More than any show this season, and perhaps in the history of time, Chanel Fall 2014 doesn’t require much of an explanation. Because I’m not sure exactly where that leaves me, though, I’d appreciate it if you’d allow me to be self-indulgent and give you one anyway. We can let Karl Lagerfeld host a fashion show in a faux supermarket, but I, personally, will not let him obviate my place in the universe. It’s my way holding on to some semblance of normalcy in a world where a fake Chanel supermarket is a thing that happens.

Over the past few years, Chanel shows have become more about set design than about the clothes and bags, in a lot of ways, but Lagerfeld still dutifully outfitted each of his models with the brand’s customary moneymakers. The most outlandish of the bags were meat-colored (gross, yet accurate!) Chanel Classic Flap Bags, wrapped in grocery store packaging like ground beef and stamped with assurances the they are, indeed, 100% leather. The real stars of the big-box store, though, were the shopping baskets fashioned out of rigid versions of the chain straps normally found on the brand’s most classic bags.

Of course, what might seem like a veneer of cheeky fun was also a pretty astute commentary on the modern face of the luxury business. As much as popular culture in general sometimes tries to dismiss Karl Lagerfeld as a charlatan, he’s uncommonly skilled at capturing fashion’s place within the larger social picture, and the questions posed in this show’s presentation (Do the super rich, for whom these pieces are made, shop for them the same way that the rest of us buy milk and eggs at the grocery store? Has fashion industry’s desire for endless expansion created a paradox in which its ubiquity makes things that should be rare seem totally common? How does commodification affect the creation of art, if that’s what fashion is?) are worth a moment’s thought, at the very least. Check out all the bags below.

[Images via Vogue.com]

Here’s Naya Rivera leaving lunch at Urth Caffe in West Hollywood, pairing a sporty all-black ensemble and work boots with a Chanel Vintage Quilted Briefcase, curiously enough. This juice bar seems to be constantly teeming with young celebrities, and its parking lot is a popular paparazzi haunt/stake-out locale. Naya seems to be in the process of tweaking her personal style as of late. (For your reference, THIS is the Naya Rivera you’re used to seeing on TV, and in the beauty aisle of your corner pharmacy.)

I would speculate that Naya is prepping for her post-Glee career (this is the final season) and trying to transition her look from something so teeny bopper-oriented to something a little more sophisticated. To be clear, I don’t contend that this look smacks of sophistication, but this look that Naya recently donned at NYFW seems overly sophisticated, if anything. Or maybe Naya’s just overdressing to throw off the paps. (Too bad, Naya. People can recognize those cheekbones from a mile away.)

Sofia Vergara was recently spotted carrying a white Chanel Flap Bag in Sydney, Australia. Several other Modern Family cast members have been intercepted by Aussie paps around Sydney recently, so I suppose we can all expect the “Modern Family: Down Under” special one hour episode to air in the not-so-distant future. To view the rest of Sofia’s especially luxe handbag stash, check out “The Many Bags of Sofia Vergara”.

Sofia has a lot in common with her character Gloria on Modern Family, especially when it comes to fashion. They both hail from Colombia, they both love tight, figure-flattering dresses, giant sunnies, designer handbags, and ridiculously high heels. I know for a fact I’ve seen Gloria handling several Chanel bags over the last few seasons. In other news: what I wouldn’t give to be able to step out in a maxi dress today without freezing to death.

Spring has sprung; if not outside, at least in your local Chanel boutique. Chanel Spring 2014 Pre-Collection (which is distinct from Chanel Cruise 2014, which already arrived, you are late!), is now in a store near you, which means that the collection’s bags are now listed on Chanel’s website, and almost all of them are complete with price information. We’ve assembled all that info into a gallery below, or you can head directly to Chanel.com for more details on how to purchase. (more…)

Nicky Hilton and her sister Paris were recently spotted enjoying a little shopping date in NYC. In typical sisterly fashion, they seem to be locked in a silent battle to outdress each other, but Nicky clearly has the advantage with her edgy black Chanel Chain Boy Bag. Because Chanel now lists most of its handbag prices online, we now know that this bag has a suggested retail price of $5,100. You can get all the necessary details about this bag and many others at Chanel.

Nicky’s amazing platform boots are Alaia, but tragically, they are not currently available anywhere online. I believe Paris’ bag is an old Yves Saint Laurent piece from the brand’s pre-Hedi Slimane, pre-Yves-dropping days. If you, like our favorite hotel chain heiresses, enjoy the finer things in life, you should definitely check out “The Many Bags of Nicky Hilton.” Paris does not have her own edition of “Many Bags” as of yet

It’s not quite online retail sales, but we’ll take what we can get. With the addition of its Cruise 2014 Collection to its website, Chanel has also quietly added something else: price information for almost all of its handbags. This development follows a total revamp of the site’s design, which already provided much-needed size and season information for the brand’s bags, as well as bigger, clearer photos that allow potential customers (and nosy bloggers like us) to zoom in on details.

