Karl Lagerfeld was inspired by the emblematic jacket of the House in creating the Girl Chanel bag. All the iconic elements of the jacket are represented: tweed, buttons and braided trim.
“Chanel had this attitude, it's the very spirit of Chanel. She'd picked it up from Boy Capel, the great love of her life... Indeed, the bag's called Boy Chanel”, explains Karl Lagerfeld.
© Delphine Achard
Initiator of a new, liberating and modern gesture, Gabrielle Chanel created a bag that she needed herself, an accessory which freed up the hands: the iconic bag of the House is born.
Even today, the classic design still follows the first partitions dictated by Gabrielle: a chain interwoven with leather ribbon that allows to carry it on the shoulder, quilting inspired by the equestrian universe that Gabrielle Chanel loved so much, garnet leather that reminds one of the color of the uniform which Gabrielle had to wear at the Aubazine orphanage, and the regular twist clasp called the "Mademoiselle".
Every season, Karl Lagerfeld metamorphoses the iconic bag: different materials, clasps transformed into jewels and chevron quilting enriches the legendary Chanel bag family. The iconic bag is part of an heritage that is transmitted from mother to daughter. As Chanel used to say: "Fashion becomes unfashionable, style never".
Mademoiselle Chanel by Mike de Dulmen © CHANEL All rights reserved
It takes 4 to 5 years for each craftsperson on the site to learn how to perfectly master the techniques necessary for the manufacture. The iconic Chanel handbag demands over 180 manufacturing operations and as many minute gestures.
Selecting the skin requires a rigorous control, each one must be perfect. Then, the cut of each piece of the bag's body is made according to a template outlining the pattern. The points of the cut must follow the scales of an exotic skin or the patterns of a tweed. The pieces of the bag's body are then "pared down", quilted using a needle and assembled.
First mounted flat and inside out, like a Ready-to-Wear piece, the bag takes on volume little by little. The body and base are brought together with the "bag in bag" technique: a first bag is mounted to constitute the interior and then a second for the exterior, each one assembled by hand. The craftsperson can then turn the bags inside out. The finishing touches demand several other delicate manipulations before the final control and the ritual of wrapping.