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Designer Handbags

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Charlotto Olympia Perspex Clutch

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Normally I can't stand perspex bags. I mean, what's the point of carrying a handbag if you can see everything inside. May as well use a plastic bag. Like it or not, perspex is a very popular material in the spring and summer months, but Charlotte Olympia found a way to use it that's both fashionable and practical. She stuck a glittery pouch inside the clear box clutch, so you can carry your unmentionables with a level of privacy, while still sporting the latest trends.

Hard box shaped clutch made from clear colored perspex, this designer handbag has a removable gold lame pouch inside. It has a gold tone chain strap and a crystal encrusted spider shaped clasp closure at the top. $975 Available here.

Vlieger and Vandam Skull Tote

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It seems like we're seeing skulls everywhere, thanks to Alexander McQueen for starting the trend, and while it's a macabre image, I like it. This skull bag is a bit different, however because it adds function to the image with two zippered pockets across the top of the skull and at the mouth, so when you unzip those pockets the skull opens. This element adds to the morbid nature of the image, yet still, I like it. 

This Vlieger & Vandam bag is not only really cool, it's also quite functional. It can be carried as a tote or it can be folded down and worn across the body for hands free wear. It's big enough to carry all your essentials and it has several multifunction pockets both in and outside the bag for little things you don't want to search for. 

Black leather with an engraved skull print on the front, this handbag has dual top handles and a detachable cross-body strap. It has a zip closure and  a single zip pocket on the back wall as well as two multi function slip pockets. The bottom has protective feet. $517 Available here.

History of Designer Handbags

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From the ancient beaded bags of African priests to the designer handbags of the modern lady of leisure,
handbags have historically been both the carriers of secrets and the signifiers of power, status, and
beauty. "Purses" and "pouches" have been used since humans have needed to carry precious items,
while “handbags” as a term did not exist until the mid-nineteenth century. What started as a necessity to
transport goods has evolved into a major fashion accessory.

The first mention in written literature comes from the 14th century, even though Egyptian hieroglyphs
show pouches carried around the waist. Embroidery and jewels adorned these articles and were used to
show status - the richer the person, the more elaborate the bag.

During the Elizabethan era, a time when personal hygiene was lacking, many aristocrats would carry
what was called “swete bagges” or bags that were filled with sweet smelling material to cover up their
foul odor. Toward the end of the 17th century, purses became increasingly sophisticated, moving from a
simple drawstring design to more complex shapes and materials.

Developments during the Victorian era brought more styles and fabrics for purse design. With the advent
of the railroad professional luggage makers turned the bags of horse travel into those for train travel, and
soon the term “handbag” emerged to describe these new hand-held luggage bags. Many of today's top
designer handbags got their start as luggage makers, including Hermes and Louis Vuitton.

In the early twentieth century  most of the bags used today had been invented, including the classic clasp
frame bag, the clutch, the satchel, and the shoulder bag.  It was in the 1950's that handbags reached cult
status. As an antithesis of military style, a new decade of femininity emerged where a very small bag
implied beauty and sophistication. The tiny handbag represented femininity and submission. Indeed, a
woman holding a smaller handbag sends a different sexual message than a woman carrying a huge
shoulder bag.

With the 60's and 70's came fringes and low slung beaded bags, equipped with zippers, buckles and
extra pouches, suggesting that women were as equipped as men in the new age of femininsm.

From the 80's to today designer handbags became a true fashion staple, featured in glossy magazines
and carried on runways. They are as much a part of a woman's (sometimes men's too) wardrobe as her
shoes. As they were in their early carnations, they are a status symbol, with designer handbags being the
best of the best, specifically the seasoned labels like Hermes, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Prada.

The coveted and esclusive designer handbag comes with a heavy price tag, usually starting at about
$600 for the smallest and most basic design made from canvas. Prices rise dramatically depending on
the material. An average size leather bag starts around $1,800, and once you get into the exotics
(python, alligator, ostrich) prices can exceed $100,000.