Plastic handbag | Museum of Bags Amsterdam

Plastic handbag

Ajouré-cut metal handbag with plastic lid and handle, Chenil London, United Kingdom, 1949-1959
Chenil London

Plastic has been a part of fashion since the nineteenth century, where it was often used in imitation of costlier materials such as ivory, tortoiseshell, and leather.

It wasn’t until the end of the 1940s that plastic began to be seen as a fashionable material in its own right. The American DuPont company first created Lucite- a hard plastic- in 1931, which was used for a wide range of objects from furniture to handbags. Lucite bags were box-shaped, brightly-coloured, and decorated with crystals, beads, pearls, embroidery, and metal. They were a popular evening accessory, and worn by some of the greatest stars of the 1950s, including Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe.


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