Editor’s Diary: Chanel’s Gabrielle Handbag at Paris Fashion Week

Celebrating the Year of Gabrielle


By Cai Mei Khoo

Editor’s Diary: Chanel’s Gabrielle Handbag at Paris Fashion Week

Inspired by the shape of virtual reality goggles and binocular cases gentlemen used to carry at the races, Chanel’s Gabrielle bag, introduced during the Chanel Spring/Summer 2017 show, is already showing signs of becoming the next It bag. During Paris Fashion Week, I spotted a host of celebrities and street style stars like Caroline de Maigret, Irene Kim, Chriselle Lim and Yoyo Cao carrying the bag. Here’s how I carried mine:


Chanel's Gabrielle Bag

7.30am: It’s a crisp morning in Paris and I’m getting ready for a busy day ahead with back-to-back shows, resees and showroom appointments. I’ve decided on the backpack version of the Chanel’s Gabrielle bag in nude and black, which is such a classic. A finishing spritz of Coco Mademoiselle behind the ears and I’m out the door. 

Chanel's Gabrielle Bag

2pm: A quick visit to the Chanel Rue Cambon flagship store is a must, of course. I can’t decide between the two-tone sandals or the mules with the pearl heel so I’ll come back later. Here I am by the side of the street waiting for my car to take me to my next appointment. The solid base of the bag helps keep the shape of my little backpack—I’ve been receiving compliments on my bag the whole morning. 

Chanel's Gabrielle Bag

6pm: One more show to go and a dinner appointment later. But for now, I’m taking five at the Jardin des Tuileries—one of the best spots in town to relax, have a coffee and people watch. 


Chanel's Gabrielle Bag

12pm: I’ve just left a resee at the Grand Palais and am leaving to my next appointment. Today I’m carrying the crossbody version of Chanel’s Gabrielle bag that has a very unique chain strap. Rendered in both gold and silver metal, the bag can be worn in different ways—over one shoulder, across the body, or split across the body and over one shoulder, which is how I’m carrying the bag today. Wearing it this way somehow makes my bag feel a lot more secure and I’m free to move, or run, to the next appointment with ease.   

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3pm: This afternoon’s meeting is at the fancy Ritz Paris on Place Vendôme that reopened last June after extensive renovation works that lasted four years. Coco Chanel famously lived here for 35 years—there’s still the Coco Chanel suite, as well as the world’s first Chanel spa, Chanel au Ritz Paris, where you can opt for Le Massage de Chanel or if you’re short on time, a quick 20-minute makeover. 



Chanel's Gabrielle Bag

10am: It’s the morning of the Chanel show. The invite has a rocket on it and the official hashtag says #ChanelGroundControl. I wonder what Karl Lagerfeld has in store for us. Outside the Grand Palais where the show is held, the crowd is swelling—fashionable folk all trying to get in for the first show of the day. 

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12pm: Karl did the unimaginable—he launched a rocket during the finale of the Chanel show! So the rocket didn’t actually break through the glass ceiling of the Grand Palais but the smoke and pyrotechnics show made it seem like we had liftoff. I hurry off to a cute restaurant in the 3rd arrondissement for a quick lunch before rushing off again to the next show that’s happening across town. 


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4pm: I have a bit of time to do some shopping this afternoon so I opt for the small drawstring Chanel’s Gabrielle bag—the less I have on me, the more I can focus on my shopping. The size of the bag is just right for my essentials—phone, credit card, compact powder and a Rouge Coco Stylo lipstick, making it the perfect day to night bag that’s both chic yet understated.


2017 marks the Year of Gabrielle, a year-long celebration of the woman who revolutionised fashion, an unapologetic rebel at heart who was not afraid to break the rules. “I decided who I wanted to be, and that is who I am,” Gabrielle Chanel once said.  Chanel’s Gabrielle bag comes in three versions: a hobo, backpack and purse, and in different combination of materials including calfskin, aged calfskin, suede and python. And for next season, the hobo version will come in an even larger size, perfect for the boyfriend.

Chanel’s Gabrielle bag is now available at all Chanel stores. 


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