longchamp le pliage tree of life

Once in a while, a handbag is made that sings to your soul and calls out to you in a siren trill – “I am special. I am beautiful. Buy me and make me yours.” It’s the kind of item that grabs your eyes and won’t let go. To be able to see anything else again, you absolutely have to take it home.

Presenting the Longchamp Le Pliage “Arbre de Vie” (Tree of Life) Limited Edition for Spring/Summer 2011.

Longchamp Le Pliage Arbre de Vie LE Medium Long-Handle in Navy, 10 x 10 x 5.5 inches

This is one of those must-have arm candy bags that are also eye candy – how’s that for utter sweetness?

The front depicts a fanciful Tree of Life, painted or screened on in white. The birds are embroidered. Material is polyamide canvas.

Like other Le Pliage models, the Arbre de Vie has a zip closure with one interior main compartment and one large pocket at the back.

The handles are leather, as are the snap tab and tags at either end of the zipper. The zipper and pull are by YKK and are exclusive to Longchamp.

The flap is leather; there is a snap tab on the front that carries the texts “Longchamp”, “1948″, and logo of a horse-and-jockey; the logo is also embossed on the flap.

The back of a Le Pliage flap is embossed with the words “Longchamp” and “Modele Depose”.

The interior of the Arbre de Vie is dark and shows the reverse side of the embroidery. A plastic disc lies underneath the bottom of the snap.

Tag on interior of bag. The Arbre de Vie is made in France.

The Arbre de Vie also comes in fuschia pink with the Tree in white, and in white with the Tree rendered in black. Visually, the white is more eye-popping than the navy, but the white background would be too high-maintenance for someone with my slapdash habits – the same reason I didn’t go for the Darshan models in fabric canvas, although they are lusciously lavished with pink or yellow flowers on a white ground.

What attracted me so strongly to the Arbre de Vie design?

The tree is a powerful image in religion and mythology. In the Bible, Genesis mentions the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Tree of Life. The latter was quite another tree and upon the banishment of Adam and Eve from the Garden, was guarded by two angels with flaming swords.┬áIn Norse mythology, Yggdrasil, the “World Tree”, is considered sacred and is surrounded by extensive lore.

In Philippine mythology, a Visayan creation myth has the gods creating a giant bamboo from which emerge the first man – Sikalak – and woman – Sikabay. In Tagalog they are known as Malakas (Strong) and Maganda (Beautiful).

There are parallels to the myth in ancient Egypt, China, Japan, Israel, India, Armenia, and Turkey, to mention a few. In fact, the “sacred tree” motif can be found in many more areas around the world and across time.

We carry the same concept of a special tree to this day – the Christmas tree.

I might be reading too much meaning into the design of a highly commercialized luxury item, but that is what is fascinating about signs – that the meaning they hold for one person is different for another. Meaning is what we make of it.

And it’s a really pretty bag.

In the Philippines, Rustan’s Department Store carries authentic Longchamp items. Pink Darshan image here.

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2 Comments on longchamp le pliage tree of life

  1. Bea
    15 May 2011 at 6:59 am (3343 days ago)

    Wahaha, this bag is the reason why I invited you to write for POC as well. I’m no beauty blogger but being a researcher does wonders. Kaso you’re super busy na. :D

  2. Catherine
    29 November 2011 at 9:58 am (3145 days ago)

    Hi does the longchamp pliage tree of life has button at back so you can fold it too?

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