BAGS - OLD vs NEW (Part 1)

by Jingle Chen in


I decided to write this due to the inspiration after reading Fifty Bags That Changed The World by Design Museum. While many thought some bags are trendy now, they were trendy 50 years ago too. And not to mentioned, I was really impressed by the 2.55 bag designed by Coco Chanel in 1955, which the classic design is still one of the most coveted bag by many women today. I'll elaborate and discuss more about the Chanel bag in my next post in the Luxury Bag Edition.

Now lets look into the top 6 bags I selected from the 50 which I thought is worth a mention. For the bags that carried our baggage through the centuries, you have come a long way ! 

1. The Satchel

How old: 1600s 

The definition of the satchel is actually a small bag, sometimes with shoulder strap. The mention of it is found as early as the Shakespearean days, where it was said in the play

- As You Like It -  

Then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like a snail
Unwillingly to school

In 1950s, the satchel was widely used in Britain and was part of traditional school uniforms but had grown out of fashion by the 1960s.

Source: bagservant.co.uk

Source: bagservant.co.uk

How new: Early 1960s - Now 

There are 2 main satchels company which I want to feature here. One is The Cambridge Satchel Company (founded in 2008), the other is The Leather Satchel Company (founded in 1966). In detailed comparison of this 2 brands will be in another post.  

Source: Brand's website (The Cambridge Satchel Company)

Source: Brand's website (The Cambridge Satchel Company)

Source: Brand's website (The Leather Satchel Company)

Source: Brand's website (The Leather Satchel Company)

Source: Brand's website

Source: Brand's website

Proenza Schouler

The PS1 was meant to be an anti-It bag (ironically the above 2 brands are deemed as the "It bag for the satchel lover). Designers Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez designed it in 2008, wanting to create a high-quality classic, rather than a bag that would become a passing trend. The original PS1 was kept off the runways on purpose and was known only to a select few. In case you are curious what Proenza or Schouler means, Proenza is the maiden name of Hernandez' mother and Schouler that of McCollough's mother.

Source: Brand's Website

Source: Brand's Website

2. Doctor's Bag

How old: Late 1880s to early 1900s

In the old days (and now),where physicians use to make house calls, the doctor's bag is made of leather, hardwearing, well compartmentalised, large and well structured, ready to within a jolt or two from the dashing horses or a bump on the road without breaking any bottles inside. 

Carried like a proud bag to indicate the noble profession, the doctor's bag is expensive. At the turn of the twelve century, one large American version was around $25 (about $650 in today's money). It is also common for fathers then, to present this bag to their son once the latter has graduated from medical school.

Source: Bestleather.org

Source: Bestleather.org

How new: Around 2012 till now

Yves Henri Donat Mathieu Saint Laurent, or Yves Saint Laurent, or YSL created this line when the doctor bag trend was hot in 2012. Almost every brand had their version of doctor's bag, who cares if the shape was authentic or not. 

Source: eluxurypurses.com

Source: eluxurypurses.com

3. Saddlebag

How old: 1880s

Source: Tandy Leather Factory. A native American rawhide saddlebag was flat like an envelope, decorated with patterns and long fringes. A cowboy's bag was plain with a buckle flap. 

Source: Tandy Leather Factory. A native American rawhide saddlebag was flat like an envelope, decorated with patterns and long fringes. A cowboy's bag was plain with a buckle flap. 

Sounding self explanatory like the doctor's bag, the saddlebag is often hung at the back of the saddle and come in pairs. A cowboy or Indian in the plain would favor the saddlebag more than a doctor, although it also carried supplies, medicine and tools (of their trade). Most saddle bag is made of thick leather to within the scuffing with the horse's movement. 

Modern saddlebags now would also include the range for motorcycles and bicycles, since the horse as a form of transport is also increasing less common.   

How new: Around 2011

Although there are many saddlebag companies established earlier than 2011, for the sake of modernity, I have featured Zatchels as one on of the brands including saddlebags within their product range.  

Zatchels

Source: Brand's Website (Zarchel's)

Source: Brand's Website (Zarchel's)

Polo Ralph Lauren

When is a saddlebag not quite a saddlebag? When it's too precious to hang it by the horse! 
Polo Ralph has modernized the saddlebag to be more practical with roomy storage space (rather than an envelope thin bag in the 1800s), and has aptly called it the RL Equestrian Saddlebag.

Source: redcarpet-fashionawards.com

Source: redcarpet-fashionawards.com

Look out for Part 2 for more Old vs New feature!