A Fascinating History of Bags ~ Fashion bags 2012

Sabtu, 24 Agustus 2013

A Fascinating History of Bags

Egyptian Girdle Pouch

The first mention of bags in literature was in the 14th century, Egyptian hieroglyphics showed pouches carried around the waist. Different jewels adorned these pouches which were used to show the person's status - the higher the wealth, the more elegant the pouch.

Bags Took Shape Over The Centuries

It Soon Became Fashionable To Carry A Bag

In the early 16th century, the bags became much more practical with the use of materials such as leather with a drawstring to fasten. Also during this period, large bags made of cloth were used by travellers who would have them fitted diagonally across their bodies.

The 17th century brought more variety and both men and women carried very fashionable small bags in complex shapes. The use of embroidery increased the beauty of the bags with its unique artwork.

In the 18th century the fashion conscious ladies began to acquire many types of bags. Women had a different bag for every occasion; the bags were used for rouge, face powder, a scent bottle and smelling salts.

Antique And Vintage Bags

The Inspiration For Handbags

They Were First Used By Men

The term 'handbag' first appeared in the early 1900's and it referred in general to the hand carried luggage bags that were used by men. This started the inspiration for new types of handbags which became popular with women. The handbags had complicated fasteners, internal compartments and locks. With this new fashion came the creation by jewellers of unique compartments for opera glasses and fans.

The 1920's exploded with a revolution in fashion with changing hemlines and lighter fabric clothing. There was no longer the need for the bags to match the ladies outfit perfectly and the ladies of style would carry a doll dressed exactly like them, complete with a bag that matched.

The 1940's brought new austerity in the clothing and handbags because of the war effort. Metal and leather was understandably in short supply, so the handbag manufacturers turned to the use of plastic and wood.

Inside Story of a Handbag

This article was printed January 21, 1945, in the New York Times, by Anita Daniel

A woman without her handbag feels as lost as a wanderer in the desert. And she wants it large. If she cannot get it in leather, now growing scarce, she will take it in fabric, fur, or even plastic. The handbag is the movable base of her supplies, the depot of her expected needs. These eventual needs may reach out to a degree far beyond any man's power of imagination. A woman's handbag is a mysterious dungeon. It's the key to her real self; the prosaic answer to many poetic conceptions.

A magician does not want to explain his tricks. There is an aura of taboo about a closed handbag. Every woman has an uneasy look if somebody glances into its sacred privacy. A decent man should always tactfully stare at the ceiling whenever his companion opens her bag. He will, of course, have to concentrate on that ceiling pretty often.

The typical handbag of a typical woman contains a certain number of fundamental things, plus her own individual touch. It is that individual touch that fills the bag. Some item is pretty sure to roll out the moment the bag is opened.

Every woman's handbag is a lost and found department in itself. It is strange, but things actually disappear there, as by magic. They finally reappear on the surface after three or four investigations and complete pell-mell of the contents. Every bus driver is fatalistically resigned to having a lady barring the passage while searching for a nickel in the depths of her handbag.

And every man knows about the two-minute drama ever repeated: "Heavens, I must have lost my watch, (or my twenty-dollar bill, my keys, that important letter)!" It usually has a happy ending. Nothing gives a man more self-satisfaction than such an experience. The whole myth of the superiority of men is built on the fact that a man never carries a handbag. Men keep women in eternal dependence by buying them beautiful handbags. What female heart would not melt at the sight of a luscious alligator bag, or soft suede or brocade?

A man carries everything in his numerous comfortably deep pockets. It is estimated that a man wearing a suit with a vest and an overcoat has twenty pockets. No wonder he can never lose anything!

Women have also adapted pockets to their suits and coats. But the most genuine are just fit to put hands into. The others are good enough for a chiffon handkerchief to peep out of or they are faked. No woman's suit pocket is meant to hold her belongings. Every bulge would endanger the slim line and the smart effect. So women continue to carry handbags. As long as women do not wear men's suits with pockets, they will remain women. And men will continue to feel superior. The first thing Adam purchased for Eve was a handbag. It was his sweet revenge for the apple.

Money is the thing you will miss most frequently in a woman's handbag. Nowadays it is hardly worth while for pickpockets to steal it, except for the fact that an astonishing number of women carry their precious belonging in handbags. They do it for fear they may be stolen from closets or drawers. That is why we read so often of handbags lost in taxicabs, containing jewels worth thousands of dollars. It is a strange time when women wear junk jewellery around their necks and carry their precious jewellery in the zippered department of their handbags.

Some psychologists think the way a woman carries her bag is characteristic. "Bagology" is quite a science. There is the strap type, the shoulder-strap type and the woman who tucks her bag under her arm. There are a great number of women who hold their bags both by the straps and pressed under the arm.

Seen from the psychologist's angle, the way a woman carriers her purse demonstrates the entire scale of characteristics, from light-mindedness and generosity to caution and greediness. One analyst warns men against women who keep their bag rolled around the wrist and the hand firmly clasped around the lock.

In the good old times, when the definition of a "lady" covered very definite limitations, it was ladylike to carry as little as possible. In sentimental English novels of the last century, whenever a lady opened her bag it was to give money to the poor. Or to take out a small prayer book, an embroidered handkerchief or a tiny bottle of smelting salts, as it was considered very ladylike to faint once in a while. Today's ladies have a far more varied program.

The first time I saw Mrs. Roosevelt I was deeply impressed by the sight of her bag. There stood the First Lady, very tall, very straight, very distinguished in her grey tailored suit. In one hand she carried roses that had been presented to her; in the other, her bag. What a bag! It was of dark leather and of tremendous dimension, practically bursting with invisible contents. It clearly spoke of the activities of the First Lady. One glance and you knew the President's wife had a full-time job.

Famous Handbag Designer Houses Started

And Imitation Followed

With the 1950's came the rise of some influential and important designer houses such as; Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Chanel.

The 1960's saw the breakdown of the old ideas of what was supposed to be classical in bags and it was a time for the emergence of a new youth culture.

The wonderful modern world of bags now has a huge array of different designs, some of the most famous and therefore most imitated are the bags produced by Kate Spade, Gucci, Coach and Dior.

Bags have come a long way from the early centuries until modern day and they have an absolutely fascinating history.

Where would we be without a bag today?

Top Designer Bags

Bags Have Been Made of Many Things

Some Materials Proved Good, Some Not So Good

The materials that have been used to make bags have constantly varied over the centuries, depending on the availability of resources.

Quite a lot of the materials that were used seemed to be ideal until they got wet or showed wear and eventually had holes or just broke up.

Bags over time have been made of cloth, canvas, leather, wood, plastic, wool, metal and cork.

The delightful handbag that is illustrated here is made of cork.

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