The funny (or bad) thing about royals is that you might get interested in more and more subjects. Years ago I never thought I would even remotedly become interested in fashion, but nowadays I might even recognise a designer by just seeing a dress. This Saturday I met with four other royalty watchers in Amsterdam. On the programme: the Hermitage (as reported I had already seen the exhibition before), the Tassenmuseum Hendrikje (Hendrikje Museum of Bags and Purses) and the Willet-Holthuysen Museum (not royalty or nobility related, but still lovely). The best thing was that they were all so close to each other, that we didn’t have to walk too long through the rain. The good thing about meeting up with royalty watchers is that usually you want to see about the same thing. And high on my list and luckily also theirs was the exhibition “Royal Bags. Tassen van Europese Royals” (Bags of European Royals), at of course the Hendrikje Museum of Bags and Purses. The exhibition opened on 8 October 2016, just days after my previous visit to Amsterdam, and will close its doors on 26 February 2017. Really a must see, even if you are not really into fashion.
No, a bag isn’t just a bag. They are an essential part of a royal outfit and of course the royals have always been trendsetters. Their bags would become fashionable, by times even iconic, like the Kelly-bag of Princess Grace of Monaco. In old times the bags, trunks and chests of the royals were carried by court dignitaries and of course the royal monogram was displayed on them. The exhibition shows travelling utensils by Empress Elisabeth of Austria. However also on display are bags by other royals, including a few that were selected by Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain from her private collection. There are also some bags from Princess Grace and from Sweden and Denmark, even some from the 18th century. Queen Máxima of the Netherlands herself selected three bags from the personal collection of Queen Juliana, including a golden handbag Máxima herself also used a few times.
The top 3 of royal bags?
- The Chanel 2.55.
- The Knot Clutch by the Italian designer Bottega Veneta.
- Le Pliage from Longchamp.