My First Designer Bag Hunt

September 13, 2009 at 20:17 4 comments

The designer bag story begins to be told today.

I used to cherish an unstated cockiness in not desiring a designer bag. Who needed those things? Stuffy, old-ladyish, be-jewelled and be-studded sacks, made to line the pockets of snob brands and pander to the vanities of insecure overprivileged females. I was perfectly happy with my mountain of S$10 – 40 bags from Forever 21, Charles & Keith, and various pasar malams in Taipei and Bangkok. Splurging meant a jaunt to Zara or Mango for a S$70 – 80 bag.

I don’t know what changed. All of a sudden – indeed it seems overnight – quality, name, design and price acquired a certain allure. My pulse began to quicken at pictures of celebrities carrying Chanel bags. Such simplicity, yet emitting that glow of insouciant elegance. What gems, with the power to deify a woman in an evening gown, and in a suit, in a white dress, in black jeans, and in shorts. Lambskin, calfskin – words rich in both decadence and unspoken gore.

I asked my friend Corona, a veteran of Coach bags, what she saw in designer bags. She said 1) they make her feel more confident; 2) they last for years; and 3) it’s all a show, really. I suppose that sums it up quite nicely.

So these are the two bags that I have been spying with my little eye the past few days since my new craze began. I don’t dare to step into the Chanel league just yet, but I flatter myself that this is a decent start. I have actually met these bags in person and introduced myself, and these are my first impressions:

Cole Haan Prudence Red

This is Cole Haan’s Prudence Small Triple Zip Satchel. It’s an ugly mouthful, but a lovely bag, and special because it’s my first lust. Although dubbed ‘Small’, it’s actually about 13 inches wide and can hold loads, thanks to it’s slouchy stuffability. It’s made from thick woven straps of soft calfskin, which is tactile heaven. And it’s called Triple Zip because it has not one, but three large compartments set in parallel, which is great for a Doraemon like me. The colour in this picture is Zinfandel, and in real life it’s a wine-like burgundy, which I suspect is easier to outfit-match than it looks, because the red is so deep, it practically becomes a neutral. The other colour it comes in is Dark Gull Gray. I was initially attracted to the gray for its versatility, but have switched allegiance to the red because it looks so much punchier. I’d carry this like, everyday. It goes for over S$900 (I can never remember exact figures, sorry).

Longchamp Legend Caramel

This one is Longchamp’s Legende handbag, made of calfskin and trimmed in cowhide, and in Caramel colour (also available in Black and Honey). It’s a boxy doctor’s bag (how apt, eh?) that opens up beautifully wide when unzipped. Slightly smaller than Cole Haan’s Prudence at 12 inches wide, it caught my eye by being cute in an ironically old-fashioned kinda way. It’s not as practical as Prudence, because it has fewer big compartments, smaller arm loops, and is stiffer to carry on the shoulder, and bulkier under the arm. However, it totally has quirky character combined with classic elegance. If I had it, I’d bring it out on Fridays and to the theatre. At over S$1900, I don’t think I’d have the heart to carry it everyday. 

The hunt, I suspect, will go on. In the meantime, I tell myself to exercise patience and restraint. This kind of thing is a long-term commitment.

But it’s so much fun to flirt.

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Entry filed under: Being Girly. Tags: , .

For Want Of A Nail Monday Morning Morale

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. kel  |  September 13, 2009 at 22:20

    ur choices are interesting. i eye kate spades for now. not tt i hv the moolah for it though.

    i hear it’s lots cheaper in the states tho. so if u ever get to travel there.. hehe.

    Reply
    • 2. Katie  |  September 13, 2009 at 23:16

      Hey I popped into KS the other day too! Quite liked a couple of simple brown shoulder bags, as well as the giant quilted totes. Also the patent ones with the skinny bow in front.

      Do you know, shopping opportunities are becoming important factors in deciding where to go for my overseas training stint in a couple years? I think will end up being either the US or UK (in which case I MUST go to Paris to find Chanel stuff) and you can gimme a shopping list… better still come and visit and we go shopping together. :)

      Reply
  • 3. kel  |  September 14, 2009 at 23:54

    hehehee.. i would totally do the same if i could wrangle a training trip. :P for me, it would be to justify a worthwhile cause for a 50pc band to travel. keke.

    aniwaes, if u hv travel opps coming up where i can tag along (instead of mr manx, hurhur!).. i’ll pay for my air ticket and sleep in the bathtub! *grin*

    Reply
    • 4. Katie  |  September 15, 2009 at 10:41

      Haha you. Will likely have a 6m stint somewhere in the mid-term future so you definitely must visit… and get our guys along… and then they can carry the shopping bags… mwahahahaha…

      Reply

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My blog-name is Katie but I will not respond if you call me that in real life because it's not my real name. Yes, I do practise virtual-world paranoia. No, I do not enjoy stalkers. But I do enjoy writing and having folks reading said writing, so welcome to my world. It's nice to meet you.

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Hogfather (Terry Pratchett)

Books read in 2010 and 2011

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows (JK Rowling) - 'cos the movie's coming out!
Frankenstein: Lost Souls (Dean Koontz) - ah, bugger, it's part of a series! Now I hafta find all the books...
Dismantled (Jennifer McMahon) - oh, good one
Tigerlily's Orchids (Ruth Rendell)
Shutter Island (Dennis LeHane) - reminds me too much of work
Holy Fools (Joanne Harris) - it's official: I prefer her scary books
A Series of Unfortunate Events; The Unauthorized Autobiography; The Beatrice Letters (Lemony Snicket)
The Little Friend (Donna Tartt)
The main books - 11 so far - of the Southern Vampire series; the Aurora Teagarden series except for A Fool & His Honey - that makes it 7; Sweet & Deadly (Charlaine Harris)
The Woman in Black (Susan Hill)
Full Dark, No Stars (Stephen King)
Room: A Novel (Emma Donaghue)
Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children (Ransom Riggs)
The Bachman Books (Stephen King)
Men At Arms (Terry Pratchett)
Carpe Jugulum (Terry Pratchett)
The Fifth Elephant (Terry Pratchett)
Beauty (Robin McKinley)
The Sandman, Vol 1 (Neil Gaiman)
The Burden (Agatha Christie) - her crime novels are waaay better
Snuff (Terry Pratchett)

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