07 November 2012 17:00 | By Denise Ngo
The most drool-worthy bags at Chanel's new exhibition

PHOTOS: A sneak peak at Les Secrets Du Sac, a four-day Chanel handbag exhibit in Singapore

Special handbags flown to Singapore for Chanel exhibit
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Text: Denise Ngo
Photos: Denise Ngo and Chanel

You don’t need to be a luxury goods expert to recognize the artistry that goes into creating a designer purse. Earlier this week, we had the privilege of previewing Chanel’s Les Secrets Du Sac, an exhibition that will showcase the brand’s iconic 2.55 handbag (named for the month and year it was designed). If you’ve ever scoffed at women who go ga-ga over the quilted bag, this exhibit will change your mind – if only to remind you that luxury goods are so much more than a status symbol.

Their value of a bag isn’t based on how it looks, but in how it is envisioned and duly crafted. For Coco Chanel, the 2.55 was a passion project conceived out of a desire to make life easier for women. She gave it a strap braided with leather and gold chains to free up the wearer’s hands while keeping the bag in place on her shoulder. The diamond stitching, which was inspired by jackets worn by stable boys at a racecourse from Chanel’s youth, gave the bags extra sturdiness and character.

The 2.55’s design might look simple but making one requires no less than 180 fastidious gestures. People who work at Chanel aren’t even allowed to work on “the iconic” 2.55 until they’ve had five years of experience in the workshop.

We’ll admit that at times, it’s tempting to just carry around cheap knockoffs because at a cursory glance, they’re indistinguishable from the real thing. After seeing some of Chanel’s greatest creations (including two owned by Mademoiselle herself) in person at the exhibit, however, we’re tempted to set aside our next month’s salary to purchase one of these babies for ourselves.

Click through our gallery to see photos of the bags exhibited, as well as previews for Chanel’s latest collection.

Les Secrets Du Sac will be open between November 10 – 14, 2012, in Chanel’s flagship boutique store on the second floor of Ngee Ann City.

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