fantasies popped, strengthened


My quest for a wallet as birthday gift led me (too) many shops yesterday, and gave me the chance to check out several things I had been coveting. Looking at beautifully photographed editorials and street style snaps often lead to dreams; it's useful to walk into shops and see if those dream items stand up to the glare of reality.

I went to have a look at the Louis Vuitton SC bag again, and funnily, this time I realised it isn't quite my dream bag because: a) the shoulder strap drops to a funny spot for me; b) the size isn't quite what I'm looking for and c) the shape is To put it simply, it looked silly on me. Considering how I yearned for it, I am tremendously deflated. But it is something of a relief that I don't crave it anymore. The calf leather has an amazing velvety finish though - definitely a bag you can't stop touching.

I also had a look at the Celine Cabas tote, more out of curiosity than an actual proper desire to buy. The leather is deliciously soft, but the bag is too floppy- the bottom sags once you put anything of weight in, like a wallet. It feels a little fragile, and even if it isn't, it makes me disinclined to seriously consider it.

However, just about everything else at Celine was covetable, especially the clothes. A tuxedo jacket had super sharp seams and lapels and was beautifully made inside out. I ached for a navy sheath with a tuxedo trompe l'oeil detail - sewn into the dress were narrow "lapels" with a sheer mesh panel in the v formed by the lapels - subtle, sharp, classic, witty. An ivory silk blouse with a black razor thin leather tie-neck - something about the cut made the blouse curve just so away from the body; it looked pristine and sleek, when most blouses usually look limp on the hangar. And the navy pull-over with the tailcoat hem - le sigh.

And Celine makes lots of beautiful bags apart from the popular Classic Box and Luggage models. I feel very, very hard for a gleaming black python clutch with a detachable zipped compartment. A whole brace of leather wallets with just the right number of pockets and slots. A two-toned tote in lambskin (above), somehow boxy and relaxed at the same time, wonderfully discreet and buttery to the touch.

Everything is very beautifully made and heavenly to touch, though perhaps lambskin is not the most practical material for me. They look classic but low-key, distinct but recognisable only to the observant eye. Much as I love classic bags like the Hermes Kelly, I've always liked the idea of finding your own classics. Also, while the Classic Box is rather exorbitantly priced, most of their bags are not more expensive than the usual designer bags - and therefore not as unreachable as one would think. If I were looking for the perfect day bag, I would be thrilled to invest in one of theirs.

As for the much-loved Classic Box, I have to say it's not really my cup of tea - I especially dislike how the inside of the bag is sorted into smaller compartments; I had a bag like this once and I could never figure out a comfortable way to separate my things. But if that isn't an issue with you, it's a beautiful bag.

Although it isn't obvious from the bag lust, the item I am putting aside my pennies for is a good watch. I'm still rather torn between the Cartier Tank Solo and the Hermes Double Tour Cape Cod, having decided the Georg Jensen Vivianna didn't look all that stunning on me. Five years ago I would have said the Hermes without hesitation. But these days I'm growing to appreciate classics I previously scorned as cliches. Unlike bags, watches usually aren't seasonable, and I enjoy the feeling of being to take my time to muse and decide.

Picture from styledrops


Stephanie said…
I enjoyed your analysis of Celine's items! I always secretly enjoy deciding that something I've lusted after from afar is not for me! Relief as you said ;)
Anonymous said…
this was such an interesting post, especially because there is no celine shop where I live. Im kind of scared about what you said about the shape of the sc for lv bag, do you think the shape is bad? or just not what you were looking for?
Unknown said…
great post!!! ;_)
Aïssa said…
Great post and completely in synch : I just spotted a woman holding a SC/LV bag in the métro! It looked gorgeous but thought that it was not worth putting one through debt...And I'm just back from the Celine's corner at the Galeries Lafayette where I was checking bags and clothes...which are so wonderful...
yanqin said…
Stephanie: It is such a relief, which only goes to show how much justifying we do when we buy something, haha.

Anonymous: It wasn't bad, just not what I was looking for. I don't think I suit bags that are so structured - I like bags to be a little slouchier. It looks slouchier in photos but in the shop, it didn't have the same appeal for me.

If Jane: Thanks!

Aissa: I once saw a woman carrying it when I was on the subway as well, I felt like following her to get a better look :) But it turned out to look less magical one me.

In contrast, I didn't want to leave the Celine boutique!
khaylis said…
have been quite obsessed with a this celine red envelope chain bag that just went on sale at the celine near my office....but when i went to go see it in person, i just couldn't bring myself to buy it...yet.

planning on going again before the end of the sale to see whether we are meant to be.
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