The Chanel 2.55 Handbag: History, Facts, Fakes and the find of a century!

This is it! This is the fashion find that nearly stopped my heart and fulfilled a dream. It is not what it might appear however, on first glance. I didn’t just by this from Chanel. I tracked this down half way across the world. It is an original 2.55 handbag from between 1955 and the 1960’s. It was designed by Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel herself.

So if you are not familiar with the history of the 2.55, my find coinsides nicely with a long feature I had been writing on the history and design details of the bag. Together with some hints on buying genuine Chanel, not counterfeits.
The history of the Chanel handbag

In 1910 Gabrielle ÔÇÿCocoÔÇÖ Chanel opened the now famous 31 Rue Cambon boutique, under the name ÔÇÿChanel ModesÔÇÖ. For the next 25 years her business continued to grow and by 1935 she employed 4000 staff! In 1939, however Coco retired during the war years, causing outcry worldwide! Coco it seemed could not be parted from fashion for long, as at the age of 71 she came out of retirement and continued to work until her death in 1971. After her death Alain Wertheimer (the grandson of her financial backer) took control, it was Alain who was responsible for ÔÇÿreducing availabilityÔÇÖ of the Chanel perfumes, hence creating high demand. He also convinced Karl Largerfeld to leave Chloe and join Chanel in 1983.
CocoÔÇÖs revolutionary designs are known the world over; she reinvented female attire for comfort and practicality. It was in February 1955 however, that a design for a practical bag was born. This bag named after its birthday was the 2.55. Today this same design still holds no rival, it is the epitome of luxury, but also, and perhaps more importantly, style.
In 1955 the bag didnÔÇÖt actually look like what most of you will be imagining now. The current popular design was actually an updated version by Karl Largefeld in the 80ÔÇÖs. CocoÔÇÖs 2.55 is the design which is now termed the ÔÇÿreissueÔÇÖ. Both bags have the classic shape but the clasp and straps differ. CocoÔÇÖs 2.55 and the ÔÇÿreissueÔÇÖ have a full chain strap and a rectangular twist lock. The chain was inspired by her orphanage guardÔÇÖs similar to one from which their keys would hang. The twist lock simply practical and secure, now often termed the ÔÇÿmadamoiselleÔÇÖ lock, after Coco who never married. KarlÔÇÖs 2.55 introduced the familiar interlocked CC logo of the house of Chanel into the twist lock design, the leather threaded through the chain strap was also a later addition. This design is also referred to as the ÔÇÿclassic flapÔÇÖ. In 2005, the 50th anniversary of the 2.55, Largerfeld ÔÇÿreissuedÔÇÖ CocoÔÇÖs 2.55, so today both styles can be purchased in various colours and materials.

The very first 2.55ÔÇÖs were made of jersey and leather with the quilting hand stitched! Apparently the back stitching was done in a ÔÇÿsecret stitchÔÇÖ to ensure durability. The chain and lock were gold coloured metal and the interior the famous blood red grosgrain. Coco wanted a bag that kept her hands free. The original mademoiselle lock does not have ÔÇÿChanelÔÇÖ stamped below, this was an introduction on the reissue. The clasp is separated into three segments and sometimes has a smaller central divide, which tends to be equally segmented on the reissue.

The only flaw on my bag is the gold on the chain has rubbed, this can be re-gilded by Chanel, but I kind of like it as it is. Otherwise it is pristine!
The general design of the 2.55 has remained consistent, and there are some features which you will recognise. Starting with the quilted ÔÇÿdiamondÔÇÖ design, which was influenced by jockeyÔÇÖs jackets, Coco loved horse racing. First is the front flap which comes over the bag and is slightly rounded at the corners. The chain handle is one continuous loop which threads through two holes in the top of the bag. This allows the chain to be worn at two lengths, depending on whether you pull one side out or both for a double strap. On the back is one half moon shaped pocket, in which Coco stashed her extra money. The bag also has two little dimples on either side just under the strap holes. The front and the back have raised quilting whilst the bottom and sides will be flat.

