While Chanel is one of the most luxuriously traditional fashion houses, known for quilted leather handbags and classic tweed suits, the brand is no stranger to funkiness and experimentation.
Creative director Karl Lagerfeld has played a large role in Chanel’s occasional turn toward the avant-garde, and over the years, Chanel seems to be getting bolder and bolder! We’re always on the very edge of our seats awaiting their newest creations. (Recently, we’ve been coveting the Gabrielle Bag, which blends tradition with novelty.)
In celebration of Chanel’s radical spirit, let’s take a look at some of the weirdest and most creative bags the brand has produced throughout the seasons, shall we?
1. Funky Film Bag
- Formal Name: Chanel Film Projector Buonasera Minaudiere Bag
- Season: Pre-Fall 2016
- Price: $13,000
- PurseBop’s Thoughts: We love this resin and brass bag because it’s just so fun. It’s playful, beautifully designed, and recalls an era of old Hollywood glamor.
2. "Traditional" Quilted Gasoline Bag
- Formal Name: Chanel Dubai By Night Gas Can Bag
- Season: Cruise 2015
- Price: Unknown (plexiglass version: $10,800)
- PurseBop’s Thoughts: As far as innovation goes, this Gas Can Bag is truly unique. There’s also a plexiglass version, but we love the juxtaposition of the traditional quilted lambskin with the outlandish design.
3. Infamous Perfume Bag
- Formal Name: Chanel Plexiglass Perfume Bottle Bag
- Season: Cruise 2014
- Price: $9,500
- PurseBop’s Thoughts: We’ve written about this bag extensively in the past! PurseBop even has her own Perfume Bottle Bag. Since it was released, this has become Chanel’s most popular novelty bag. So popular, in fact, that Chanel recently released a new striped version—which PurseBop was tempted by but ultimately resisted!
4. Tantalizing Turtle Bag
- Formal Name: Chanel Plexiglass Turtle Shell Minaudiere Bag
- Season: Cruise 2016
- Price: Unknown (recently sold for $12,500 on a resale site)
- PurseBop’s Thoughts: This bag debuted on the runway in Seoul, South Korea, which is fitting considering that tortoise shells are traditionally used in Korean art. With a unique shape, the shell bag is beautiful, clean, and doesn’t take itself too seriously!
5. Playful Lego Bag
- Formal Name: Chanel Lego Clutch Bag
- Season: Spring/Summer 2013
- Price: $9,450 regular; $14,500 with crystals
- PurseBop’s Thoughts: After writing about this bag when it was first released, PurseBop went ahead and added a crystal-studded lego clutch to her collection! Inspired, of course, by the classic children’s toy, the Lego Clutch is the epitome of playful, while also staying close to a standard box clutch.
6. Dainty Doll Bag
- Formal Name: Chanel Matryoshka Doll Bag
- Season: Pre-Fall 2009
- Price: $6,000 originally; $9,600 in Pre-Fall 2010
- PurseBop’s Thoughts: This is a true collector’s piece! Inspired by traditional Russian nesting dolls and debuted on the Moscow Runway, this intricately-painted and historic clutch is the perfect conversation starter.
7. Lite-Brite Meets Boy Bag
- Formal Name: Chanel LED Boy Bag
- Season: Spring/Summer 2017
- Price: $6,900 small; $9,000 medium
- PurseBop’s Thoughts: When the lights are off, the LED Boy simply looks like a perforated classic Boy Bag: the perfect bag for when you want to switch from stand-out to classic!
8. Kooky Milk Carton Bag
- Formal Name: Chanel Lait de Coco Bag
- Season: Fall/Winter 2014
- Price: $4,800
- PurseBop’s Thoughts: The Lait de Coco has become a cult favorite, fetching resale prices far above the original retail price. As far as strange Chanel bags go, the milk carton shape is certainly weird, but the bag itself is simple, and—dare we say?—almost elegant.
9. Quirky Shell Clutch
- Formal Name: Chanel Shell Minaudiere
- Season: Spring 2012
- Price: $33,000; $48,000 for the version covered in pearls
- PurseBop’s Thoughts: We know: the price of this pearlescent resin clutch gave us sticker shock as well…(we couldn’t help but wonder how many Classic Flaps you could buy for the same price!). It’s undeniably gorgeous, the perfect blend of subdued and zany, but is it worth it?
10. "Beachy" Hula Hoop Bag
- Formal Name: Chanel Wind Power Bag
- Season: Spring/Summer 2013
- Price: $2,700 small; $3,100 medium
- PurseBop’s Thoughts: This bag went viral when it debuted on the runway with massive hoops the size of a standard hula-hoop (a size that never went into production). According to Karl Lagerfeld, the bag is meant for the beach because “you need space for the beach towel and then you can put it into the sand and hang things on it.” But we’re not sure if we’d park a leather Chanel bag in the sand…
As much as we love the classic Chanel staples (read: Chanel 101), we can’t help but also appreciate Chanel’s commitment to thinking outside the box.
Now that you’ve seen Chanel’s most eccentric bags over the years, which one is your favorite? Which ones do you like, dislike, and covet? We love to hear about your personal style, let us know!
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