When I was a little girl, I liked to sneak into the attic where my parents kept all the toys, bags and accessories from times long gone in old chests. I always had to climb a dizzyingly steep staircase that had to be pulled down from the ceiling beforehand. But what I discovered, then made me forget all my goose bumps and fears. I turned my attention to the hand-embroidered little handbags made of wonderful textiles, the so-called "Clutches". Most of them were decorated with silver fittings, others had small chains to hang over your shoulder. I imagined the occasions in which these tiny handbags were made, what the ladies of that time had stowed in them and then I imagined small oil factory bottles, cotton handkerchiefs embroidered with monogram and an exclusive, magnificent opera ambience.
How far back can the history of the bag be traced?
There is no doubt that in the early Middle Ages such small bags belonged rather to the gentlemen, because they were mainly attached to men's belts.
It was not until the 15th / 16th century that chain bags were made especially for ladies, just like the ones I now hold in my hands. It was only later that the so-called "ladies' pouch bags" appeared, which were first carefully sewn into ladies' petticoats and in the 18th century, under the name 'Pompadour' or 'Ridikühl' were allowed to adorn the ladies' hand.
In the 19th century, the lady's handbag became an indispensable accessory and those who created bags could no longer be stopped. So, the first leather travel bags could conquer society.
After the First World War, however, leather became scarce and cotton and synthetic fabrics increasingly came onto the market. The zipper that used to adorn the Canadian army's transport bags was now officially made socially acceptable in 1923.
I have to smile when I think of today's modern and not quite cheap truck tarpaulin bags that can be bought.
What will the trends look like in the future?
We are almost spoilt for choice today: there is an infinite mix of "déjà vu's" and contemporary styles, for example between art deco and romanticism, various silk applications, chenille embroidery, celluloid, leather and recycled materials. What an incredible variety.
I now see in front of me this small, old piece of jewelry in the shape of a bag, which has been worked out with a lot of love and attention to detail. I still feel the quality and the wonderful materials in my hands. Yes, that's how a bag must be for me. Not just practical and beautiful but unforgettable.