Inside the bag there is a small zippered pocket on the reverse of the flap, this tiny pocket is where Coco hid her love letters! This whole section should mirror the colour of the bag, as should the zipper pull which should be a basic tab of the same material. Now you see the ÔÇÿsecondÔÇÖ or ÔÇÿdoubleÔÇÖ flap, a second flap which fastens with a press stud. This will open to reveal the dark red signature inner, the colour of the childrenÔÇÖs uniforms at CocoÔÇÖs orphanage! Here you will find stitched and slightly raised the large double CC logo. The main compartment has a sectioned compartment on the back wall divided into two pockets and a central ÔÇÿlipstickÔÇÖ pouch. There is also a pocket on the front of the bag underneath where the clasp post is.
Here are some photos of my ‘classic flap’ 2.55 so you can see the differences. I was torn at the time between this and a black leather with gold hard wear reissue, so glad I chose this! It is black caviar leather with silver hard wear. I cannot even begin to explain what it felt like to buy this. I worked hard to pay for it. It was more than buying a bag though, as I remember going with my mum to buy her first 2.55 and it was such an achievement to have worked so hard building up a business to finally be in the position to own a brand new 2.55. It is more than a bag, it is almost like a medal.
The 2.55ÔÇÖs come in different sizes, colours and materials so there is a great choice these days, however most colours and special fabrics are seasonal so hard to get hold of. The regular size is generally classed as medium, with small referring to the ones about half this size. The size up from medium is large and then there is jumbo or XL. Then there is the East-West which is the same style but longer than it is deep, more of an elongated shape.
The main fabric is leather in soft calfskin or ÔÇÿcaviarÔÇÖ which has a textured effect. The calfskin is very delicate, whilst the caviar more hard wearing. The bags have also been produced in suede, fur, exotic skins, vinyl and a selection of fabrics such as satin, jersey and tweed.

The general colours are black and white; however red, purple, brown, beige, navy, blue, and pink occur throughout the season. These do sell out quickly though so if you have your heart set on a colour snap it up quick. The hardware is also available in gold or silver, or with the reissue in a pewter or black. The reissueÔÇÖs also come in metallic coloured leathers.

Occasionally the bags have accessories added; a personal favourite is the addition of camellia flowers! But brooches and emblems can appear on the front as can charms dangling from the strap. You can also add your own embellishments using bracelets, key chains and brooches. I sometimes pin my camellia brooches onto the chains strap which I think looks so summery!

I am also lucky enough to have this large size classic flap, which again is basically the same design but with the odd difference.

The large doesn’t have the ‘love letter’ pocket, double flap or segments in the main compartment.
ÔÇ£I would shed tears the day no one copied meÔÇØ

Coco famously declared, however I donÔÇÖt think she would have the same opinion on counterfeiters! Imitation is a natural progression for all fashions, but there is a huge difference in buying a Topshop chain handle bag or Zara tweed jacket and buying direct counterfeits.
How to Spot Fake Chanel Handbags
Counterfeit bags (and other goods) are those which illegally breach the original trademark ownerÔÇÖs copyright, if a bag bares the Chanel name or CC logo but is not a product of the house of Chanel then it is illegal. There is also the morality issue, you might think a big company like Chanel wonÔÇÖt be affected if you buy a counterfeit bag ÔÇô itÔÇÖs not like you would ever buy a real one? Well counterfeiting is just like any other illegal organisation and your purchase can be contributing to child labour, sex trafficking and drug dealing to name a few. It matters of style carrying a fake just looks tacky, trust me you are fooling no one! If you want the Chanel style on a budge go for the high street, where you can find Chanel inspired pieces at a fraction of the cost yet are still going to be good quality. ThatÔÇÖs another thing about counterfeits, whether they declare to be AA replicas or ÔÇÿmirrorÔÇÖ bags they will never, ever be high quality.

The best way to detect fake bags is to educate yourself on the key features genuine Chanel bags have. There are loads of tips pages on the web but the best and most concise is:

If you are looking to buy a Chanel bag, the lovely ladies on the Purse Forum will gladly help you out. They can take a look at ebay auctions for you and give their opinion on authenticity. I am a member but rarely find time to log on. I don’t have time to offer authentication’s but I am happy to help out followers of this blog with any tips or questions you might have. It breaks my heart to see people bidding hundreds of pounds on fake bags I see on ebay. I have actually wrote to ebay but I really don’t think they were interested, they suggested I contact Chanel about my concerns!
Anyway here are a few things a new bag should come with. All modern bags, and any from the 1980’s on wards will have an authenticity serial number. This is a modern one, it will have Chanel in black (just where my nail is) and have to CC logos in gold. There will be gold glitter embedded in the tag and an 8 digit serial number. There will also be a huge X cut into the tag (sorry it didn’t show up in the photo), this is to ensure the tag is destroyed on removal attempts. In fake bags these stickers just lift right off intact.

