updated 4 Apr 2012, 06:31
user id password
Fri, Nov 26, 2010
Email Print Decrease text size Increase text size
The charm of a 64-year-old handbag

In an era of deprivation, Gucci gave us what we know today as its iconic Bamboo bag.

Lady Diana Spencer, Rome (1991)

After the end of World War II, when fashion was in the doldrums and materials were scarce, Gucci craftmakers were challenged to use resources that were still in abundance. One of those - you guessed it - was bamboo, which could still be imported from Japan.

The original Gucci Bamboo bag was a small constructed handbag crafted in pigskin with a curved bamboo handle that was developed in a Gucci backroom in Florence in 1947.

To make these widely recognisable bamboo handles, craftsmen used new bamboo shoots which were still white and pliable, and subjected them to hours of work to bend them into the bamboo handles that are now familiar to us today.

Over the decades, the humble bamboo has shed its utilitarian image as a pragmatic solution to material shortage, and became a device that is now used on generations of new bag shapes.

After the first bag was created,  the Gucci Bamboo bag was has since been worn by high-profile international celebrities from actresses to royalty. Even Princess Diana was seen with one.

Today, Gucci Creative Director Frida Giannini continues to play with this design motif, creatively
employing it on accessories as well as ready to wear in a way that has given the house classic a new, youthful spin.

We bring you back to the past with a visual archive of the bamboo bag's various incarnations.


See photos of Gucci's bamboo bags here


readers' comments

Copyright © 2012 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn. No. 198402868E. All rights reserved.