In the spirit of great TV show crossovers (remember when the Power Rangers met the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or when CSI: Miami intersected with CSI: New York?) and the much anticipated Batman vs Superman mash-up for 2016 (BTW is it 2016 yet? I really cannot wait for this epic movie to come out, but my bet is on the Dark Knight even if I love all my superheroes equally), I thought I’d do my own series crossover!
While undergoing major work stress last week, I had a delivery of sorts… an adoption of a vintage black box Kelly (“BBK”) 28cm from 1973:
That’s right, the bag is over 40 years old, but can you see any significant aging against my decades younger croc Kelly?
If only the leather on my face aged that well! The patina is beyond fantastic in person, giving the bag a gloss like no other. I’ve been told that box (calf) leather used from past eras is better than what’s currently being used, and I really can’t comment on that as I do not have a 2014 BBK to compare it to, but what I can say is that the construction of the bag is incomparable. Perhaps I got lucky with a bag that was so little used that it still looks/feels pristine after four decades, but I suspect a lot of this has more to do with the superior Hermès workmanship. That’s the tangible legacy that we are (
unhappily) paying an arm and a leg for.
Anyway, the back story to this K28 is rather straightforward. I’ve always wanted a BBK with gold hardware because imho it is the classic Kelly. Like some of you, I’ve always had a picture of Grace Kelly carrying one of these bags on my mood board. But I’ve seen these box leather bags in person–any scratch will show (though you can smooth it out if it’s a superficial one) but the upside is that with age and wear it will develop an even, beautiful patina. The leather is also supposed to outlast at least one apocalypse. It’s just the most ladylike bag in the history of handbags. But the twist to this whole scenario in my head is that I wanted to find a BBK in the retourne instead of sellier (more rigid) style. I love how Grace Kelly always looks so formal even when casually dressed, but I know a sellier bag is a bit too formal for me.
So back to the story, the BBk28 popped up from a trusted reseller a few days before my trip back from Europe and I quickly got advice from my tiny circle of trusted confidantes. Some weeks later my bag survived the trip from Switzerland to LA via the snowstorms in NY. I did feel protracted labor pains while waiting for her in the midst of shipping delays from inclement weather, but once she was in my hands… well, you moms know what I’m talking about. Labor pain, schmabor pain, you’re already thinking about the next one! Am I right, ladies?!!
Speaking of Grace Kelly, there’s another lady I often reference when trying to put a formal look together. I’d go into my closet and wonder out loud… what would Carolina Herrera wear?
Croc K32/Look 4: black Banana Republic silk blouse, Chanel 08A floor length tweed skirt, Hermès black cdc belt, Bandolino silvery gold flat sandals.
Which bag would you use for this look (PS: don’t you love pockets on evening wear?)?
This is exactly why it makes sense to have two black Kellys in different sizes with different hardware. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!