The serial number on the tag will match the number on a small plastic ‘authenticity card’, Ive obscured the number here as it is my own. Counterfeiters can use this information. The cards in the fake bags are so exact to the originals it is scary. But two main features give it away, the real cards do not come in a plastic cover. The real cards also only have matt gold trim, fakes have a rainbow sheen which luckily usually shows up against a camera flash. You will also get a little envelope (on the right) and sometimes a special fabric care card (left). These are counterfeited very well too I am afraid.

This is a mademoiselle lock from a reissue, just to show how the Chanel lettering can appear below the twist lock on the modern bags. Sometimes on smaller and oversize bags it is not included.
This is an authenticity tag from a vintage 1980-90s bag. Often these have not stood the test of time and you sometimes only have the white ‘horse shoe’ remaining.

If you are still aching for a real Chanel then why not go vintage? Granted an original Pre-Largerfeld isnÔÇÖt going to come cheap, but an 80ÔÇÖs or 90ÔÇÖs one could be picked up for a reasonable price. The condition and colour will of course weigh into the equation, but that really depends on preference. A well loved but still in good, overall condition navy classic flap could come in at around ┬ú300. I think current retail on a new one is ┬ú1400, as the price increases each year.

If you would like to see two more fine examples of original 2.55’s check out:
Another thing to note is the way the CC’s interlock. The usual way is for the right hand C to overlap the left at the top. This is often a good way of spotting a bad counterfeit as they mix this up. However on the original bags it is the otherway around on purpose! I do wonder when it was decided to settle on one way or the other – it is frustrating how little official info there is available.

These are the images of the classic and reissue from the Chanel website, they are both classed as ‘classics’ which means they are always produced, unlike seasonal items.
There are two variations from this seasons Cruise collection, in bright blue with charm, and in tweed.
Here you can see the three main sizes, medium, large and jumbo.
And of course Coco herself with her 2.55.
A lady toting her 2.55 in the 1960’s, this kind of image gives me goose bumps as I think, that very bag could actually be my vintage one, who knows!
Victoria Beckham is a huge fan of her vintage jumbo classic.
Jessica Alba favours the classic.
Whilst lucky Lily Allen has a classic and a reissue.
Alexa Chung has this stunning large classic in a milk-shake pink.
This is a Chanel window showing the highly ornate gold reissue from the Paris-Moscow collection.
The famous tweed classic worn in the SATC movie by Jennifer Hudson, appearently she didn’t get to keep it! I would have had it written into my contract!
I love this fluorecent trimmed classic Rachel Bilson has, it also came with a pink trim.
And one of my favourite ever, the super huge reissue from this season – trust me this girl needs a medal for being able to carry that, it was really heavy!(Credit:Jak&Jil).
And finally a super, super sized croc reissue in the Chanel window.
These are my two favourite high street versions top is ┬ú28 from Topshop and botton ┬ú25 from ASOS.com (sorry the images are so tiny, don’t know why that happened). The Topshop one has the most amazing pearl and gold chain twisted strap, whislt I like how the ASOS one has a twist lock.
So there you have it, I hope this information is useful. I hope to post some more on other parts of the history of Chanel soon, but let me know if theres any thing specific you would like to know about. I am off to see how many outfits I can find to go with my brown bag, and polish it’s hard wear! Do you remeber how exciting Christmas was when you were a kid, you wouldn’t be able to sleep for days in anticipation. That is how I was waiting for this bag, I still get giggly looking at it now. I think ‘sheer joy’ is the best investment you can make.
Have a great week,
Pearl xx
P.S The nail varnish is Chanel Jade Rose
N.B. For those of you wondering where I scored the bag it was actually a private sale with a collector. If you want any help hunting out vintage pieces let me know and I can give you some help. Best thing to do is to leave your interest with collectors, dealers and auction houses so they can give you a heads up if the get something you would be interested in. Also sites like decades vintage get a lot of rare items.

UPDATE 09/12/10:

For those other Chanel lovers out there I am sure you have see Le Chanelphile blog, if not it is one of my favourite blogs. If you are lucky enough to have been in San Francisco the Chanel boutique there had an exhibition Secrets of The Chanel Handbag. The following was given out at the event with some great insight into the making of the bag. Thanks to Le Chanelphile for sharing this with us.

UPDATE 27/04/11

You can now download my FREE eBook ‘A Guide to Spotting Counterfeits: including Chanel 2.55, Louis Vuitton scarves and Vivienne Westwood Pirate & clothes’ HERE

The Chanel 2.55 Handbag: History, Facts, Fakes and the find of a century!

This is it! This is the fashion find that nearly stopped my heart and fulfilled a dream. It is not what it might appear however, on first glance. I didn’t just by this from Chanel. I tracked this down half way across the world. It is an original 2.55 handbag from between 1955 and the 1960’s. It was designed by Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel herself.

