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An impeccably researched and beautifully produced concise history of bags through the ages, with examples drawn from the Victoria & Albert Museum's remarkable collection
From the hand-stitched embroidered purses of the 16th century, to the ‘make-do-and-mend’ bags of the war years and the rise of the ‘It’ bag in the 2000s, bags reflect the needs and desires of their users, as well as the changing attitudes to fashion. Focusing on the V&A’s world-famous collection, Bags tells the story of the bag from the earliest leather pouches through to today’s covetable, luxury pieces.
Illuminating the evolution of bag designs and uses from the medieval period to today, the author explores early drawstring creations and richly worked ecclesiastical purses, before looking at large work bags of the 18th century, and by contrast the small reticules that were designed to complement high-waisted Empire line dresses. Increased travel in the 19th century brought about the leather handbag as we know it today, while the 20th century saw an explosion of innovations, from 1930s designs reflecting the streamlined American aesthetic and the use of new synthetics such as imitation patent and Vynide, to the rise of the luxury designer handbag by the likes of Hermès, Gucci, Chanel and Prada. After a general introduction, chronological chapters unfold, illustrated throughout; a detailed glossary, bibliography and index conclude the book. An inspiring, impeccably researched and concise history of bags through the ages, Bags: A Brief History is a musthave resource for students, designers and lovers of fashion and costume.
Table of Contents
• Introduction • Chapter One: Girdle Pouches and Almoners: The 14th and 15th Centuries • Chapter Two: Pokes, Purses and Swete Bagges: The 16th and 17th Centuries • Chapter Three: Pockets, Purses and Work-bags: 1700–90 • Chapter Four: Reticules: 1790–1830 • Chapter Five: Bags, Purses and Châtelaines: 1830–80 • Chapter Six: The Handbag: 1880–1918 • Chapter Seven: Dance Bags, Clutches and ‘Make-do-and-Mend’: 1918–45 • Chapter Eight: The New Look, Shoulder Bags and Designer Handbags: 1945–2000 • Chapter Nine: Man Bags, Totes and Mini Bags: 2000s–The Present • Glossary • Selected Bibliography • Major Dress Collections Featuring Bags • Authors’ Biographies • Acknowledgments • Index