By Margot Santos
Hermès, Chanel, Cartier & more, how can we talk about France without mentioning French luxury & its emblematic fashion houses? Although in everyone’s mind French luxury speaks for itself because of its historical reputation, what are its origins? While it seems luxury has always started in France but this has not always been the case. In the past, France’s image has been tarnished, but thanks to Catherine de Médicis & Louis XIV, France was able to establish the splendor & know-how that is so renowned today. Today, Chaumet, Hermès & Louis Vuitton are one of the symbole of the best luxury houses through their emblematic pieces.
Chaumet is the first jewelry house to be established in the mythical Place Vendôme in Paris. Its boutique at number 12 reflects an outstanding luxurious experience : a sophisticated decoration on the ground floor, a succession of intimate & elegant lounges on the first floor. Famous for being the jewelry maker of Empress Josephine, the house is now part of the history of French luxury.
The Josephine collection is without a doubt the oldest collection of the house. The Empress being the first muse of the house, Chaumet continues to be inspired by her to create strong & elegant pieces. For instance, the Josephine Aigrette ring is perfect for graceful jewelry. With its delicate aestheticism, this creation is made of white gold, paved with diamonds & set with the purest pearls in order to sublimate the fanciest looks.
The Link collection has been dedicated to passion & affection. The collection simply represents the attachment existing between two persons. Among its creations is the pendant Links Harmony, the perfect love talisman mixing pearls & diamonds. Customizable with engravings, this sentimental jewelry is perfect for immortalizing a special relationship between loved ones.
Bee My Love is, as its name tells us, inspired by bees. This collection is the symbole of simplicity as more daily but still exquisite jewelries. The Bee My Love ring is one of the iconic pieces of the house. Symbol of eternity for Napoleon, this ring takes the shape of a beehive’s honeycomb. Its pure aestheticism is underlined by its graphic side which brings originality to the piece. You can wear this creation in your daily life as well as combine it with other pieces.
The reputation of Hermès for its prestigious leather is significant. Indeed, the House began by opening a small boutique as a saddler. Over the time, the house built its notoriety thanks to the kings & presidents of the world who made the house a reference in leather goods. Hermès became known for its iconic bags, most of which became It-bags.
The first It-bag of the house was the Kelly bag. Around 1930, Robert Dumas designed a lady’s handbag with a trapezoidal shape. It was immediately renamed in the 1950s after Grace Kelly was photographed with it. This hard leather bag declined in different skin, colors & shapes is truly appreciated thanks to its elegant but modern cut. It easily match with most of every day & even evening looks. Its flap & padlock clasp allow you to carry all of your belongings safely.
The Birkin bag is also an iconic bag from the house. Nowadays, it’ s the most desired bag in the world & yet, the story of its creation was born from a simple trip from Paris to London in 1984. When Jane Birkin was just a young mother, she expressed to Jean-Louis Dumas her difficulty in finding a suitable bag. Therefore he designed a rectangular tote bag based on the house’s codes. This model of bag is a spacious & practical bag but still elegant & timeless. Its classic style will allow you to elevate your more casual silhouettes.
An other iconic but less famous hit-bag: the Constance bag. Created by Catherine Chaillet in 1967, the Constance is named after her daughter. Distinguishable by its H-shaped clasp, the model is constantly reinvented in terms of skin or even fabric, details, hardware, sizes & colors. This bag has a very contemporary vibe & can be adapted to all women. It can be worn as a handbag but also as a shoulder or cross-shoulder bag thanks to its more or less long carry.
Some luggages, a monogram signed LV, brown shades, the house Louis Vuitton was founded in 1854. From its beginning, it changed the way people traveled by designing a brand new practical & fashionable luggage. 168 years later, the house continues to design its iconic pieces.
How can we talk about Louis Vuitton without mentioning the Speedy. Created in 1930 for travel, this bag owes its name to the speed of transportation in that period. The Speedy is available in several sizes & colors but is more suitable for a short trip, for instance a weekend in Deauville or the French Riviera. The Speedy model is an emblematic bag in particular by its engraved padlock as well as its rounded handles but most of all because of its contemporary style. Therefore it’s the perfect bag to reflect tradition & modernity.
The Neverfull bag is also a must-have from Louis Vuitton because everything fits in it. Therefore this bag has a large storage size without being bulky thanks to its flexibility. Made in monogram canvas, checkerboard or leather; the Neverfull handbag can create a timeless but trendy silhouette. Furthermore, it is very practical including for busy days thanks to its laces on the sides & its thin traps.
If the Speedy is the most convenient for short trips, the Keepall is the best for longer trips. Lightweight & flexible, this model has a cabin size suitable for planes. It is declined in several sizes & colors including in limited collections & collaborations. The Keepall is unisex travel bag but as a large selection for men. It can be worn as a handbag as well as a shoulder or cross-shoulder bag.