So if you are not familiar with the history of the 2.55, my find coinsides nicely with a long feature I had been writing on the history and design details of the bag. Together with some hints on buying genuine Chanel, not counterfeits.

The history of the Chanel handbag
In 1910 Gabrielle ÔÇÿCocoÔÇÖ Chanel opened the now famous 31 Rue Cambon boutique, under the name ÔÇÿChanel ModesÔÇÖ. For the next 25 years her business continued to grow and by 1935 she employed 4000 staff! In 1939, however Coco retired during the war years, causing outcry worldwide! Coco it seemed could not be parted from fashion for long, as at the age of 71 she came out of retirement and continued to work until her death in 1971. After her death Alain Wertheimer (the grandson of her financial backer) took control, it was Alain who was responsible for ÔÇÿreducing availabilityÔÇÖ of the Chanel perfumes, hence creating high demand. He also convinced Karl Largerfeld to leave Chloe and join Chanel in 1983.
CocoÔÇÖs revolutionary designs are known the world over; she reinvented female attire for comfort and practicality. It was in February 1955 however, that a design for a practical bag was born. This bag named after its birthday was the 2.55. Today this same design still holds no rival, it is the epitome of luxury, but also, and perhaps more importantly, style.

In 1955 the bag didnÔÇÖt actually look like what most of you will be imagining now. The current popular design was actually an updated version by Karl Largefeld in the 80ÔÇÖs. CocoÔÇÖs 2.55 is the design which is now termed the ÔÇÿreissueÔÇÖ. Both bags have the classic shape but the clasp and straps differ. CocoÔÇÖs 2.55 and the ÔÇÿreissueÔÇÖ have a full chain strap and a rectangular twist lock. The chain was inspired by her orphanage guardÔÇÖs similar to one from which their keys would hang. The twist lock simply practical and secure, now often termed the ÔÇÿmadamoiselleÔÇÖ lock, after Coco who never married. KarlÔÇÖs 2.55 introduced the familiar interlocked CC logo of the house of Chanel into the twist lock design, the leather threaded through the chain strap was also a later addition. This design is also referred to as the ÔÇÿclassic flapÔÇÖ. In 2005, the 50th anniversary of the 2.55, Largerfeld ÔÇÿreissuedÔÇÖ CocoÔÇÖs 2.55, so today both styles can be purchased in various colours and materials.

The very first 2.55ÔÇÖs were made of jersey and leather with the quilting hand stitched! Apparently the back stitching was done in a ÔÇÿsecret stitchÔÇÖ to ensure durability. The chain and lock were gold coloured metal and the interior the famous blood red grosgrain. Coco wanted a bag that kept her hands free. The original mademoiselle lock does not have ÔÇÿChanelÔÇÖ stamped below, this was an introduction on the reissue. The clasp is separated into three segments and sometimes has a smaller central divide, which tends to be equally segmented on the reissue.
The only flaw on my bag is the gold on the chain has rubbed, this can be re-gilded by Chanel, but I kind of like it as it is. Otherwise it is pristine!

The general design of the 2.55 has remained consistent, and there are some features which you will recognise. Starting with the quilted ÔÇÿdiamondÔÇÖ design, which was influenced by jockeyÔÇÖs jackets, Coco loved horse racing. First is the front flap which comes over the bag and is slightly rounded at the corners. The chain handle is one continuous loop which threads through two holes in the top of the bag. This allows the chain to be worn at two lengths, depending on whether you pull one side out or both for a double strap. On the back is one half moon shaped pocket, in which Coco stashed her extra money. The bag also has two little dimples on either side just under the strap holes. The front and the back have raised quilting whilst the bottom and sides will be flat.
Inside the bag there is a small zippered pocket on the reverse of the flap, this tiny pocket is where Coco hid her love letters! This whole section should mirror the colour of the bag, as should the zipper pull which should be a basic tab of the same material. Now you see the ÔÇÿsecondÔÇÖ or ÔÇÿdoubleÔÇÖ flap, a second flap which fastens with a press stud. This will open to reveal the dark red signature inner, the colour of the childrenÔÇÖs uniforms at CocoÔÇÖs orphanage! Here you will find stitched and slightly raised the large double CC logo. The main compartment has a sectioned compartment on the back wall divided into two pockets and a central ÔÇÿlipstickÔÇÖ pouch. There is also a pocket on the front of the bag underneath where the clasp post is.
Here are some photos of my ‘classic flap’ 2.55 so you can see the differences. I was torn at the time between this and a black leather with gold hard wear reissue, so glad I chose this! It is black caviar leather with silver hard wear. I cannot even begin to explain what it felt like to buy this. I worked hard to pay for it. It was more than buying a bag though, as I remember going with my mum to buy her first 2.55 and it was such an achievement to have worked so hard building up a business to finally be in the position to own a brand new 2.55. It is more than a bag, it is almost like a medal.
The 2.55ÔÇÖs come in different sizes, colours and materials so there is a great choice these days, however most colours and special fabrics are seasonal so hard to get hold of. The regular size is generally classed as medium, with small referring to the ones about half this size. The size up from medium is large and then there is jumbo or XL. Then there is the East-West which is the same style but longer than it is deep, more of an elongated shape.

