19 July, 2012

Perrin Paris 1893 – bags and gloves to lust after

19 July, 2012

It seems forever ago that a woman wasn’t considered fully dressed unless she had her hat and gloves on. While times have changed and dressing is now a much less formal experience, Perrin Paris 1893 remembers the old traditions and somehow transitions them to this modern age.

Perrin Paris 1893 was once known for making only gloves. However, as times have changed, so have their offerings. Perrin now hosts an incredible collection of handbags and some marvellously modern twists to their traditional gloves!

I was recently given the honour of chatting with Michel Perrin, who is a fourth generation descendant of the Perrin Paris 1893 empire. Michel was born in the small town of Limoges in France, where he grew up near the Perrin tannery. He later transitioned to the States to work in the software industry but returned to his roots in 2006 to launch a capsule collection of gloves and bags. Michel is not the only one involved either! His gorgeous American wife, Sally is the Creative Director, while his lovely daughter is the face of the brand and can be seen on the website modelling the collection!

Michel showed me the Ball Bag, which takes an astounding 40 hours of work to create. The interior is lined with lambskin and can be removed to make a translucent basket of a bag instead. This bag is a 3D marvel and stands upright on its own! Carrying this is sure to draw compliments from those you pass.

Personally, I love how Perrin incorporated the art of the glove into the everyday wear of clutches. Several bags are adorned with glove-like touches, including straps and loops for fingers and even a drawing of a hand! Perrin’s bags use only the finest of skins including eel, ostrich, python, cow, and lamb. These bags are truly luxurious but Michel reminded me that luxury does not always have to be expensive but it does have to be rare. These bags are not something you see everyday, thus ensuring their luxe status! Having said that, Perrin Paris pieces are definitely on the pricey side too (most of the bags are $10,000 plus) but you know you are getting quality and real investment pieces that can’t be found anywhere else.

The gloves themselves have evolved into something much more modern than their formal ancestors of yesteryear. The idea of a hand-covering is still there but the shape has been completely reinvented into something that your grandmother may no longer recognise! Both the fashionable stars of today and the cool urbanite on the go could easily sport these newer versions! The likes of Dita von Teese, Drew Barrymore and Eva Longoria have all been spotted wearing gloves by Perrin – how cool are those Spider Gloves that Eva and Drew are wearing?!

Perhaps the easiest piece to pick up from Perrin Paris 1893’s latest collection is the Martha Bag. This travel essential can be worn by both men and women and is the absolute carry-all for your jet-setting needs. Michel had the brown croc version stuffed with all the business cards of those he had met on his travels! I was left imagining how chic I might look carrying this through customs on my next long haul…

If you are looking for a brand with a love of the past but a feel for the future, then stop by Harvey Nichols and get your hands on (or in!) one of these marvellous creations! You can be an early adaptor to the trend because Michel reckons that “the glove is on the way back”! You heard it here first girls!

Harvey Nichols, The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong, 3695 3388



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