Author Archives: Karen Allen

Iconic Luxury Handbags

Handbags are more than just a black hole for your car keys. From the elegant Hermès Birkin to the insouciant Fendi Baguette, this functional accessory serves as a footnote in fashion history, seducing movie stars and royalty alike to amass collections worth more than the GDP of a small country. Before you dismiss this as gross exaggeration, consider that Christie’s recently auctioned off a Birkin for Rs 2.4 crore. That’s roughly the cost of a penthouse in Mumbai.

In case you’re building your own superstar collection, these are the icons you should know on a first name basis.

Chanel 2.55

Born in 1955, the Chanel 2.55 flap bag justifies its price tag with this handy bit of trivia the value of the ‘It’ bag has increased by 70 percent in the last six years alone. Most modern reissues of the bag don’t even see the inside of a store, they’re sold out months in advance, being shipped off to loyal clients from Morocco to Macau. The original version, created by Coco Chanel, was a practical riff on the clutch style favored by Parisian women. Coco explained why she added the straps, saying she “got fed up with holding my purses in my hands and losing them, so I added a strap and carried them over my shoulder.”

Lady Dior

The bag that made its debut under the name ‘Chouchou’, was ultimately christened Lady Dior in honor of its number one fan, Princess Diana. Originally crafted in 1994, the bag features gold-plated charms that spell the name Dior, hanging off the handle. Like the Chanel 2.55, the bag’s most notable feature is its hand-stitched quilted leather.

Lous Vuitton Neverfull

When women talk about “carrying my whole world in my bag”, they’re referencing the Louis Vuitton Neverfull, an icon that turns a tall claim into reality. The roomy tote with soft sides features adjustable straps on the side that can be cinched to create a structured city bag. The most iconic version of the bag features the Damier print, designed by Monsieur Louis Vuitton’s son to confound counterfeiters.

Hermes Birkin

It’s the Beyonce of bags. Designed by Jean-Louis Dumas for actress Jane Birkin — the actress spent the better part of a flight complaining to the designer that she couldn’t find a bag she liked — the bag is now synonymous with luxury and elegance. Each bag takes a specially trained craftsman about 18 hours to make, and is eligible for repair for life.

Balenciaga Motorcycle

From the Spanish couture house of Balenciaga, comes a handbag that’s dripping with street cred. The tough girl Motorcycle bag was designed to mimic (you guessed it!) a motorcycle jacket with its zip detailing and studs. Designed by then creative director Nicolas Ghesquière, the bag was originally rejected for its design. It’s only after Ghesquière shipped out samples to his model friends, who loved it, that the bag was approved for sale. Also unique: the absence of any obvious logo.

Salvatore Ferragamo Sofia

Named for another evergreen sex symbol, Sophia Loren, the Salvatore Ferragamo Sofia’s timeless design makes it a worthy investment. The satchel with a front clasp fixture and curved top handle was introduced in 2009, and has since become a staple in celebrity wardrobes.

Spotting A Fake LV

If you have been spending all your time on drooling over the latest, limited edition of Louis Vuitton bags, you are certainly not alone in this! A lot of us bag lovers all over the globe must spend countless hours obsessing and saving up for our dream luxury bag. So it is always so gut-wrenching to hear of stories of our fellow bag lovers being swindled out of their hard-earned money and getting a fake bag instead!

Today, we’ll be discussing some ways you can spot a fake Louis Vuitton bag.

1.) Check the Price

The first clue you’ll have that you’re dealing with a fake is that the price is temptingly low compared to an LV being sold at an official retail store. If you’re looking at a “brand new” Louis Vuitton and yet the seller says the price is less than $300, be very wary.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. You’re paying for quality. If you end up shelling out less, expect less.

2.) Familiarize yourself with authentic details

Check the zippers of the bag for the prestigious “LV” logo which should be printed on the pull. Also, look at handbag clasps or other hardware which should ideally be made of brass or gold metal. The fake ones use plastic with gold paint layer over it.

3.) Check the tags

Generally speaking, official Louis Vuitton bags do not come with tags attached to them. Instead, the tag is often found in a pocket of the purse. Stay away from bags with tags which look cheap and are flimsily attached to the bag.

A common offender is the use of a little piece of string that’s looped around the handle of the bag. Louis Vuitton has never done this and they never will. If a seller approaches you with a tag on their merchandise, be warned.

4.) Plastic is not your friend

Avoid bags which have plastic wrapping over the handles because the oxidizing natural cowhide leather does not require plastic! Therefore, protection from plastic is not required and bags which have these could be fake!