The main fabric is leather in soft calfskin or ÔÇÿcaviarÔÇÖ which has a textured effect. The calfskin is very delicate, whilst the caviar more hard wearing. The bags have also been produced in suede, fur, exotic skins, vinyl and a selection of fabrics such as satin, jersey and tweed.

The general colours are black and white; however red, purple, brown, beige, navy, blue, and pink occur throughout the season. These do sell out quickly though so if you have your heart set on a colour snap it up quick. The hardware is also available in gold or silver, or with the reissue in a pewter or black. The reissueÔÇÖs also come in metallic coloured leathers.

Occasionally the bags have accessories added; a personal favourite is the addition of camellia flowers! But brooches and emblems can appear on the front as can charms dangling from the strap. You can also add your own embellishments using bracelets, key chains and brooches. I sometimes pin my camellia brooches onto the chains strap which I think looks so summery!

I am also lucky enough to have this large size classic flap, which again is basically the same design but with the odd difference.
The large doesn’t have the ‘love letter’ pocket, double flap or segments in the main compartment.

ÔÇ£I would shed tears the day no one copied meÔÇØ
Coco famously declared, however I donÔÇÖt think she would have the same opinion on counterfeiters! Imitation is a natural progression for all fashions, but there is a huge difference in buying a Topshop chain handle bag or Zara tweed jacket and buying direct counterfeits.
How to Spot Fake Chanel Handbags
Counterfeit bags (and other goods) are those which illegally breach the original trademark ownerÔÇÖs copyright, if a bag bares the Chanel name or CC logo but is not a product of the house of Chanel then it is illegal. There is also the morality issue, you might think a big company like Chanel wonÔÇÖt be affected if you buy a counterfeit bag ÔÇô itÔÇÖs not like you would ever buy a real one? Well counterfeiting is just like any other illegal organisation and your purchase can be contributing to child labour, sex trafficking and drug dealing to name a few. It matters of style carrying a fake just looks tacky, trust me you are fooling no one! If you want the Chanel style on a budge go for the high street, where you can find Chanel inspired pieces at a fraction of the cost yet are still going to be good quality. ThatÔÇÖs another thing about counterfeits, whether they declare to be AA replicas or ÔÇÿmirrorÔÇÖ bags they will never, ever be high quality.

The best way to detect fake bags is to educate yourself on the key features genuine Chanel bags have. There are loads of tips pages on the web but the best and most concise is:

If you are looking to buy a Chanel bag, the lovely ladies on the Purse Forum will gladly help you out. They can take a look at ebay auctions for you and give their opinion on authenticity. I am a member but rarely find time to log on. I don’t have time to offer authentication’s but I am happy to help out followers of this blog with any tips or questions you might have. It breaks my heart to see people bidding hundreds of pounds on fake bags I see on ebay. I have actually wrote to ebay but I really don’t think they were interested, they suggested I contact Chanel about my concerns!
Anyway here are a few things a new bag should come with. All modern bags, and any from the 1980’s on wards will have an authenticity serial number. This is a modern one, it will have Chanel in black (just where my nail is) and have to CC logos in gold. There will be gold glitter embedded in the tag and an 8 digit serial number. There will also be a huge X cut into the tag (sorry it didn’t show up in the photo), this is to ensure the tag is destroyed on removal attempts. In fake bags these stickers just lift right off intact.


The serial number on the tag will match the number on a small plastic ‘authenticity card’, Ive obscured the number here as it is my own. Counterfeiters can use this information. The cards in the fake bags are so exact to the originals it is scary. But two main features give it away, the real cards do not come in a plastic cover. The real cards also only have matt gold trim, fakes have a rainbow sheen which luckily usually shows up against a camera flash. You will also get a little envelope (on the right) and sometimes a special fabric care card (left). These are counterfeited very well too I am afraid.

