Ten items every woman should have in her wardrobe

1.	Chanel 2.55 Quilted Bag
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1. Chanel 2.55 Quilted Bag

Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel invented her iconic 2.55 handbag out of sheer necessity—she became tired of holding her bag in her arms. Mixing fashion and function, she set out to craft the perfect handbag and looked to her past as an orphan for design inspiration. The distinctive double chain shoulder straps reflect the key chains of her former caretakers, the burgundy lining represents the color of their uniforms and the diamond quilting is said to correspond to her childhood orphanage windows. Everything down to the pockets has a story—the inside zip is apparently where she stashed letters to a former lover. Since its introduction in Februrary 1955 (hence the numbers 2.55), the bag has seen several variations in new colors and fabric combinations. Whether bright gold or the original black, the luxury and spirit of the original design speaks to fashionistas around the globe.

Chanel 2.55 quilted bag, approx £1,000 www.chanel.com.

Claire Sulmers
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