A very recent indulgence of mine is the Chanel Maxi Classic 2.55 flap bag in black caviar and gold hardware. I was confused between the taupe lambskin Jumbo and the black Caviar Maxi and was pretty adamant about opting for the Taupe. However, only upon viewing the black Caviar in person, there was no looking back. Trust me, the beauty and elegance of it speaks for it self.
Personally, I’ve mostly been a risk taker when it comes to bags and shoes. As safe as I am with my clothes, I tend to use accessories as accents to the entire ensemble. I invest in accessories that I believe are different from the crowd rather than similar to the next person. One of my biggest risks in handbags (both of which were a success!) were the Louis Vuitton Kalahari GM in Safran and Louis Vuitton Monogram Double Jeu Néo-Alma in blue (This convinced me to purchase). And they’re my favourite purchases to date. But the Chanel Classic 2.55 Maxi in Caviar took my breath away and made me rethink otherwise on indulging in classics equally.
Little was I ever aware of the history of the bag. It wasn’t until my purchase that I decided to look into the significance of its construction. I had heard a lot of stories here and there but I decided to share with you my own research on what’s behind the iconic handbag. You can view the complete ‘behind the scene’ image collection at Style Republic Magazine here. Here’s to an instantaneous love affair with all things classic. Can’t wait for the courier to arrive!
Coco Chanel is said to have designed this beauty in February 1955. The iconic handbag comes with a flap and the original bag was called Chanel Reissue 2.55 which contained the Mademoiselle Lock since Ms Coco Chanel never married and chain straps without the interwoven leather. It was only later in the 1980’s that the ‘CC’ lock was introduced by designer Karl Lagerfeld and the straps were incorporated with leather woven in them.
Coco Chanel grew up in an orphanage/convent and some of the detailing of the bag represent her time there. The burgundy lining represents the children’s uniforms in the orphanage/convent. The chain straps inserted through eyelets were similar to the chains that the caretakers used at the convent, dangling from their waists to hold their keys. There is an inner zipper compartment, or what I would call a secret pocket, where Coco Chanel is rumoured to have stored her love letters. The back pocket is where she stored her money. The bag’s diamond quilting is believed to have been inspired by several sources; by jockeys’ riding coats, the stained-glass windows of the abbey at Aubazine, as well as by the cushions in Chanel’s Paris apartment.
Since the 1980’s many amendments have been made my Karl Lagerfeld in terms of the lock (mademoiselle vs. interlocking CC), fabric, leather, size, the chain, single flap/double flap etc.
In February 2005, Lagerfeld reissued the classic flap design with all of Coco Chanel’s original detailing to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the handbag’s debut
Thus the name 2.55 refers to all flap bags which is inclusive of all variations of the original bag, Reissue 2.55. And the name ‘Classic Flap’ refers to all the bags with the flap that contains the ‘CC’ closure and the leather interwoven chain.