An Exception To Every Rule

1. No vintage bags.
2. No lambskin bags.
3. No children-sized bags.

Those have been my longstanding rules in collecting bags. However, there’s an exception to every rule.

Now, you’ve seen me drag a Gucci bag across the Sahara and a Balenciaga through the snow, so you must know the road does not make a friendly companion to more precious bags, particularly the Chanel kind. So in anticipation of this summer’s trek that will involve planes, trains and automobiles, I found a couple of mini flaps that I believed would be more suitable for traveling.

This first one, a quilted, semi-circle goody from the 80s, was a no-brainer purchase since the price was just too good to resist. It has been lovingly broken in yet immaculate on the inside, so I know it will be perfect for sweltering, rainy, or any other kind of day when I don’t want to carry the Hermes I posted about the last time.

The chain is not quite long enough to wear it messenger style, but the lambskin is supple enough to hold a lot more than expected. They sure don’t make bags like this anymore! Here’s an action shot of it on some random street in Antwerp (more about this in the next entry):

It’s also a great size to double as an evening bag. I suppose after this trip the bag will get sent in for “spa services” and hopefully it will come out looking even better than ever. But the one bag from a seller in the UK is the one I had written about before I left LA…

When I finally picked it up here and saw it in person for the first time, I was hooked. How is it possible that I never gave these vintage bags a second look simply because they were not made…like yesterday?

This particular bag is probably over 15 years old and yet it looks like it’s been held maybe twice. It is in better shape than some display bags I’ve seen at the Chanel boutiques. I can wear it messenger style, by the arm by doubling the chain, or in the hand as a clutch if I hide the chain. And you know, all those lovely ladies I see around Europe in their vintage Chanel bags that show a whole spectrum of wear and tear…I’m starting to become a believer that there’s an amount of charm–a je ne sais quois if you will–to carrying bags that show as much life lived in them as in the faces of the women who wear them. If every laugh wrinkle on my face records some fantastic memory from a trip, then why not carry a lambskin bag that will witness and commemorate those memories as well?

So those are my reasons for breaking the first two rules. As for the last, I’d like to think that by carrying a smaller bag that may look more like a full-sized bag on say, a ten-year-old, I will save my shoulders from the weight of a jumbo-sized classic flap (you gals know what I mean here!). The smaller the bag, the less temptation there is to fill it up with unnecessary things that we women like to schlepp around on a daily basis.

PS: I guess this means I brought 3 bags on this trip. And yes, also an extra pair of sneakers :-D.


  1. ceci

    Thanks so much, Larkie! I’ll e-mail you soon DH & BILs purchase the F1 race tickets, sometimes early 2011. Then, we’ll know where/when we are going to Europe. In the meanwhile, I’m going to enjoy your travel blog!

  2. larkie

    ceci, one of my vintage bags came from a reseller in california and the other was a seller in the UK. it is an easy train ride between paris and brussels (about 1.5 hours) and depending on how much advanced planning, it may cost ~100euros. So once you arrive in Paris from the US (which is easy as there are several airlines that make this commute daily), it is simple to travel to Belgium. Email me once you have some firm plans for europe and i can give you a short list of places to see within your time parameters!

  3. ceci

    Beautiful Chanel vintage you got! Interesting about your self-imposed rules – but never says never – I broke my rule & got my first vintage lamb in fuchsia/magenta too=p

    By reading your post, you got them from Belgium during your trip?! I’m curious where you picked up the vintage & hope you don’t mind to share. =)

    Actually, I’m planning to visit Belgium next year late August. I would like to know where I must go too! Lastly, do you know from North America, if it’s easy to fly Paris then taking the train to Belgium? I was checking Air Frace thus a stop at Paris is a must – but wondering if there’s any other options. Thanks so much!

  4. larkie

    ^hehe, those are my black denim espadrille wedges from Target. Only $20 and can take any kind of beating on the road…no point to bring Loubs to walk on cobblestoned streets!!

  5. jelita78

    and you just have to make me wonder about the wedges, huh?
    ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh u owe me picture of it!!

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