Like Pearls in the Rough: Hermès Rarities

A status symbol is a visible indicator of social status. Many luxury goods are often considered status symbols – jewellery, cars, clothes and fashion accessories. Try and focus on the bags which are true symbols of elegance and luxury. Two come to my mind: the classic Chanel 2.55 quilted bag and Hermès bags. As for Hermès bags, they are unaffordable for most women, but celebrities love them, so it’s not rare to see a Hermès bag hanging from a famous arm. Unfortunately, what happened to Lèger dresses (from sexy to trashy) can be referred to these bags, too.  In 2006 I wrote a long post about H bags:  at the time, only celebs like Victoria Beckham, Sarah Jessica Parker, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy and Rachel Roy were spotted toting a H bag; a few young celebrities (Nicky Hilton, Ashley Olsen, Nicole Richie and Lindsay Lohan) owned one or more, but that was all. Nowadays, H bags come as the first sign of notoriety (even Heidi Montag owns a few of them), and this reinforces their state of symbols.

The most coveted styles are Birkin and Kelly bags, but some celebs have chosen rare styles, thus demonstrating the complex combinations of shapes, leathers and colours behind the Hèrmes name. The queen of celebs carrying Hermès bags is, of course, Victoria Beckham: she has an incredibly extensive collections of H bags, most of them in exotic leathers and bright colours. She loves the complete range of H bags, from the smallest to the biggest styles. She was the first to carry Kelly Pochettes and Kelly Longues, styles spawning from the iconic Kelly bag.

Isn’t this Kelly Pochette in green lizard lovely? It’s a very small bag but I don’t think Victoria needs big bags when she’s out for dinner. In 2007 she paired this bag with a Marc Jacobs dress and Lanvin gladiator sandals.

During the same year, Victoria was in New York for the Fashion Week. She attended the Marc Jacobs fashion show wearing a Lèger bandage dress and purple heels; the accessory was a suede Kelly Pochette.

In 2005  she attended the Chanel fashion show in Paris, where she sported a Kelly Pochette in black, seen on Rachel Weisz, too.

In 2008, while out with her kids, she carried a Kelly Longue in Tan, a flat version of the Kelly bag. Renee Zellweger was seen sporting the same bag in black.

Victoria Beckham loves exotic leathers, and this is clear from some gorgeus bags she owns. One of my favourite bags is the Baccara clutch, made of crocodile leather, in a beautiful green shade.

She was seen carrying this during the New York Fashion Week in 2007. She wore it with an Oscar de la Renta dress and Givenchy heels.

And what about the infamous fuchsia ostrich Birkin bag she wore at the press conference introducing her husband in the Los Angeles Galaxy  football team in 2007? It was perfect with the Roland Mouret Moon dress; it’s amazing how the colours of the dress and of the bag matched so well.

In 2008, in Paris she carried another ostrich Birkin bag, in Violine. She paired it with Antonio Berardi dress and fur jacket, and Christian Louboutin Rolando patent pumps.

A warm honey shade (Miel) distinguishes this stunning shiny crocodile Birkin, which she toted in New York in 2008.

The bags we’ve seen so far are all luxurious and expensive, but are nothing if compared to the Himalayan Birkin Victoria carried in January 2009 (maybe it was a Christmas present), at a Milan football game in Dubai. Victoria owns one of the only three Himalayan Birkin bags in the world. They are made of crocodile leather and have diamond-studded hardware (each bag is worth 120,000 dollars!). She let the bag do the talking, wearing a simple black dress from her collection and Christian Louboutin heels. Apart from these bags, she owns regular Kellys and Birkins, but in rare colours or combinations.

While shopping in New York two days ago, she carried a Kelly Souple bag in Veau Barenia and Toile (that is leather and canvas). She wore an Azzedine Alaia skirt, Christian Louboutin Alti pumps and oversized sunglasses.

In March 2009 she was seen with another Kelly bag hanging from her arm. This is a raisin Kelly with cyclamen trim. She wore it with a simple black outfit and DSquared lightning bolt pumps.

