History of the famous Chanel 2.55 bag

Categories:Chanel, Fashion

Me in the Harrods’ Chanel Bags department. Someone stop me!!!

Ciao Peeps,

As you probably know by now, I am a big fan of Gabrielle Chanel and everything she created in her lifetime. She was an incredible woman. She is truly an inspiration for me as she persisted with her dreams and with not much resources at hand created a name for herself, her classic style, fabrics and iconic logo is still a worldwide sensation to this day.

Every time I add a Chanel bag to my collection I get more and more fascinated by the details and history behind the iconic 2.55. After all is what started it all!

I began my research to find as many details as possible about this handbag. so many interesting facts related to it and I wouldn’t expect any less from a remarkable woman such as Coco Chanel, by the way the nickname was given to her after a brief singing “career”. She loved to sing but apparently wasn’t very good at it!

Chanel and 2.55 handbag

The original Chanel 2.55 handbag and Mademoiselle herself

In those times her decision to add shoulder straps to a woman’s bag was both a style and function breakthrough. In the early 1920s women used to carry their bags, it was not practical and very tiring.

Chanel’a 2.55 inspiration came by observing soldiers cross-body bags and so decided to add a strap to her own bag, seeing the practicality of it shortly after the end of World War II she launched the quilted bag, precisely in February 1955 and added long chain straps to it, hence the name 2.55.

Women were both skeptical and captivated by this unconventional and rebellious design that it soon became a fashion sensation.

The 2.55 is characterised by many pockets (apparently she used to hide love letters in the inner lining of the bag). Coco insisted that the bag had to have body, hence the quilted diamond shaped pattern that adds volume to the shape.

The bag originally came with a front lock called “the Mademoiselle Lock”. Since the 1980s, there are many versions of it with a lock in the shape of a double CC logo. These called “Classic Flaps”. She was always a “Mademoiselle” as she never married.

In its first year, this purse became so popular that the designer was refusing many of the requests for orders that had been made to her. She just didn’t have the time as the process of making a handbag was unique and timely as she insisted on keeping a very high quality for each individual bag.

For the first time ever in fashion history, a woman’s handbag now had a chain shoulder strap on it. Women didn’t need to hold their purses any longer, instead they could easily carry them over their shoulders and have their hands free to hold glasses of champagne, eat canapes, read theatre programmes etc.

Mademoiselle Chanel in trousers courtesy of fashionsizzle.com

This was one of Chanel’s dream, to create a new era for women, liberate them and empower them at the same time. This mindset prevailed also in Coco’s choice of fabrics and clothing design . She was often seen sporting “men’s clothes” and always opted for cottons and primary fabrics that could be both stylish and comfortable to wear.

I am sure there are many more facts and anecdotes related to this bag but these are the main ones I chose to write about as I consider them essential to understanding how this design came about.

Thank you for tuning in on my blog!

~ La Pixie Dust

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