This is a mademoiselle lock from a reissue, just to show how the Chanel lettering can appear below the twist lock on the modern bags. Sometimes on smaller and oversize bags it is not included.
This is an authenticity tag from a vintage 1980-90s bag. Often these have not stood the test of time and you sometimes only have the white ‘horse shoe’ remaining.

If you are still aching for a real Chanel then why not go vintage? Granted an original Pre-Largerfeld isnÔÇÖt going to come cheap, but an 80ÔÇÖs or 90ÔÇÖs one could be picked up for a reasonable price. The condition and colour will of course weigh into the equation, but that really depends on preference. A well loved but still in good, overall condition navy classic flap could come in at around ┬ú300. I think current retail on a new one is ┬ú1400, as the price increases each year.

If you would like to see two more fine examples of original 2.55’s check out:
Another thing to note is the way the CC’s interlock. The usual way is for the right hand C to overlap the left at the top. This is often a good way of spotting a bad counterfeit as they mix this up. However on the original bags it is the otherway around on purpose! I do wonder when it was decided to settle on one way or the other – it is frustrating how little official info there is available.
These are the images of the classic and reissue from the Chanel website, they are both classed as ‘classics’ which means they are always produced, unlike seasonal items.
There are two variations from this seasons Cruise collection, in bright blue with charm, and in tweed.
Here you can see the three main sizes, medium, large and jumbo.
And of course Coco herself with her 2.55.
A lady toting her 2.55 in the 1960’s, this kind of image gives me goose bumps as I think, that very bag could actually be my vintage one, who knows!
Victoria Beckham is a huge fan of her vintage jumbo classic.
Jessica Alba favours the classic.
Whilst lucky Lily Allen has a classic and a reissue.
Alexa Chung has this stunning large classic in a milk-shake pink.
This is a Chanel window showing the highly ornate gold reissue from the Paris-Moscow collection.
The famous tweed classic worn in the SATC movie by Jennifer Hudson, appearently she didn’t get to keep it! I would have had it written into my contract!
I love this fluorecent trimmed classic Rachel Bilson has, it also came with a pink trim.
And one of my favourite ever, the super huge reissue from this season – trust me this girl needs a medal for being able to carry that, it was really heavy!(Credit:Jak&Jil).
And finally a super, super sized croc reissue in the Chanel window.
These are my two favourite high street versions top is ┬ú28 from Topshop and botton ┬ú25 from ASOS.com (sorry the images are so tiny, don’t know why that happened). The Topshop one has the most amazing pearl and gold chain twisted strap, whislt I like how the ASOS one has a twist lock.
So there you have it, I hope this information is useful. I hope to post some more on other parts of the history of Chanel soon, but let me know if theres any thing specific you would like to know about. I am off to see how many outfits I can find to go with my brown bag, and polish it’s hard wear! Do you remeber how exciting Christmas was when you were a kid, you wouldn’t be able to sleep for days in anticipation. That is how I was waiting for this bag, I still get giggly looking at it now. I think ‘sheer joy’ is the best investment you can make.
Have a great week,
Pearl xx
P.S The nail varnish is Chanel Jade Rose
N.B. For those of you wondering where I scored the bag it was actually a private sale with a collector. If you want any help hunting out vintage pieces let me know and I can give you some help. Best thing to do is to leave your interest with collectors, dealers and auction houses so they can give you a heads up if the get something you would be interested in. Also sites like decades vintage get a lot of rare items.

UPDATE 09/12/10:
For those other Chanel lovers out there I am sure you have see Le Chanelphile blog, if not it is one of my favourite blogs. If you are lucky enough to have been in San Francisco the Chanel boutique there had an exhibition Secrets of The Chanel Handbag. The following was given out at the event with some great insight into the making of the bag. Thanks to Le Chanelphile for sharing this with us.

UPDATE 27/04/11

You can now download my FREE eBook ‘A Guide to Spotting Counterfeits: including Chanel 2.55, Louis Vuitton scarves and Vivienne Westwood Pirate & clothes’ HERE

Update: 16/6/2012: The cost of a standard Chanel 2.55 has now risen to £2,600 so vintage prices will increase to reflect this.

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Chanel: Paris-Shanghi


SHANGHAI – CHANEL unveils its most refined boutique ever. Opening on November 25th 2009 at the Peninsula Shanghai, this CHANEL boutique sets a new standard of elegance, sumptuousness and fine craftsmanship, by which the legendary Parisian fashion house pays homage to the city known as ÔÇ£the Paris of the East.ÔÇØ

Located on the historic Bund, ShanghaiÔÇÖs celebrated riverfront promenade, the boutique occupies a prominent, boulevard location facing out from the new Peninsula Shanghai Hotel. Entering the hotel, clients arrive in a spacious 480 m2 refuge of salon-style rooms presenting fashion apparel, accessories, shoes, and fine jewelry and watch collections, topped off with a VIP suite.

