Christian Louboutin - 20th Anniversary - London, 2012

Now we know how the curators at the Louvre felt when they heard they would be the custodians of the Mona Lisa. Developed to commemorate the 20th anniversary of M. Louboutin's foray into shoe design, this assemblage-themed bag is about extraordinary as it gets and easily makes our list of the Top 10 Shopping Bags of All Time (a list we haven't actually made yet, but when we do, this will be on it).

If you're a fan of the man who brought us the red sole, you probably know that this bag was inspired by Louboutin's workspace, beautifully re-created in the extraordinary exhibition, "Christian Louboutin: 20 Years" which premiered at the Design Museum in London and is, we believe, currently touring the world. What its title lacked in imagination, the show more than made up for in content, and we HIGHLY recommend you catch it if and when it comes to your part of the world. Like the bag, the show captured all the messy, explosive, cheeky brilliance of its subject and is one we wish were on permanent display.

Incidentally, although Louboutin has been quoted as saying that the red sole came to be after he was so dissatisfied with a pair of shoes he'd designed that he grabbed a red nail polish and painted the soles, the exhibition attributed the signature look to a sign Louboutin saw as a child in his native Paris warning women wearing heels not to try to navigate a certain street. Should you choose to believe the latter version and feel you need to own the sign yourself, you can pick one up here on your next trip to Paris.

Oh,'re welcome. ;)

Katsuya - Los Angeles, 2011

Hugely popular, the Katsuya restaurant in L.A. was designed by Philippe Starck, designer of everything from lamps for Target to high-speed trains (Interestingly, he started his career designing inflatable furniture.) We absolutely love this simple but elegant design. 

Country Club Fashions Bag - Los Angeles, 1960s

There's so much to love about this bag it's hard to start. The bold graphics, the wheat, the grapes, and the dramatic face. Kind of reminds us of this dramatic face. 

Taschen - Los Angeles, 2011

Sadly, Sans Souci, the sweet little doggie on the Taschen bag, passed away last year. We always thought she was such a fabulous mascot. Hopefully her image will still stay on the bag as a tribute. 

If you've never been the to a Taschen store, run, don't walk. The books are amazing. Personally, we're pining over the new tome about Queen Elizabeth

Mary Portas - London, 2012

If you've never seen the British reality series Mary, Queen of Shops, it's a real blast. She's essentially the Tabitha of stores instead of hair salons and she's a terrific character. This year she opened a boutique in the House of Fraser department store chain and it really is how amazingly wearable all her choices were. Great, great place to go if you're looking for really, really practical but stylish clothing. 

Gloria Vanderbilt- New York City, late 1970s

One of the women we most admire here at Bagatelle is Gloria Vanderbilt. In spite of her wealth, she never, ever stops creating. From collages to fashion to linens, she's done it all. Life magazine once called her “a feminine version of the Renaissance Man.” (We think maybe what they actually meant was a female version of a Renaissance Man. A feminine version would just be an effete man, which is totally fine, we just don't think that's what they meant.)

These bags are from Chase Manhattan Bank if you can believe that (what we want to know is why a bank would even need shopping bags, let alone ones these big--does anyone take that much money out of the bank?), and they really reflect Gloria's aesthetic. 

By the way, if you're up for a really interesting read, this is fascinating. 

Fiorucci Paper Bag - New York City, early 1980s

What a shame Lady Gaga was born too late to see the legendary Fiorucci's--it would have been the perfect place for her to hang out in the window and get tattooed. If you weren't there to see it  either, it was to the late 70s and early 80s what...well, what...well, just watch this and you'll get the idea. Of course, now that the age of disco, punk, new wave, and even grunge are well behind us, the shenanigans at Fiorucci's seem charmingly tame, but it certainly makes us nostalgic for the time and place.  

By the way, if you look really closely just around the 2:56 point, you can see a customer quickly hold up the large version of this bag. 

Also, take note of the older woman who says she's not shocked by anything in New York. How stylish is she?!?

Stella McCartney for Gap Kids - New York City, 2011

Just when you thought Stella McCartney couldn't get any more fabulous, she comes up with this. A fabulous, underwater-themed bag with little neon goldfish. Although what this little purple guy is, I'm not sure. Kinda reminds us of this purple guy. 

Macy's - New York City, 1800s

The oldest piece in my collection, this was actually what they used to wrap gloves in at Macy's. This was a gift from my parents that they gave me the year I worked there. I love the message above the logo: "Customers will please report at once any incivility or Inattention on the part of any employee of the house." All I can say is that if the bags had said this when I worked there, the store would have had to shut down as our uncivil days far outnumbered our civil ones. Bloodshed would not have surprised me. (Note that the glove maker notes that the gloves will not "catch on lace". Thank goodness--I so hate it when my gloves catch on my lace. Sort of like when my bitters spill on my petticoat.)

Judging by the address of the store, I'm guessing this would have been used sometime in the mid- to late-1800s.

Georgette Klinger - Palm Beach, late 90s

This is the from the now-closed Georgette Klinger spa in Florida. Since it's closed and there's nothing we can really say about it, let's focus on this great Georgette! (Don't you just love it when they do a "Talent Show" episode on a sit-com?!?)