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80’s  Bag

The excess of the 1980s, with its maximalist styling and rampant consumerism, was undoubtedly a decadent time for fashion, and the handbag was the quickest way to communicate your style – especially when replete with look-at-me monograms, glinting hardware and unmissable branding.

Karl Lagerfeld reprieved Gabrielle Chanel’s iconic Classic Flap handbag, replacing the traditional Mademoiselle twist lock with an unmissable interlocking CC logo, while Dior’s boxy, quilted top-handle tote gained a dangling logo charm (and was soon renamed the Lady Dior in honour of Princess Diana, who had amassed an impressive collection.)

Fendi’s FF logo, originally created by Lagerfeld on his arrival at the house in the 1960s, enjoyed a resurgence in popularity, while Hermés created the now-iconic Birkin, named in honour of Jane.

Capitalising on the demand for practicality, Miuccia Prada’s first bag for the family-run house was coveted throughout the decade. Crafted from nylon – a fabric previously reserved for the Italian army– it was a revelation, complete with a discreet triangle for identification. Costing more than many leather bags, this nylon creation led people to question their predisposed ideas of luxury, ushering a new era of utilitarian fashion.


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