Last month, in April, she toted a Birkin bag while shopping with her kids and mother. The colour of this bag (Ciel) is stunning.

Another Hèrmes bag was seen on her just a few days ago: it’s a Kelly 55 (the so-called Travel Kelly), a big version of the Kelly bag. This bag reminds us of another Hermès bag, seen on Victoria’s friend, Katie Holmes. Victoria and Katie have some aspects in common: they’ve both shedded their previous personas (Victoria was one of the Spice Girls, Katie was famous for her teenage role in Dawson’s Creek) and completely changed their styles. Victoria has always been style-conscious, for this reason she is said to have helped Katie in her transformation. They’re still very different, but now they have in common a passion for Hermès bags.

In 2007 Katie caused a commotion in the world of fashion, carrying a red HAC. This is quite a rare style: HAC stands for Haut à Courroies, meaning “high belts”. It was designed in the late 1800s for transporting riding gear and hunting equipment. It is the predecessor to the much younger Birkin: it is taller than the Birkin and has shorter straps; it comes in six sizes. Pharrell Williams owns a custom HAC, made of purple crocodile leather, and Pamela Anderson has one, too.

Katie owns traditional Hermès bags (a brown Birkin, for example) but she prefers rare and smaller styles, such as the Mini Bombay.

This bag is adorable! Daphne Guinness loves it, too: she owns the bigger size.

The Picotin bag is one of the styles I prefer, which references a horse’s feedbag. It is unlined, has metal feet on the bottom and a belt across the top. Katie owns one in Orange Potiron, the trademark colour of the French maison.

Katie is probably the only female celebrity who has been seen carrying a men’s bag. It is the case of the Kelly Depeches briefcase, which she carried with a Chloè Paraty bag on the shoulder. I love the way she gave this casual outfit (a plaid shirt and boyfriend jeans) a sexy touch, adding Azzedine Alaia strappy sandals.

I know she’s carrying no bags in this pic, but the Hèrmes cuff bracelet she’s wearing here is to die for. Collier de Chien cuff is permanently in my wish list: it is inspired to a dog collar, it’s made of leather and studs, so it can be seen as the luxury version of punk studded bracelets. Katie is also wearing beautiful Roger Vivier Limelight satin pumps and a Hurley wool beanie hat.

Beckham and Holmes share a passion for Hermès Medor clutch, based on the stud leit-motiv. The same bag has been recently seen on Rachel Zoe, who collects Hermès bags. Victoria and Katie are the most notable Hermès collectors, but other celebrities like carrying rare Hèrmes bags. Jennifer Aniston, for example, owns two Masai bags, which perfectly complete her effortless and relaxed style.

She has one in white and one in grey. This style is based on the shape of the indigenous bag used by the Masai tribe.

The socialite-turned-actress Olivia Palermo often carries her trusty Jige clutch bag in crocodile leather. This is an iconic Hermès style, a flat clutch with a H closure, all made of leather. The same decoration (the H) can be seen on another iconic style, the Constance bag.

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen own a vintage Constance bag in porosus crocodile [1] leather.  The H in silver or gold metal in front of the bag echoes, of course, the H buckle on the Constance belt. This bag is truly a classic: Jacqueline Kennedy owned several Constance bags and she thought they best represented Hermès polished perfection.

I don’t own any Hermès bags and I won’t probably own one in my life, but, if I could choose, I would pick a Constance bag, because it’s perfect: it’s not too big nor too small, it’s a classic and, as such, will never become outdated. I know most women drool over Birkin and Kelly bags, but a Constance is the one for me, no doubt.

[1] Porosus crocodile leather has very even and small scale pattern.




  1. Ciao..scusa la domanda poco pertinente al post ma sapresti dirmi di quale stilista è il vestito ke indossa vicktoria nero cn la cerniera davanti abbinato alla birkin in “ciel”…? grazie in anticipo =)


  2. Certo che sì. L’abito a cui ti riferisci è di Azzedine Alaia, così come il cardigan corto in vita. Gli stivaletti invece sono il modello Ariella Talon di Christian Louboutin.

