A Girl’s Dream and her Boyfriend’s Nightmare: Seoul’s New Handbag Museum
“Oh! That bag is so PRETTY!” Seeing her pleading eyes, shimmering like ripples on water, her boyfriend begins to sweat. The only thought in his mind now is, PLEASE don’t let her ask to go into the store to get a closer look. That thing probably costs more than what I make in a month!
Sorry guys, but the worst nightmare for every boyfriend is happening right on Seoul’s trendy, tree-lined Garosu-Gil. Simone Handbag Museum is a museum where you can find bags from every era and region of the world, ranging from European purses from the early 1500s to the newest “it bags.” Insofar as I could find, it is the first handbag museum in the world and as a bag-lover I had to check it out immediately!
The museum sits on three floors of a specially designed building that, from the outside, resembles a handbag, of course. My tour started on the third floor where I bought a ticked for KRW 5,000, which also comes with a brochure describing each bag in the collection.
I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of the bags but to give a taste of the display here’s a picture from the museum website.
The 3rd floor is filled with handbags made from the early 1930s till today. All the iconic modern handbag styles like the Hermes Kelly and Chanel tote were here.
There were also unique handbags on display such as a Louis Vuitton cosmetic case made for the Duchess of Windsor and a box bag made to conveniently carry makeup. I was especially impressed with a handbag manufactured by a company called Dallas that has a touch-tone phone integrated into the flap and handle. This bag was made in the pre-cellphone 1970s so a woman could work anywhere. This bright red bag was sold with the cutesy slogan “Plug me in… I work!”
Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/Pm7B4B
After admiring an eccentric art piece on the balcony, I climbed the stairs to the fourth floor which displayed historical handbags from the 1500s to early 1900s. Many of the handbags made during this era are small and made out of expensive materials only rich ladies could afford. This draws a sharp contrast with the masstige luxury brands of today.
Photo Credit: http://bit.ly/RnF4iP
The most interesting piece on this floor was a sweetmeat purse, an extravagant purse filled with rose pedals or other sweet-smelling ingredients. After almost 450 years, the bag still looks beautiful!
The fifth floor is home to the museum’s special exhibits, the current one being titled “Carosello Italiano.” Bags from popular Italian designers such as Dolce & Gabanna, Fendi, Gucci, Emilio Pucci, Prada and Missoni were all on display. It was a joy to my eyes to see so many beautiful bags in one place!
To get more information about the museum, check out the website below!