In Review: Louis Vuitton City Bags

18.11.13

Book Packshot © Louis Vuitton/Jean-Marc Cédile
In October this year, Rizzoli NY released a fantastic new book, providing a fresh take onto the bags of Louis Vuitton.

Louis Vuitton City Bags is the first comprehensive taxonomy of the company's range of women's handbags that date back to the turn of the 20th century. Many of the bags are now household names- the Speedy, Papillon, Alma, Bucket and Pochette are all familiar, and have been instrumental in making LV synonymous with modern luxury.

FAMILY PORTRAIT: FROM THE TRUNK TO THE CITY BAG © Louis Vuitton/Patrick Gries
 The book chronicles the life of the bags, providing the history and timeline behind their launches and the advertising campaigns that accompanied them.

I love the features showing inside some of the bags, such as 'Inside an Alma bag,' and x-rays of the various pieces of luggage. It gives each piece a personal identity, and echoes the popular trend of photographing the contents of one's purse for the 'In My Bag' feature that graces the pages of many a fashion blog.

NSIDE AN ALMA, 2010S. © Louis Vuitton/Patrick Gries

It is fascinating to see the construction of the bags, with features on (and not limited to) the techniques, factory locations, tanning processes, materials, monograms, linings, stitches, hardware and straps, charms, labels, patterns, quality tests, idioms and the language of Louis Vuitton. Similarly, it is great to learn more about the bag families, with diagrams demonstrating how the bags have evolved, such as the birth of the Speedy from the Keepall.

As a fan of fashion and particularly high-end handbags, I never really considered how much time, effort and talent goes into the whole production process. I certainly won't look at a handbag in quite the same way now that I have read this amazing publication.

Louis Vuitton City Bags is perfect for fashion and design students, and admirers of the world of fashion too. This is certainly a great book to give as a gift as we approach the festive season, and one which will form the centerpiece of any fashion fan's collection.

STEAMER BAG (X-Ray image by Nick Veasey) © Louis Vuitton/Nick Veasey
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