The most thorough exhibition on bags to date is at the V&A Museum in London, Bags: Inside Out.

Curated by Dr. Lucia Savi and designed by Studio MUTT, the exhibition consists of three sections describing the daily use, symbolic value and production process of the bag.

There are bags of different periods and symbolic value in the exhibition, where a total of 300 bags can be seen; such as the 16th century bags taken from the museum inventory, the briefcase which Churchill carried his personal letters in, make-up bags, military backpacks and iconic designer bags of recent years. In addition, the entire exhibition is dominated by the display in the form of a shop window with details inspired by the bag’s craftsmanship and luxury elements.

Fotoğraf: Allan Grant

The first floor of the exhibition, which consists of two floors, focuses on the daily function of the bag and the different meanings it gains with the different objects it carries; clothes, money, makeup, letter, gas mask … The section, which highlights the public symbolic role of the bag and the special space it represents for its owner, includes bags designed for celebrities and elites and bags that are symbols in history. On the floor, where 12 compartments are used in the circular hall, bags are displayed in semi-transparent rooms.

After the section that focuses on the personal aspect of the bag, the second floor, where the feeling of walking around and exploring the city prevails, features rooms in the form of buildings representing shops and production workshops in Paris. In this section, which also includes special bags produced by innovative methods, the process of the emergence of the bag as an object is described: sketches, samples, sewing and sales. The 10-meter-long “manufacturer’s desk”, obtained by recycling a past exhibition, is an important point of the exhibition as an installation describing the making of bags with sketches, samples, tools and prototypes taken from world-famous brands and young designers.

Karl Lagerfeld said: “Luxury bags make your life more pleasant, make you dream, give you confidence, and show your neighbors you’re doing well.”  This exhibition also describes how bags have been one of the most important and message-giving pieces of fashion over the centuries, and what stages they have gone through until they reach their owner. The exhibition, sponsored by Mulberry, can be seen at the V&A Museum until September 21.