Last year I blogged about my broken Louis Vuitton handbag, the strap has completely snapped and it was so old and trashed that it was completely unusable and to be honest, I thought it was beyond repair. I sent it to my friends at the Handbag Clinic with my fingers crossed and a few months later it was returned to me, and holy smokes, the results were AMAZING! Like incredible! I have been using it for the last year, the bag still looks great, the repairs they did were flawless and they were not quick fixes, they were long term repairs which haven’t let me down over the past 12 months. If you want to read the blog post and see the results, please head over to this post. Now it’s time for a Chanel colour change!
The Handbag Clinic
Hiding at the back of my wardrobe, I had a very old Chanel handbag (yes, the collection is bigger than you thought!) however, it is a vintage bag and it had quite a lot of damage to it, scuffed edges, colour transfer, small rain stains and most dramatic of it all, the leather had been badly scuffed on the C’s and the metal beneath had been exposed. Not cool and not wearable. I contacted The Handbag Clinic and asked them if there was anything that could be done about it…
Discussing My Options
They talked me through the options, discussed the problems with the damage and warned me that they couldn’t replace leather that had worn away on the front of the logo. They told me they could clean the beige leather and restore it in terms of the edges, colour and stains, but the exposed metal on the C’s were harder to deal with. I decided I don’t really wear beige and even though they can clean and restore the colour and leather, I realised I never wear beige and perhaps it would be better in black. I decided a colour change would be the ideal option for me and if anything could be done to improve the C’s, that would be amazing, but ultimately, I would be happy with a colour change and spa rest.
Chanel Colour Change
A few weeks later, my handbag was ready! Whilst I had used The Handbag Clinic before, that was for a completely different service. The Louis Vuitton had a broken strap and giant staining, it was so damaged, I physically couldn’t use it. The Chanel was technically useable, however, the colour was no longer my style and the scruffy logo was so bad it was no longer a stylish handbag. I think of my first Handbag Clinic experience as a repair, this one was more of a colour change and a make-over.
Results: Colour Change
There is a bit of a myth that changing the colour of a handbag doesn’t really work. People say it can look patchy, uneven or sort of wrong, like it’s been altered in some way and you know it’s different but you don’t know why. This is not the case, I have inspected this bag all over and there is not a single part of it which makes me thing it was ever beige. From the main body of the bag, the stitching, the edges, the fringing, it is out and out, a perfect colour change. I’m not gonna lie, I’m picky and this is a perfect colour change. Even on the inside, the line between the leather and the zip is flawless, the inside pocket is perfect. I’m a dab hand with a paintbrush and I’m impressed at how they managed to get into these hard to reach spots and do it so neatly. As for the inside of the bag, this part remains the original beige colour, which is exactly what I was hoping for, as this is where you will find the Chanel name stamped, country of manufacture and the all important unique serial number. It’s common for a Chanel bag to have a different coloured lining to the external of the bag, so that wasn’t a problem for me either. In short, the colour change is perfect and if you ever hear someone say that colour changes on handbags don’t work, feel free to refer them to this post as I highly recommend The Handbag Clinic for this service. Of course, if you are considering going for a colour change, you always need to think about going from light to dark, you don’t have to be as dramatic as beige to black, but it light to dark is the way to go!
Of course, the other issue with my bag was the C’s on the front. Over time the C’s had been so badly scuffed that the metal beneath was actually exposed. I considered getting a colour change to a shade of pewter grey to match the metal, which might camouflage the damage. However, I wasn’t really sure if a grey Chanel would fit my style and nor was I sure the damage would be disguised. The Handbag Clinic advised me they could try and build the C’s back up, perhaps with a plastic or a resin, they warned me that it wouldn’t be a forever solution, but if I was careful with it, it would be a good option to make the bag strong and wearable. Since they had done such a good job of my Louis Vuitton Noe bag, I told them if they felt that was the best option, to give it a go. After all, I hadn’t used the bag for years and I wasn’t going to ever again in the state it was in. It took a few weeks, but they somehow managed to build the C’s back up, I’m not even sure what material they used, but it feels strong and durable, and despite the fact they warned me to be careful with it, it feels a whole lot sturdier than I expected it to. If you look closely, you can tell it has had some restoration work, but it is hardly noticeable unless it is inspected and it has taken my bag from looking like a shabby mess, to it being cute and wearable vintage handbag.
Once again, an impressive handbag restoration job from The Handbag Clinic, the colour change is flawless and the overall condition of the bag is amazing. I can’t quite believe the rebuild work on the C’s too, the metal was literally exposed and somehow they built it up to a 3d logo again! I sent them a dirty, shabby badly treated Chanel handbag and they returned a fabulous looking vintage Chanel in it’s place!
Before: Exposed metal on the Chanel logo
After: The logo was rebuilt with a great finish
Before: The back of the bag had some colour transfer and rain stains
After: The colour change is even and perfect
Before: The Slightly shabby looking tassel
After: Every part of the tassel has been turned black
Before: The inside of the bag and where the leather meets the zip
After: The inside has been kept the original colour with the markings to prove authenticity, where the leather meets the zip, the finish is flawless
Before: Wear, tear and tired looking edges
After: The edges look a whole look healthier
Before: The general appearance of the leather is old, tired, worn and marked
After: The leather looks nourished and in far better condition
Before: A shabby looking Chanel which looks old, tired and badly looked after
After: A lovely vintage Chanel camera bag with a successful colour change and restored leather at the logo. Perfect!