|Via The Covetour|
Yesterday there was a guest at lunch. An elephant in the room, if you will. My dear friend's mother was kind enough to lend out her Birkin. The key word being LEND. This is not a bag that you borrow and return when you get around to it. The expectations were agreed upon upfront. Obtaining a Birkin is no fortuitous event. There was a five year waiting list to purchase this particular purse. Not to mention the price.
I have never been a person who covets the "must have bag", however there is no denying that some bags are iconic. Chanel's 2.55 and Reissue, Louis Vuitton's Speedy, Gucci's Jackie O and Hermès' Birkin are all purses that have stood the test of time. Each of these bags is engrained in our lexicon. I would argue that my dear ladylike Celine Box Bag is on par with the aforementioned timeless bags. These bags are recognizable. The brands have integrity.
My friend has been looking forward to borrowing the Birkin for months. Hermès is a brand that can cause hysteria. If you have ever experienced the annual sample sale, then you know what I mean. I have witnessed expectant mothers line up with lawn chairs in hand (a major fete since New Yorker's don't do lines) to enter the annual sale. The sale was that good. I digress...
Each Hermès purse is handmade by skilled craftsmen. It can take up to 48 hours to complete one purse from start to finish. The finest materials are used. Alligator, calf, crocodile goat, and ostrich skin are tanned to cultivate the soft, buttery feel that we all love. The Birkin is hand stitched. The locks, keys, buckles and protective feet are made of gold or another high quality precious metal. All of the hardware is stamped with an "H" which I am partial to since it is one of my initials. The craftsmanship involved with every aspect of the process means that finished products are distributed to Hermès boutiques on an unpredictable schedule. This is partly responsible for the long wait to purchase.
There is no denying that this is an elegant bag. I have known countless poised mature women who carry a Birkin. Yet as we each tried on the bag (complete with a little twirl) we found it disconcerting. The Birkin can be worn in a multitude of ways and can even be worn casually. My friend's and I adored this bag, but felt that we needed to grow into it. It felt a bit like we were playing dress up in our mother's clothes. Peering into the mirror like young girls do at our reflections.
The saying "women in their twenties shouldn't wear diamonds and women in their thirties should ONLY wear diamonds" is bantered around my company frequently. I dislike the notion of forgoing diamonds, however the idea is that your twenties should be a time to define and hone your individual aesthetic. For some people that comes more naturally, but for others it's a process of trying different looks until you find what suits you. In a world that is consumed with youth it is refreshing to know that there are good things to come.
Do you have a bag that you covet?