Renowned New York architect and long-standing CHANEL collaborator Peter Marino has ensured each room offers a warm and sophisticated experience inspired by the fabled Paris apartment of Mademoiselle Chanel. Combining a residential feel with an experimentation with rich new materials – alongside hand picked antiques, artworks, and site-specific installations – the new CHANEL Shanghai boutique reaches rare heights of refinement. ÔÇ£The result is comfort, quiet elegance, timelessness,ÔÇØ explains Peter Marino, ÔÇ£The chic of CHANEL.ÔÇØ


The images are from the special collection only available in the Shanghi boutiue – just book me a plane ticket!!
Watch the Paris-Shanghi runway show:

Be Kate Moss for a day?

How do you fancy stepping into Kate Moss’ shoes for a day? Ok well I’m no fairy god mother but how about getting into her dress for a day? In fact how about Dita von Tease, Naomi Campbell, Alison Goldfrapp… to name but a few?

If thats a ‘Hell Yeah’ get yourselves over to Jill Dot’s blog for all the details:

P. S. It is all for chairty Help the Aged and Age Concern, and well done Topshop for being so original!

P.P.S. If you haven’t checkout Jill’s blog before you are missing out on one of the best street style blogs ever!

Two things I love: layering & biker jackets!

Just some inspiring shots, love the layering!

I also am finding it hard to admit it is too cold to wear my leather jacket now, even with a gilet over the top!

(photo credit: elle.com)
I just think everyone of these looks has that extra something, dontcha think?
And if you like Fridas look check out: http://streetstylelondon.blogspot.com/2009/04/frida-form-following-function.html as Jill shot her too in another gorg outfit!

Anyways I know this is a slight cop-out post but I have had the luckiest fashion find EVER and I need an exceptionally long post to go with it, which I will get finished over the weekend – its worth it, honest! I am so excited I couldn’t even sleep last night ha ha!
Enjoy the rest of your week,
Pearl xx

From Russia With Love

I love this hat! A superb ebay find, it is faux fur trim with velvet centre and very Russian. I adore anything Russian from clothes to films, and I had intended to wear the Chanel brooch I bought a couple of weeks ago on the hat, as that had a Russian feel. It looked like it would be part of the Paris-Moscow collection but wasn’t. Unfortunately disaster occurred, I was wearing it on my military jacket (which it looked perfect with) and it fell off and smashed – hence near tears. So, it is now on its way back to Paris for emergency surgery. The bezel on the back must have been too loose, and yet I still felt really guilty having to take the poor broken ruin back to Chanel. I did feel like I wasn’t responsible enough to have been entrusted with it, even though it wasn’t my fault!

I am also wearing my Jimmy Choo for H&M furry gilet and erm this necklace…
Yeah you know how I said I only got a gilet and leggings, well I was lucky enough to snaffle this necklace and a pair of the gladiator flats from the returns pile. Know what? The sandals are really good quality – I got to check out some of the bags and heels and am still under the opinion that they are cheap quality. The sandals however, I was really impressed with, in fact I like them better than my main line ones. Will post some photos – don’t expect me to be wearing them for at least 6 months!
And of course some Chanel treasure, my two rings and 2.55, the crystal ring is my Vivienne Westwood leaf ring, from back when her jewellery was real silver and not faux rhodium plate – WTF! I am living in gilets, plaid shirts and leggings at the moment. Nail varnish is Chanel Fantastic from last A/W I love the matching lipgloss too. Know whats annoying me? I developed the habit of shoving my hands in the pockets of my leather jacket and its gone out of shape a bit, looks like a kangaroo pouch! Can I take some time to express my love for this bag! I haven’t bought another bag since I got this one, and I ebay’ed half my others after. It is perfection. I might have to do a post on Chanel bags and their history actually, I would enjoy that.
Official necklace photo, I wasn’t impressed by the other jewellery.
Anyway what better to do on a wet and miserable Monday that gaze at some lovely images from Chanel. Love these original sketches from her ‘Russian Period’.
Which of course brings fond memories of the Paris-Moscow collection last pre-fall, I will never get bored of it.
I also love this Naomi Campbell shoot for V magazine.
Hmm sure I had more to say, perhaps it will come to me!
Have a great week,
Pearl xx

Lemonade Blog Award

The lovely Rockzblog:
http://rockzblog.blogspot.com/

Has given me this award – the Lemonade Award! So THANK YOU!!

