I seriously cannot help myself when it comes to handbags, vintage preferably, but brand new designer handbags as well. I did two things recently; I bought a genuine Louis Vuitton Alma BB and a 'replica' Prada saffiano leather top handle bag.
Madam BB Alma from Louis Vuitton
Madam Prada Saffiano Leather Top Handle handbag.
The photographs are stock photo's from the internet. The reason I bought these two handbags is because I adore top handle handbags and the colours and the shape of these. It's very interesting looking at the differences between a genuine designer handbag and a replica. Because the Vuitton and Prada handbags are sort of similar in shape and practically the same in size, I compared them both very carefully. My conclusion is that the Vuitton bag is without a doubt the better quality of the two however, the Prada replica is very good. The Prada logo in the leather V badge at the front of the replica is off in that the ribbon symbol on the third line encroaches on the stitching where it most definitely does not in the genuine. The stitching on the anterior aspect of the top handles is messy too whereas on the genuine Prada version it most definitely is not.
You can see from this image that the gold 'ribbon' is nearly on top of the stitches. With the genuine Prada badge, this does not occur.
Looking at the lower part of the handles facing away on the replica Prada side on, you can see the 'messiness' of the stitching.
The above lovely Lady is leather and in very good condition. She's from the 1960s and I purchased her from Etsy. The leather quality in handbags from the '60s is impressive. In my experience, the leather in the bags I've bought from that era are supple yet strong. I can't tell whether they've had leather conditioning over the years but with the three that I have, it certainly seems so. I purchased a Celine handbag circa 1980's a couple of months ago and on unpacking it, one of the handles had a split in it. While checking out leather repairers and reading up about leather care, I learned that regular conditioning of leather whatever the item is essential for it's longevity. I will now condition my vintage/new leather items as soon as they arrive and give them another treatment every six months using a good cream conditioner. It would have cost me a fair bit to have the Celine repaired so I sent it back and got a refund. So disappointed though.
Look at this beautiful 'Grand Dame' of navy blue velvet above! She is truly a treasure of mine - another purchase from Etsy. She's a 1950's evening bag and she's the practically the same size as the Prada! It wouldn't do however, to use this lovely bag as an every day, she's far too elegant for that. Anyway, I just had to get some shoes to compliment her and I was fortunate to find these:
The shoes above could not be more perfect and while they are a new design, they scream vintage in every respect. Both shoes and handbag match perfectly (the handbag colour is lighter in the photo due to the flash), and I couldn't be more happy. It goes to show that one can make a statement with a combination of vintage and new. Here's a link to the beautiful Midas shoes:
I am the most impulsive person I know. If I see something I have to have, nine times out of ten I will buy it. It's a bitter/sweet affliction because a) my finances suffer and b) I experience the most delicious 'high' of owning a very beautiful and desirable item! Do I feel guilty? Yes. Do I care? No. Life is to be lived to the fullest and when I come near to being destitute, I will worry about it then. So now I'm off to look at all of my beautiful handbags with my empty wallet and grin on my face!
I will leave you with an old advertisement of a handbag or two. Enjoy!