away. The bags typically were elaborately embroidered with an illustration of a love story.

In Papau New Guinea, both men and women carry large knit bilum bags. They look like nets decorated with feathers, seashells and other ornaments, Chenoune says.

The people who wear it are not living on the seashore, they live on the mountains, so the more shells you have, the more important person you are. It means you know people on the seashore, and you have a lot of social relationships, and all your friends were willing to give shells to you, he explains.

Of course, status bags have been taken to new heights in the designer era, with top fashion companies adorning bags with logos and other signs of luxury, such as skins and fur. A recent auction at Doyle New York featured a black crocodile Herm Birkin, customized with a clasp and lock featuring 14 carats of pav diamonds, that sold for $64,800.

Whereas the inside of one bag is supposed to be personal and intimate, the outside is practically a billboard advertising one place in the world, Chenoune observes. This became emphasized at the end of the 18th century, when women shifted to the neoclassical style of dress, he explains.

The pocket became the modern bag, and by 1920, it became a symbol of women independence. It said she could go where she wanted to go, and didn need a man because he held all the possessions, Chenoune said.

Years later, Coco Chanel created a handbag that would become the standard for a generation: the 2.55, the quilted bag with chain strap that first appeared in February 1955.

Coco history with handbags goes way back. She liked shoulder bags to keep hands free; she was inspired by the quilted jackets from jockeys. The 2.55 was the culmination of the work she done previously, says Barbara Cirkva, executive vice president of fashion at Chanel.

The bag has remained a coveted item, and current Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld has returned it to musthave status.

Karl has been so genius in taking the 2.55 and keeping its iconic status by reinventing it every season. He done it in terry cloth, tweed, with sequins on it, but he keeps th clothing store canada e most recognizable elements, Cirkva explains. Those elements include the quilting, chain and the CC lock.

For many consumers, a bag is the entrylevel item to the luxury market.

I think the bag has become even more important over the past two decades because women do not wear as much In the 1940s, you wore the total designer look, now clothes are mixed and matched. Bags are part of the new freedom, Chenoune says. Now you can Chanel with a bag, not dressed head to toe. clothing store canada