I wrote an article some months ago sharing my dismay at Chanel’s misbranding of their ‘satchel bag’ (which was not even nearly a satchel!), and so while I was revisiting their A/W12 collection I was very surprised to find that lo and behold, Chanel had tried the satchel again. More surprising than this, was the fact that they had actually done my favourite bag justice. As far as satchels go, I am quite traditional and I think the best satchels are made with proper leather and classic style in mind. Saying this, Chanel’s satchel was quite good in my books, if not a little too busy for my liking. I thought, for the purposes of fashion (and hopefully for your entertainment), I would compare and contrast the Chanel ‘satchel’ with one from Vida Vida (below): [caption id="attachment_147" align="aligncenter" width="445"] Separated at birth? Chanel and Vida Vida[/caption] The most obvious difference is the material; Chanel’s bag is made of burgundy leather, which is quilted (oh, how original Chanel!) and rimmed with a lighter, shinier edge, unlike the beautiful suntanned brown leather of the Vida Vida bag, which has a subtle edge that is barely visible. Chanel uses a smooth and consistently tanned leather in contrast to the more relaxed vintage look of our leather which has different tones of gorgeous, rich brown. Then comes the handle; both Chanel and Vida Vida have metal hoops to link the handle and the satchel, but that appears to be the only similarity between the two. Chanel have used a thick metal chain, whereas Vida Vida have kept the traditional sturdy leather strap, and also kept the top handle small while Chanel made theirs larger, and more like the handle for a handbag. There is also the discussion of the shoulder strap; Chanel’s is made of the same leather as the detailing on the edge of the bag and the buckle straps, is adjustable and can be detached from the bag itself, so this satchel is more of a handbag. Vida Vida on the other hand have a thick, brown leather strap which stays attached to the bag constantly, but also has a buckle to adjust the length of it. Another difference is the design in the front of the bag; Vida Vida’s satchel has the traditional front pocket with the buckled strap in the same material. Chanel’s does not have a front pocket, but a panel, made in an entirely different material to the rest of the satchel. This panel also includes the iconic Chanel ‘CC’ lock. Also, Vida Vida’s straps have real buckles to do up the bag, whereas Chanel’s buckles are fakes with poppers underneath. Finally, what I think is the most important difference, the price; Chanel = £750+ Vida Vida = £75-£90 (depending on size) So, if you do not have £750 or more to spend, then please take a look at these lovely (understated and traditional) ladies leather satchels.
I am not huge on designer bags. I have nothing against them, I just feel like they are too expensive to enjoy. As a result I do not have many (except for the occasional impulse-buy at the sales!), I prefer to window shop (or late night web shop I think it should now be called). It was during one of these online sessions that I came across a page talking about a ‘Chanel Satchel’. Given that I am satchel mad, I was intrigued. How were they going to renovate the old-school design to give it that modern, designer edge, but keep that retro look? My anticipation grew as the picture was loading; would I be compelled to buy this bag? [caption id="attachment_99" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Apparently this is a satchel - er, no, it's not![/caption] But instead of delight at the picture I was now staring at, disappointment flooded me. Chanel had not designed a satchel. It was merely a tote with a flap to shut it. No outer pockets, no strong edges, not even a sturdy top handle; it was just a leather handbag (albeit one made by Chanel). I felt defeated, that is until I looked down at the price. It was a good thing I didn’t like it. It would have cost me $600. For a mere £80 or so, perhaps one of these real classic satchels is a better bet. I really should send a definition of a satchel over to Chanel. [caption id="attachment_104" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Now this is a real satchel![/caption]