  3. Personally I am not a fan of the HAC or 55- I adooooore huge bags but these just seem too much. I love the pochettes and the Masai (I think it’d make a perfect ‘everyday’ bag) , and being a fan of briefcases in general, like Katie Holmes’s one a lot. I also like the Potiron shade very much, but am afraid I’d grow tired of it after a while (not that I foresee any Hermes bags in my future!).
    Just a question: is the photo of the Kelly Longue in Tan (the one besides Victoria wearing a red dress) taken from the H catwalk? I just love those rings so much!!!

  4. I prefer the Travel Kelly over the HAC because it has a beautiful and harmonic shape, but of course I’d never use it, because it’s really too big. The pochettes are all lovely, but I don’t like the Masai very much (as for simple shoulder bags, I prefer my trusty Balenciaga Day).
    And now the answer to your question: yes! That pic is taken from the Hermès s/s 2008 catwalk. You’re right, those silver rings are so beautiful (especially the half moon-shaped one).

  5. To be honest, I’m not too sure about the Masai myself- the buckles don’t convince me- I just see it as the most ‘everyday’ bag among the ones posted.
    As for the rings, my favourite is the one worn on the index finger/mid-knuckle, I’d love to be able to wear so many rings but when I try to they just look terrible (I guess they just don’t go with my hand shape)

    1. I used to wear lots of silver and turquoise rings when I was a teenager, but now I don’t wear any. After the birth of Bianca, I stopped wearing the wedding band too (I’m always afraid of losing it while I’m playing with her or whatever). Rings are not my favourite piece of jewellery, but I appreciate beautiful rings when I see them.

  6. Grazie gentilissima e informatissima cm sempre…=)..un’altra curiosità… sbaglio o il vestito medesimo è lo stesso ke ha indossato Maria de filippi in una puntata del serale d amici…me lo ricorda molto…e me ne sn innamorato da quando l’ho visto lì…=)


    1. Purtroppo in questo non so aiutarti, perchè non ho mai visto le puntate serali di Amici, quindi non saprei dirti se l’abito possa essere lo stesso. A naso vorrei dirti di no (solo l’idea che la De Filippi abbia il privilegio di vestire Alaia mi mette a disagio ;)), ma non sarebbe una risposta basata su prove oggettive…

  7. eheheh…guarda ti capisco…una volta l’ho vista sfoggiare un paio d louboutin in raso cn foglie applicate credo un modello d collezioni recenti…un modello bellissimo…e mi sn chiesto se quella donna sapesse cosa stesse indossando…ma suppongo proprio d no….donna sgraziata…=))


    1. Nemmeno io suppongo non sapesse cosa avesse ai piedi. Certo che provare a rendere la De Filippi aggraziata deve essere davvero un’impresa disperata. Mi piacerebbe fare due chiacchiere con il suo stylist, poraccio ;P

  8. I would like have a Birkin or a Kelly in medium size. I think their style is inoxidable. I prefer them in neutral colours like brown, beige or black, but that raisin hanging from Victoria’s arm is really stunning.
    Kisses, Caroline

    1. I perfectly understand why you’d like to have a Kelly or a Birkin in neutral colours (neutral colours can match any outfit and are never outdated); on the other hand, these bags in bright colours are sooo beautiful *____*

  9. Ohhh mamma alla sola idea della De Filippi vestita Alaia mi manca il fiato…meglio non pensarci neppure,fingo di non aver letto.

    Come hai ragione! la Costance rasenta la perfezione,la Birkin è il bagaglio a mano perfetto,con il modello kelly farei attenzione;o al braccio di una ventenne oppure è meglio aspettare l’età,humm…adulta,molto adulta.

    Della 2.55 non parlo,son di parte,è la mia passione più costosa.


