Carry me – 100 years of handbags

Open in Museum Milavida between 21.2.–13.9.2020

Carry me imparts the centenary story of the handbag. If the bag was once simply a practical tool, today it can be used to communicate a lot about oneself. As society changes, so do handbags. A handbag is so much more than a mere fashion accessory.

Before clothes were equipped with pockets, valuables were transported in various kinds of leather pouches, muffs or even in the sleeves. In the 16th century, embroidered pockets in which money and amulets could be kept were sewn into men’s clothing. Women’s pouches sometimes hung from precious chains on the waist, or they were hidden into the folds of clothing. Actual bag fashion emerged in the 20th century. It was influenced by art, trends, new materials and social changes, such as the increased employment of women, all at an ever-increasing pace.

The exhibition showcases about 50 iconic handbags. Pop culture, music and celebrities have a huge impact on fashion. Bag trends come and go, while some bags become luxury items sought by the masses. Classics are often born thanks to their famous users, such as Grace Kelly, Jacqueline Kennedy, Princess Diana and Carrie Bradshaw. The handbags shown in the exhibition are from private collections.