Diana Broussard, (who was the subject of a prior blog), just launched the Limited Edition dbChronicle bag, $1950 (only 150 were made) and it’s ‘technically’ speaking, the best bag I’ve ever seen! It is fabulous and sleek looking: made of her signature resin (plexiglass) with a version of her signature NATE chain as the shoulder strap, you have your choice of gold or palladium hardware, and it also has a small metal chain inside. It’s not only sleek but high tech and actually allows you to personalize and carry your own video wherever you go. Perfect for upcoming New York Fashion Week

This is how it works. The Diana Broussard video has been downloaded inside the memory disk. There are two other video spaces which allow you to personalize the bag. You can convert any video to AVI to download it and the video will automatically play one after the other. It comes with a USB cable to add or remove the videos. The same cable can be used for recharging the battery with the electric plug, or you can use it to recharge to PC/laptop (the battery lasts for 90 – 120 minutes).

dbChronicle bag screen side

When I asked Diana what initially inspired her to come up with the idea, she answered: “The factory with whom I am working has been perfecting this for six months. I was asked to design some clothing with flexible LCD screen for a group of architects, and I have been constantly thinking about LCD and a way to truly make a luxury accessory ever since”.

MK: “How long did you work on it?”

DB: “Six months on the handbag, and then there was the collaboration with Giovanni Locantore, a young motion graphics artist that I love. From there, I approached David Lang, the Pulitzer Prize winning composer that I had worked with briefly on a project for Susan Marshall and the Next Wave Festival at BAM. He provided the ideas from his vast repertoire of pieces. It is performed by So Percussion (published by Red Poppy Music from the album The Woodmans: Music from the Film, courtesy of Cantaloupe Music). We finished the video and music within two weeks. THe collaboration just clicked.

MK: “Are there any other tech things planned for the future?”

DB: “Yes, I am working on a unisex tote with a flexible LCD screen. I love this chic dbChronicle bag, but a great bag to throw in a computer and work items is a near future must.”

 Louis Vuitton gold and silver Epi Mini Trunk Bag  Fall/Winter 2015

Speaking of structured bags with distinctive hardware, it’s virtually impossible to open any of the BIG Fall fashion magazines without seeing images of Nicolas Guesquiere’s trunk bags for Louis Vuitton from fall 2015. First spotted on the Paris runway earlier this year, they are featured in editorials, and ‘star’ in the company’s advertising campaigns (a curated series photographed by Juergen Teller and Bruce Weber). They will also run you well upwards of $4,000. But I’ll let you in on a little secret. Some of the best trunk shaped bags are those produced by Borsa Bella in the 50’s 60’s and 70’s, which I’ve been collecting for years.Also known as train case bags, they, like the Louis Vuitton incarnations, immediately evoke memories of a time (long past), when traveling (and traveling by train) was actually glamorous, luxurious and romantic (decidedly more ‘Orient Express’ than #4 or #5 Lexington Avenue Express no doubt).

Black crocodile effect vintage Borsa Bella trunk  bag

Borsa Bella bags are made in Italy, and the name translates to “beauty purse”. Constructed of sturdy, durable vinyl (in finishes that resemble alligator, crocodile, snakeskin, etc.), other signature features include the use of distinctive gold metal hardware, double swivel handles, t-latch closure, key latch closure, signature lining with label, and double opening which makes them convenient. The typical size is 8” wide, 6 12” high, and 5 ¼ inches deep (compact yet surprisingly roomy).

Vintage Borsa Bella red lizard trunk bag

The good news is that they are always available at vintage shows, on vintage websites, on Ebay and on Etsy, and I’ve seen them priced from about $50 to $300, but are mainly in the $100 range. A recent search turned up several good ones. A $75 Borsa Bella bag in a shimmery black textile punctuated with pewter hardware, a $150 red lizard with gold toned hardware; one auctioned in black “crocodile” and another $59 in white.

– Marilyn Kirschner

Marilyn Kirschner

I am a long time fashion editor with 40+ years of experience. As senior market of Harper's Bazaar for 21 years I met and worked with every major fashion designer in the world and covered all of the collections in Paris, London, Milan and New York. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories.

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