    1. Non so, ho sempre avuto una certa resistenza nei confronti della Kelly, forse perchè davvero mi sembra una borsa poco svecchiabile (a differenza della Birkin e della 2.55). Essendo piuttosto strutturata, mi pare proprio una borsa da signora. La Constance invece è perfetta perchè più versatile (si porta a spalla ma, accorciando la tracolla, anche a mano). Sulla 2.55 non mi esprimo nemmeno io, visto che è uno dei miei sogni ricorrenti. Ho provato diverse volte a risparmiare per poterla comprare, ma alla fine ho sempre optato per una Balenciaga…

  10. Si ho sempre voluto conoscerw anche io il suo stylist..povero…ke vitaccia…..cmq per levarci ogni dubbio qui c’è una foto del suddetto vestito in bianco…(perchè l’ha indossato per ben 2 volte sia in nero che in bianco)…ditemi se mi sbaglio..xkè se è di azzedine alaia vado a roma negli studi di amici e la svaligio XD…..

    1. A giudicare dalla foto che hai postato, l’abito sembrerebbe proprio quello (eccolo in bianco, esposto nello showroom parigino di Alaia). Non so che dire: la cosa mi inquieta non poco e anche mi irrita, perchè è ingiusto che una come la De Filippi abbia accesso ad abiti e accessori splendidi, senza poi rendergli giustizia! D’altronde, dopo visto come ha portato uno splendido abito nero di Givenchy Haute Couture alla serata finale dell’ultimo Festival di Sanremo, ho perso ogni speranza.

  11. Eheheeheh….hai proprio ragione…xò almeno ha uno stylist che ha gusto….riconosciamogli questo…=)….che secondo me i vestiti ke le fanno indossare neanche le piacciono..è questa la cosa + terrificanteee XD

    1. Ah, quello sicuramente! Io onestamente non voglio nemmeno sapere quali sono i suoi gusti, se apprezza quello che lo stylist sceglie per lei o meno, sinceramente preferisco rimanere nell’ignoranza ;P

  12. ahahah come siete cattive con maria de filippi!!! cmq la Victoria Adams in Beckham può impugnare le borse più lussuose del mondo, che non cambiano la sua realtà e non gettano fumo negli occhi sul fatto che lei è un cadaverino ambulante e nient’altro, con una faccia tremenda e un corpo striminzito. Pensare che anni fa era una bella ragazza normale…. a parte ciò, posso passarti una bellissima frase che ho sentito oggi? “Una donna ha bisogno di tre animali nella sua vita: un visone nel guardaroba, un giaguaro (jaguar) nel garage, e un asino che paghi i conti!” ahahahah Ombraserena

  13. Beh, direi che tutta questa ‘cattiveria’ la De Filippi se la merita, visto che è una delle donne più ineleganti che io abbia mai visto! Al di là delle borse, la Beckham è senz’altro un personaggio a suo modo inquietante (magra magra magrissima e sempre imbronciata), ma ha il pregio di essersi creata uno stile personale e di realizzare abiti piuttosto interessanti. Chissà, forse lei ha davvero quei “tre animali” nella sua vita (sul terzo sono indecisa: secondo me i conti se li paga lei) XD

  14. che meraviglia di servizio, la kelly (in potiron) è uno dei miei sogni modaioli di sempre… (ho un’amica che dice che la kelly è da culi-secchi, evidentemente io la sono! :))
    ma visto che non credo me la potrò mai permettere penso che il mio obiettivo futuro sarà un carrè, quando avrò l’età per portarlo
    mi piace molto victoria in tutte le foto, è sempre vestita benissimo, anche quando gli abiti sono forse un po’ troppo corti e poi con quelle borse credo che le perdonerei perfino il pigiama.

  15. Io ho acquistato un carrè Hermès tre anni fa e sono molto soddisfatta della scelta fatta. Pur avendo (ed amando) altri foulard griffati, devo dire che quello Hermès è speciale, a partire dalla seta (bella pesante, tiene perfettamente la forma e la piega che le si vuole dare), a finire con la cura della stampa. Io ho scelto ‘Jardins d’Andalousie’, una stampa vivace senza per questo essere pacchiana (secondo me), ma trovo bellissime anche le semplici stampe in bianco e nero.

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