I've been very distracted all day long, caught in a daydream of Chanel....
It poured down here most of the day, but it suited me as i got lost in hundreds of Chanel images, past and present.
Chanel is my weakness and i love beautiful things
The 2.55 is an iconic masterpiece and if I wished for only one thing under my Christmas tree this year, it would most certainly be a 2.55!
Coco Chanel tired of carrying her handbag in her arms, so in the 1920s set about designing a bag that avoided this. In 1929 she introduced a design that was inspired by the straps that were found on soldier's bags, she added thin straps and this was the result introduced to the market.
She had a desire for practicality -
'I was fed up with holding my purses in my hands and losing them, so I added a strap and carried them over my shoulder'
In 1954, after having a successful return to the fashion industry, Chanel decided to update her handbag.
In February 1955, the 2.55 was born and named after its creation date.
In February 2005, Chanel sold a bag to celebrate the 50th anniversary . It was an exact copy of the original 2.55 and was named "Reissue 2.55"
There are 180 stages and 60 pieces that go into the making of a 2.55.
It takes great expertise with 10 years of training.
This is a job for highly skilled craftspeople, who take huge pride in their work.
The outside of the bag shows its iconic quilted pattern, a running stitch is used to give the bag volume and shape.
It's said to be inspired by her love of horse riding, the jockeys' riding coats, the cushions that were in her Paris apartment and the stained glass windows of the abbey at Aubazine.
Her uniform at the convent where she grew up is portrayed in the burgundy lining....
Mademoiselle Chanel was very particular in that the inside of a handbag should be as beautiful as the outside.
The inside of the bag is seeped in history.
The secret pocket that she was rumoured to hide love letters from her beau in her original bag.
A compartment for lipstick, something which she would never leave the house without.
Then there is the magical code again, a stitching of the famous double C on a second flap and on the fastener another logo which was designed after her death in 1971 and is known as the Fermoir Mademoiselle.
The original bag had a front lock which was called "the mademoiselle Lock"
(referring to the fact that Chanel never married.)
The "Classic Flap" bag are the ones with a lock in the shape of the double CC Logo. This version came about in the 1980s.
The last stage to the making of the famous bag is the adding of the strap.
'It's a very delicate stage - if you get it wrong, you've ruined the bag.'
Chanel designed the double chain strap to make it easier for ladies attending social functions to carry so that they had their hands free. At the time this was very rare in such high class societies and was maybe inspired by the caretakers at the convent where she grew up, who carried their keys on a similar type of chain.
The bag is now ready and comes with its own unique code, proving the bag is authentic and if you so wished you could even find out who in the factory had actually made your bag.
How much would i like to get locked in that factory! It would be my equivalent of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, swimming in Chanel logos!!!
So there you have it. This iconic piece is more than just a bag, it's a piece of history and now i want one even more!!!
Well i don't think my wishes will be answered here in Portugal, but i can dream!!
I'm actually jealous of all my friend's status updates on Facebook that it has snowed in England.... though they'll probably think i'm mad for saying that!
Just a few flakes would be nice :)
Lisbon was cold yesterday (by Lisbon standards!) and the palm trees sat in amongst the autumnal surroundings is just a picture that always warms my heart! I've always had a thing about palm trees, probably because to me (a brit) they remind me of holidays. When i first arrived in Portugal 4 years ago i was so happy to be able to walk past the lines and lines of them. I'll miss them when i leave.....
Many moons ago, when my eyes were opening to the world of designer labels, a Burberry handbag was my very first lust. I remember Christmas day, opening the wrapping paper of my gift, to reveal the distinctive tartan check and thinking I'd died and gone to heaven.
It was love at first sight and i felt the luckiest girl alive!
The British label was founded in 1856 by the 21 year old Thomas Burberry. The former draper's apprentice opened his own shop in Basingstoke, Hamphire, England to outfit the local gentry in functional gear for sport.
Thomas Burberry created the start of a business that would adorn the backs of many men. In 1879 he produced a fabric that was waterproof, breathable and hardwearing under the most toughest of conditions. It served men from the WWI trenches to the polar regions of Antarctica. He patented the fabric in 1880 and the popular coat was named -the 'Gaberdine' (after the fabric).
It later became known by it's label when King Edward VII had the habit of repeatedly saying -
"get me my Burberry"!
Burberry's Equestrian Knight Logo was created in 1901. It bears the latin word PRORSUM which means forward.
In 1914 his company was commissioned by the British War Office to adapt the earlier officers coat to suit conditions of the current warfare. The trench coat was born and would become one of the most iconic designs of all time.
Not long after the war in 1924, they added their trademark check pattern to the lining of the coat. It would sit there barely noticed for the next 50 years.
In the 1920s and 30s he clothed the leisure classes of the 'smart set'. Designing for men and women outfits for golf, shooting, fishing, cycling, riding, archery, tennis and skiing.
During WWII they produced waterproofs for all the services and then in the 1940s, 50s and 60s the trench coat became a legend after gracing the screen on many Hollywood greats.
The fashion house is still thriving today, reinventing its self with campaigns featuring many British celebrities. Including Kate Moss, Agyness Dean and most recently Harry Potter actress, Emma Watson.
If only my feet could be adorned with a different pair of Louboutins seven days a week. Surely after all the years of pointe shoes they deserve to be treated with the red soled delights??!!
Well until that day comes I'll stick to the high street.
Now a days i really believe you can look absolutely great and feel fab dressed head to toe from Topshop - Primark. It's the way you wear something and it's all about feeling good about yourself. Mixing and being adventurous is much more fun anyway!!!
I can be lusting after a Chanel bag one day and a Topshop one the next!
So i discovered New Look do great shoes and today i tottered along Lisbon's cobbles in my new boots.
Gone are my skinny heeled shoe days though! When i first arrived in Lisbon i naively went out one night in a towering pair of killer heels and they did just that. After repeatedly getting stuck down cobbles and resorting to walking around on tip toe, I'm surprised i didn't permanently damage my poor calves!
Here are a few New Look treats that i would be proud to adorn my feet with!