From container of one’s individual items, these receptacles have actually come to be fashion accessories, elaborately styled, for females they represent an instrument of seduction The 1930s was the Age of film stars and good housewives. Each dress whether for casual or travel, afternoon or evening, had its matching handbag from shoulder bags, container bags and flat bags. These handbags were made from a rich variety of products; calf, crocodile, pigskin, ostrich, doe-skin, Chamois, lizard and snakeskin were typically made use of in combination with metals and enamels. These were the Golden years of the pochette, flat and rectangular in form.

During the 1940s fashion was far from peoples’ thoughts. Designers had to be creative with re-worked natural leather from old models. However, the 1940’s was a time of experimentation with new products, such as colored rubber provided by Perelli.

In the 1950s Italy re-emerged to the forefront of world handbag scene.

Natural leather triumphed, as no additional skin can be tanned to last, dyed in any shade, be as soft as a fabric and at the same time be as tough. New materials such as plastic were introduced and handbags came to be more functional, functional and bigger. Some handbags also included another smaller sized and fine-tuned bag. The ‘sausage’ style was fashionable right up to the end of the 1960s. The green calf evening handbag became a style icon in its day with sophisticated, linear design. During the late 1950s-early 1960s bright shades made of natural leather and pink suede were prominent.

The 1960’s saw the rise of youth fashion with Chanel’s beaming black-patent bag on a long gilt chain striking home. PVC handbags were bright and reflective with angular, black-and-white Op Art designs. However, from 1961-65 handbags rarely included in journals, not having the look right look for the hip sixties generation. Rising to the difficulty, handbag designers offered multi-coloured shoulder bags to complement the psychedelic patterns and later “flower power” fashions. These won over a new generation of supporters to the handbag. In the late 1960’s eastern-influenced bigger satchels and fabric shoulder bag were much looked for after.

The 1970’s marked expanding informality; blending materials, patchwork natural leather bags, brass and studded suede. Couture Houses such as St. Laurent represented by beige canvas and brown natural leather shoulder bags with canine lead fittings put down their marker. In 1974 huge, soft envelope bags were prominent, with thick clutches, such as the wise ginger and cream striped handbags by Christopher Trill. One more skilled designer, Clive Shilton, artfully matched 1930s jewellery with floral quilted designs.

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