This awards comes with a set of rules. Put the lemonade logo on your blog or within your post. Nominate at least 10 blogs. Link the nominees within your postlet the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog. Link to the person from whom you received this award.
So here are some other lovely blogs, as lovely as lemonade:
(in alphabetical order)

http://clothescamerasandcoffee.blogspot.com/
http://couturecarrie.blogspot.com/
http://www.desdemonavintage.blogspot.com/ (its not my fault you have 2 fab blogs!!)
http://www.getyourplanerightontime.com/

http://hauteworld.blogspot.com/
http://life-in-travel.blogspot.com/
http://maisonchaplin.blogspot.com/
http://mariankihogo.blogspot.com/
http://the-little-fashion-treasury.blogspot.com/
http://wendybrandes.com/blog/

Why do I love these blogs? Go see for yourselves!!

Want to see more great blogs, see my links list, I would give an award to them all!

On another happy note I have now finally handed in my PhD thesis, yay! Don’t you worry I will let you all know as soon as I get the results, and when you have to start calling me Dr 😉
So posting should now be more quantity and quality,
Thanks again to everyone for their lovely comments and to everyone following and reading,
Have a great weekend,
Pearl xx

Daul Kim – a tribute

Daul Kim, a tribute to one of my favorite models, for her transformational editorials, elegant queen of the runway, untouchable street style and most of all her sense of fun.
You will be sadly missed, rest in peace and kindest thought to your loved ones.

Comme des Garcons ‘Beatles’ Collection!

Just a quickie to let you know about this collection of Beatles themed clothes and bags from Comme des Garcons. It launches on 27th Nov at Dover Street Market http://www.doverstreetmarket.com/

Whilst I am not really a Beatles fan, I wont be partaking but I can see the appeal. The shirts in particular have such a wonderfully Comme design based around the polka dots but with apples! I believe tee shirts will be priced at around $100 (no idea what exchange rate that will work out at in £s these days).
(Credit: see Nitrolicious.com for more info and pics)

The two faces of fashion: Designer + High Street collabs

This was the insane ques outside Oxford St H&M, all eagerly awaiting the launch of the Jimmy Choo collaboration. Yep that’s right you do see camp chairs, as people waited through the night to get a piece of Choo.


Nope I wasn’t will to do that, as I didn’t really take to anything from the collection. It was beautifully designed, and for the most part well made. I did think quality lapsed on some of the bags and jewellery but I know they had to keep the prices down. Purely out of perverse interest I went for a look at about half eleven thinking the mania would be over, erm how wrong was I! The clothing was at the front of the shop, not much left except the pricier items like the leather jackets and dresses. I was really surprised by this as the jacket were beautiful and ┬ú150 is a bargain. But the bags and shoes were cordoned off and they let in 10 people at a time to shop and try on shoes – what a great idea! There might have been very, very long ques but at least shoppers could buy at their leisure.

This comes after the horrendous experience I had at the Matthew Williamson range this summer. People were so rude and greedy, grabbing arm fulls of the same item for sale on ebay.
So this is the thing that puts me off the designer collabs, the sheer ruthlessness it brings out in people, I saw two girls literally fighting over a dress.

But with this collection it was really different, whether it was due to the shopping regulations I can’t say but I really got a feel that the people queing were there because they genuinely wanted to be able to buy into what is usually an out of reach brand for most.

I didn’t join them but I did pick up a pair of the jersey leggings and a furry vest, the last ones on the rail and luckily in my size! I was shopping with a friend the whole day and so many people asked if I ‘Qued for Choos!’ The best thing for me though, was the amount of teenagers I saw clutching their shiny blue carrier bags with sheer glee on their faces. So, for that I think we can only applaude H&M and Tamara Mellon.

Just had to show you this as it made me laugh. Tamara with Hayden – a lesson in product endorsement!


Nicola and Alex, a lesson on how not to!
Is it me or is Nicola thinking, through her grimace ‘just take bloody photo so I don’t have to touch this inferior bag any longer’.

Sorry I love both girls but this looks hilarious!!

So did you get anthing?

Did you camp out?
How do you go to the loo, if you camp all night?
P.s Again appologies for not getting back to anyone this week, I know most of you know but for all the new readers, I will be insane busy all next week too, hence lack of posting. But will be back to normal after that, so more posts and I will be intouch and visiting your blogs again soon. Also I will get some photos of my Choo outfit up too.
Have a great week,
xx Pearl xx