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Revisiting The Greatest American Luxury Handbag Brands

October 28, 2017

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The Art Institute of Seattle’s Fashion Marketing students, enrolled in the 3D Visual Merchandising class, were proud to present ‘The Americana Luxury Handbags: Mod Explosion Installation’ curated by The Victoria Stowe Collection. The 1960’s Mod style inspired installation, located at the Gallery of The Art Institute of Seattle, was created to promote American heritage brands, their history, and influence on global fashion trends. Over thirty vintage luxury handbags were showcased alongside the featured Mod inspired looks and period Vogue fashion ads, as well as the special presentation by Victoria Stowe and signing of her book, “Exotic Skin Handbags: Alligator and Crocodile” Schiffer Publishing 2010. Get a glimpse into this noteworthy event by viewing the photos by the AIS graduate, photographer Matthew Pew.

 

“Needless to say, when it comes to a fashion necessity, a classic vintage luxury handbag has always been a statement and a conversation piece – truly the most unorthodox addition to any sophisticated wardrobe.” – Victoria Stowe. 

 

Telling the story of how it used to be in the American luxury industry, in 1945-1969, when it was the vanguard of influence on global luxury brands.

 

Featured looks represented by a mix of high-end vintage and modern, by Bonnie Cashin, Lanvin for SFA, Tommy Hilfiger, Jacomo, Supreme, and Amazon Fashion.

 

Accessory display featuring a 1962 issue of Vogue, a black American Alligator bag by Rosenfeld with an enamel frame encrusted by smokey crystal rhinestones, a pearl parure by Christian Dior and a smokey pearl glass necklace and earring, circa 1960-1970s.

 

Midcentury couture handbags by Martin Van Schaak, Lucille de Paris and Koret, circa 1960s.

 

Custom Lucille de Paris handbags from our archive, circa 1960s.

 

Midcentury handbag couture by Lucille De Paris and Martin Van Schaak, circa 1960s.

 

An Elsa Schiaparelli hat box, a couture travel case by Lederer, black & white Lucite necklaces by Kenneth Lane, and lizard heels by Andrew Geller, circa mid-1960s.

 

More midcentury handbag couture by Lucille de Paris and Martin Van Schaak, circa 1960s.

 

A Gucci handbag cake made especially for the event by the AIS pastry students with Chef Rondenet and Chef Wynne.

 

Our stylish guests posing in front of the step and repeat.

 

I would like to express my gratitude to the leadership of The Art Institute of Seattle for recognizing the importance of the American heritage in the fashion history. Thank you to Carol Menck (President @ AIS), Scott Carnz (Dean of Academic Affairs @ AIS), and Sam King (Director of Campus Relations @ AIS) for their support of the Americana Luxury Handbags: Mod Explosion Installation project that I had a chance to create for the AIS merchandising class.   

 

Currently, I am working on development of other heritage projects in Seattle, with the goal to create awareness and increase appreciation of the American fashion legacy and its influence on global designer brands. Stay tuned to learn more about my upcoming events.

 

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