Iconic Handbags – Part 2 – Chanel 2.55/Classic Flap

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In part two of iconic handbags I look at the Chanel 2.55/Classic Flap, it’s history, features and whether I think it’s worth buying.

 

History

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The timeless Chanel 2.55 another one of those bags that is adored by women the world over. Created by Coco Chanel in February 1955, the date which lends itself to the name of the bag. It is one of those luxury handbags in the league of the Lady Dior or the Berkin by Hermes.

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The original design was created in the 1920’s, however to celebrate her return to fashion the bag was modernised and was renamed the 2.55.Inspiration behind Coco Chanel’s masterpiece is said to be down to her tiredness of having to carry handbags in her arms,and by adding thin straps in a double chain design, a throwback to bags carried by soliders in the 1920’s, this design is now a standard in all Chanel handbags.

In 2005, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 2.55, Chanel reissued the bag, and subsequent models are now known as the 2.55 reissue. Only bags created in the original 2.55 style are deemed reissue, otherwise variations are called ‘Classic Flap’.

Features

The 2.55 features a zippered compartment on the inside of the front flap, while an outside flap on the back is ideal for storing money.Originally fitted with the “Mademoiselle Lock”, classic flap variations of the bag now carry the double CC logo.

Functionality/Sizes

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The reissue comes in 5 sizes:

The Baby 7.5 W x 5.75 H x 1.75 D inches

Small 9.75″ x 7.06″ x 2.16″

Medium 11″ x 8″ x 2.5″

Large 12.25″ x 9.18″ x 2.5″

The X-Large aka Jumbo 14.2″ x 9.8″ x 3″

The “Baby” can definitely fit your keys and a small purse purse,and the “Jumbo” is large enough to fit a full sized iPad. The “Jumbo” is extremely rare so if you want to purchase it, I suggest you visit one of the larger Chanel stores, if they don’t have it in stock they can always track one down.

Price/Value for Money

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The rarity and the size of the bag reflects in the price, if you can track one down be prepared to pay upwards of £3-4 k for a mint condition or at least £2k for a secondhand on an auction site. Is it value for money? If you can afford it, it is a great investment piece, instantly adds class to any outfit, and in many cases originals have been passed down on to further generations.

Variations

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While the iconic quilt stitch is a trademark of Chanel, it does not appear in all variations of the 2.55 or flap.Materials can range from lambskin and patent leather,tweed or goatskin, and with all luxury brands an “exotic” python or Ostrich is available. Colours range seasonally, but black and white are always stocked.

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Celeb Factor

 

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The 2.55/Flap is the staple of celebrity handbags, it is probably one of the most photographed bags in the world, seen on the arms of celebrities ranging from Coco Chanel herself to Paris Hilton,Lauren Conrad to Princess Caroline of Monaco.

My thoughts

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The 2.55 is a wonderful bag to own,and there are a number of reasons why it would make a great addition to your wardrobe.Not only is it an ‘it’ bag, but it’s functionality is truly superb.While it will probably see more of your cupboard than anything else, it goes well with both jeans and more formal attire.

Would I buy it? While I would recommend it to others, I am still too taken by my recent purchase of the Lady Dior. While the Chanel is no doubt a lovely bag, it’s not my cup of tea, particularly the issue with price in relation to perceived exclusivity, for me it’s not as good as the Dior.

1 Comment

  1. Naeha

    March 13, 2014 at 5:16 pm

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