Handbags are more than just a vehicle for self-expression. They show how power and gender roles have shifted over time.
I’ve spent hours marveling at the secret love letter pocket in Chanel’s iconic flap bag and the eccentric tiger head on the clasp of Gucci’s Dionysus bag—and spent more money than I care to admit on the purses in my closet. I’m slightly embarrassed about my fixation with these objects, which ultimately amount to receptacles for keys and lip balm. That’s why I was so intrigued by an exhibit at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum that explores the history of humans’ obsession with bags.