A priceless gesture- Gifting Chanel bag this Christmas!

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Published: 31st December 2010
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Christmas is right around the corner and if you’re contemplating buying a Chanel bag as a gift or putting one down on your gift list, then you’ll need to know understand the terms associated with Chanel handbags. There are two main areas that you need to know which are style and fabric .

1. Classic 2.55 vs reissue

Many people are understandably confused about the different types of Chanel bags available. The most used words associated with Chanel bags are the ‘classic 2.55 flap bag’ and the ‘re-issue’. So what is the difference between the two? It really comes to the type of enclosure and the handle. The Classic 2.55 (issued in February, 1955) are the original Chanel designed bags with double intertwined leather and gilt chains, quilted exterior and the well recognized burgundy interior lining and mademoiselle lock (rectangular). The Re-issue, should technically only refer to the limited edition bags that Karl Lagerfield released in 2005 (to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the classic 2.55), however all classic style bags these days are now also referred to as reissues. Lagerfield’s homage to the classic has the double interlocking C’s closure. Confusion is added as now all classic flap bags that also have the double C lock and the leather and gilt chains are simply termed classic flap / classic 2.55. The reissue really only represents Chanel bags that resemble the original Mademoiselle designed bags. The reissue bags also come in a larger variety of sizes (‘baby’ to ‘jumbo’) whereas the classic flap is only available in small, medium and jumbo. A jumbo classic or reissue is very highly coveted! Every year Chanel issue several new styles based on the classic flap/2.55 or reissue, with variations on fabric, chain, colour and adornment.



2. Fabric

In your quest for the classic flap or resissue bag, you will come across terms such as lambskin leather and ‘caviar’ leather. Lambskin is an incredibly smooth and pliable leather, a true luxury as it is very difficult to keep in perfect condition as it is prone to scratches and marks if not properly loved and looked after. On the opposite end of the spectrum is ‘caviar’ leather – a term which Chanel has taken on as its own, and is based on stingray leather most commonly known in Europe as chagrin or Shagreen. Stingray is incredibly durable and can withstand wear and tear – if looked after will last a lifetime. Recently Chanel did issue a very exclusive and expensive ‘stingray’ collection of bags, made of the real thing. However, caviar leather is really an homage to stingray leather as it is in relatively short supply. Caviar leather is printed leather and called so as its texture resembles tiny balls of caviar when examined closely. A quilted caviar leather bag is very durable and will hold its shape for many years due to the stitching.

We hope this brief explanation will help you find your perfect Chanel handbag!

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