When I started Bagaholicboy as a blog dedicated to covering designer bags in 2007, finding out more about the Chanel 11.12 naturally became a chief quest. I wanted to know the story behind it. For example, prior to my research, I had always assumed that it had been designed by Coco Chanel, but it’s actually the work of Karl Lagerfeld who had based it on the 2.55 handbag that she had created in 1955, introducing it 27 years later in the early ’80s. (For the layman who doesn’t know the difference between the two bags, I always say that the easiest way to distinguish between them is to look at the clasp: The one on the 2.55 is rectangular; the one on the 11.12 is in the form of the double ‘C’.)
I also wanted to know what made this bag so special: Why is it so significant in the world of Chanel? And why did people seem to love it so much? Then there were far fewer women on the streets carrying the Chanel Classic as there are now, but it was still one of the most distinctive styles you would see out and about. Its quilted leather finish; its clasp; its metal chain that comes interlaced with leather – there were few bags then that sported such details and while I can’t say the same now, it remains as distinct.
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Call Of The Wild
If the original Pocket bag that Burberry introduced last year embodies heritage-made timeless – cue its leather-trimmed canvas make and structured, squarish shape inspired by a shopper from the archives – the Soft Pocket is its independent-minded grown-up sister. With an idiosyncratic trapezoid shape, it’s crafted entirely in calf leather, lending both pliability and a tough edge. In collaboration with the British luxury house, Female introduces four content creators – professional or accidental – with an equally nonconformist streak to watch out for.
What Really Goes Into The Making Of A Dress Or Bag?
What really goes into the making of a dress or bag? With the pandemic spurring fashion houses to put the focus back on community and craft, Gordon Ng zeroes in on some Spring/Summer 2021 releases that prove that sometimes, it really does take a village (or going back to one).
From a platform connecting charities and social causes with creatives to a design studio which has mushrooms (yes, fungi) as its primary medium, the eight emerging creative names spotlighted here share the same pursuit as us: challenge the way people see and think.
Ties That Bind
One year after an assured debut in the world of makeup, Hermes is now revealing its second offering: the Rose Hermes range of blushers. Gordon Ng reports on the art, science and community behind it.
The crystal specialist Swarovski celebrated its 125th anniversary last year with the bold announcement of the fashion plate Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert as its first-ever creative director. This month, the full range of Collection 1 – her debut comprising a dazzling 14 sub-collections – gets released here, along with a new unified brand (you don’t have to try discerning between its different divisions any longer) and boutique concept as bombastic as the jewellery itself. Gordon Ng gets her to share the marvel that she has in store.
Willabelle Ong - The Girl Who Does Everything
Many would classify Willabelle Ong as the archetypal ’90s-born content creator made good. With her work spanning polished, artfully composed Instagram photos of herself showing off the latest fashion must-haves; Tiktok videos that reveal her to be quite the cheeky comedienne; and large-scale abstract expressionist canvas paintings, one can also call her a Renaissance woman for the post-social media age. That and the perfect personality to show off Chloe’s pragmatic-meets-poetic runway pieces for Spring/Summer 2021 meant to evoke feminine strength and hope. Female and the French label put her in the portrait seat.
Magic In The Air
With its iconic accord of rose, jasmine, ylang-ylang and lily of the valley, Dior’s J’Adore is a veritable icon of modern perfumery. This month, the house launches J’Adore Infinissime, a sensuous update bolstered by a voluptuous heart of tuberose. Francois Demachy – perfumer-creator for Dior since 2006 – is the man behind it. He’s also the star of Nose, a recently released documentary that zeroes in on the secretive workings of the fragrance industry. Gordon Ng speaks with the master perfumer to find out about his process and how the most important ingredient in scent-making is the human touch.
A Love Story
Even before he started his holy grail of a namesake website and Instagram account expounding on the world of luxury fashion, Bagaholicboy – designer bag connoisseur and long-time collaborator of Female – made it his quest to demystify the allure of the Chanel 11.12 handbag. Together with the French maison, Female gets him to share about his fascination for this iconic design and how he got a legion of others to love it too.
By Your Side
Drawing on its knack for innovative shapes and effortlessly modern design when it comes to watches and jewellery, Cartier debuts the Double C de Cartier – a leather shoulder bag that proves that the maison might just also be a master of fashion. Ladies, take note.
A Tribe Called Quest
Behind many of Rolex’s iconic designs are some of the world’s bravest adventurers. Gordon Ng reports on the legacy of the Swiss luxury watchmaker’s enduring support of the explorer community.