Bags – Icons and investments
Bags have not always been cult objects for women only. In earlier times, both men and women carried pouches and bags. It was customary and practical to wear bags on belts or even as pouches slung around the waist under outer garments.
During the course of fashion history, the unisex bag gradually transformed into the handbag exclusively for female use. When close-fitting chemise dresses made of gauzy muslin came out, there was no choice other than to carry the pouch in the hand or on the arm.
It was in the 20th century that handbags experienced their great boom. Bags such as the so-called Kelly bag became absolute cult objects and icons. Some of the greatest and most influential bag designers, including Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Gucci and Prada, started in the saddler business and originally produced luxury travel luggage.
The fact that the handbag became known as a symbol of femininity and an object of female desire had a lot to do with fashion staging.
Throughout history, one thing has remained the same: the handbag is a very personal object. It is a container that we use to keep and carry items that belong to us.
This exhibition offers an insight into the early history of bags made out of fabric, tapestry, beads and leather. The 1920s shaped handbag fashion with elaborate clasp bags and unmistakable ornaments in Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles. The 1930s saw the introduction of bags made of Bakelite or celluloid.
Of course, the highly sought-after it handbags from the big brands make an appearance too. Exclusive and unusual runway bags from contemporary designers and artists complete the picture. In short, this exhibition is heaven on earth for handbag enthusiasts.