Fake bag sellers usually keep their stock in plastic bags to keep them clean. Actual LV sellers are wise enough to know that this isn’t necessary. Instead, they showcase their stock properly and with dignity.

5.) Watch out for the stitching

This is minute detailing, but it will help you know for sure whether it’s a real or a fake. Check the stitching pattern across the bag to see if it is even and regular. A real LV bag will have same number of stitches in similar locations on similar bags.

6.) Inspect the date code

Louis Vuitton bags made after the early eighties have a production code on the bag. From the nineties, the code features 2 letters which are followed by four numbers. Before the nineties, the code was composed of one or two letter code which his followed by 3 or 4 numbers.

Therefore, check the code which is located beneath the D-ring.

7.) Check the label

The main Louis Vuitton stamp is very important for authentication, and oftentimes it can easily allow you to determine that a bag is fake.

Features to pay attention to:

– The tail on the L is very short.
-The O’s are very round and look bigger than the L.
-The T’s are almost touching each other or are so close that it looks like it.
-Lettering should be thin to somewhat thin, clear and very crisp.
-Study the general font used and how it is aligned.

Louis Vuitton is the most counterfeited designer out there. They have produced many different lines of bags throughout the years; canvas monogram, epi, vernis, damier azur just to name a few of their outside finishes. With all of this, authentication can be overwhelming.

Louis Vuitton Neverfull Handbag GM

Today, we’ll be discussing one of the bags that drastically raised the bar when it came to how people perceived the durability and carrying capability of a designer bag. Of course I’m talking about the Louis Vuitton Neverfull GM.

It’s a definite oldie in terms of when it was released compared to the other models in the market but it is a definite mainstay and for several good reasons. While it was released in 2013, it continues to be one of their best-selling handbags. I’ll be listing some pretty solid reasons in a little bit.

The Neverfull comes in three sizes with GM being the largest size. At the time of its release, the Louis Vuitton Neverfull GM cost around $980 which came off as a bit pricey but was relatively less costly than the other LV handbags. The reason it is so enduring even to this day is because of these:

1.) Open top equals easy access

I’ve never been the type of girl who liked to fiddle with zippers or having to reopen and refasten my bag. So when open tops hit the market, I was over the moon. Despite the open top of this bag, my things don’t just spill out all over and everywhere.

Yes, even I was paranoid about it. But given the bag’s depth, it’s fairly easy to keep things in its place and it’s rather enjoyable having to reach down. I feel like a magician pulling a rabbit out of a magical hole.

2.) It can hold SO much stuff

I’m not even kidding. A constant complaint of a lot of people when it comes to designer bags is the lack of space. However, the Louis Vuitton Neverfull GM managed to exceed my expectations and held so much.

Personally, I love using this bag for the office since it hold everything I need and more. I managed to put it my clunky 17 inch laptop, my DSLR camera, 2 phones, an ipad, my planner, keys, girl kit, extra clothes, 3 wallets, my lunch, a personal sized thermos. My friends keep asking me if I keep my husband and kids in there too.

Despite the abuse I heap on this in terms of weight and usage, it still looks so classy with very little signs of stress.

3.) The LV canvass has already proven its durability before

In my closet, the oldest Louis Vuitton I have is over 14 years old. It’s carried a lot of stuff over the years. It’s been dropped, shoved, scuffed, and it’s been exposed to different weathers in over 5 different countries and it still looks brand new.

So since the Louis Vuitton Neverfull GM carries the same canvass, I was already pretty confident about the durability and I’m happy to report that my trust was rewarded spectacularly.

4.) You have several choices of print

A lot of luxury bags have undergone the trend of going for minimalist style logos. I’m glad that Louis Vuitton was smart enough to offer options for those who are really into that trend. Your choices are Monogram Idylle Canvas, Monogram Canvas and Damier Azure or Ebene.

Personally, I went with the Damier Ebene.

5.) The details are pretty sweet

For those who are a bit technical, here are the specs of the bag:

40 x 33 x 20 cm
( length  x height  x width )

– Redesigned interior with Louis Vuitton archive details
-Textile-lined inside pocket
-Removable zippered clutch with matching interior
-Natural cowhide leather trim
– Golden color metallic pieces

6.) It’s fairly easy to take care of

This garment is made to meet the highest demands and composed from a specific and high quality mercerised cotton yarn. It is recommended that a delicate wash with low temperatures to prevent shrinkage followed by drying on a flat surface and iron delicately.

Bottom line: it’s a durable bag that can really give the girl on the go what she needs!