Before, if you wanted to find information on a bag’s price, you had to either call your local boutique or Chanel’s international customer service number. Once connected, you’d either have to roughly describe the exact bag you were interested in (“Uh, well, it’s quilted and it has a flap top…I know that doesn’t narrow it down much…”) in hopes of reaching some sort of mutual understanding, or you’d have to provide the product number that the website displayed for the limited parts of the collection that it deigned to show you. I called that number so many times that I have it memorized, and considering how many ardent Chanel shoppers there are out there, I’m can’t be the only one.

In an effort to dance behind the veil of exclusivity, Chanel likely made a lot of extra busywork for its phone operators and irritated a lot of its customers, so this is a move that should please everyone. Notably absent from the price listings are the brand’s exotic bags, which now feature a demure “price available upon request” marker where the price would otherwise be. That’s how most brands handle distributing price information on their most dizzyingly expensive products, so it’s not entirely a surprise.

Chanel has said that it has no plans to sell its handbags online in the next few years, but we can’t help but feel as though the brand is inching closer and closer to that eventuality. We couldn’t be happier.

Find out the prices for all the Chanel handbags you’ve wondered about, right this way. The Boy Bag above, for the record, is $3,700.

Does the title of this post shock you? Does it even mildly surprise you? And if it does, is it because you thought the Chanel Graffiti Backpack, a standout piece from the brand’s Spring 2014 runway collection, would cost more? Since the price of this piece was unearthed over the weekend, I’ve seen a couple of breathless posts from fashion sites about this bag’s extreme price tag, but it just doesn’t seem that extreme to me.

Yes, $3,400 is a lot of money for almost any handbag. Yes, the price stands in particular contrast to the grungy, DIY aesthetic of this particular bag. But Chanel is a brand that has made $30,000+ pearl-covered seashell minaudieres in the recent past, and it has a customer base that isn’t particularly price-conscious, especially when it comes to getting its collective hands on a very visible runway piece. Those Chanel Lego Clutches cost (start at, really) $10,000 and are constantly sold out everywhere.

Like the ridiculous Chanel Hula Hoop bag, this piece will likely disappear quickly off of store shelves and into the closets of Chanel completists, who will brandish it as though it’s the trophy result of a particularly fashionable hunt. For those customers, $3,400 is a drop in the bucket compared to what similar prize handbags cost, even if it’s a lot of money to most of the world.

[Editor's Note: While we scale back our post schedule to spend the second half of the holidays with ours friends and loved ones, we're re-publishing some of our most popular posts from past years with new information, additional photos and updated pricing. We originally gave you five reasons to own a Chanel Flap Bag, but now we're back with ten.]

Some people dream for years of owning a Chanel Classic Flap Bag or Chanel Reissue 2.55 Flap Bag (and now, a Chanel Boy Bag), some already own multiples of each, and still others think that they're too traditional and played-out. I couldn't agree less with that third group of people – with lots of finishes, colors and sizes, Chanel's famous flaps have a little something that everyone can appreciate, if you stay open-minded. Still on the fence? Allow me to persuade you… (more…)

When it comes to Sharon Osbourne’s handbag preferences, it’s Chanel and only Chanel, almost exclusively. She does carry other brands from time to time, but as of late, she seems to favor black Chanel bags of every shape and size. Here’s Sharon leaving her hotel in Tribeca in the bitter NYC cold with a gorgeous Chanel Alligator Satchel. (We’re not 100% certain that this is alligator and not croc, but since Chanel generally seems to prefer gator to croc for most of its bags, it seems a safe bet.)

Last we saw Sharon, she was wrangling a startlingly massive, black Chanel Flap Bag. For a tour of some of the most luxurious of luxury handbags, you can check out “The Many Bags of Sharon Osbourne.” It is absolutely Chanel-tastic, but there are other high-end brands on display. I won’t tell you which, but you can probably guess. Spoiler alert: Sharon doesn’t really trifle with anything that costs less than $5K.

Chanel bags (and jewelry, and clothes) are as notoriously difficult to come by as any in the luxury market. Chanel doesn’t sell its wares online (and doesn’t plan to in the near future), and if you’ve never tried to just waltz into a department store or Chanel boutique and purchase one, you might be surprised at how hard it can be to find a store with the most sought-after styles in stock. Solving this kind of problem is the Internet’s specialty, though, which brings us to the huge crop of vintage Chanel bags, accessories and clothing from What Goes Around, Comes Around that are currently available via Moda Operandi. (more…)

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