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Churchill's Despatch Box to Sarah Jessica Parker's Fendi: a Handbag Exhibition Opens in London

A museum employee poses next to a display of handbags that form part of the 'Bags: Inside Out' exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Britain. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

A museum employee poses next to a display of handbags that form part of the 'Bags: Inside Out' exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Britain. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

'Bags: Inside Out' at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London features 300 bags, including former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill's despatch box, and the Fendi 'Baguette' carried by actress Sarah Jessica Parker in "Sex and the City."

From the humblest pouch to Birkin bags to Louis Vuitton luggage, a new exhibition in London will explore the function, design and craftsmanship of the accessory that carries our stuff, but can mean so much more.

'Bags: Inside Out' at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London features 300 bags, including former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill's despatch box, and the Fendi 'Baguette' carried by actress Sarah Jessica Parker in "Sex and the City."

Delayed eight months by the coronavirus pandemic, the show will now open on Saturday, with all the original exhibits in place.

"The whole world has been affected by this pandemic and the lenders have been really amazing about giving us permission to continue displaying their (objects)," said exhibition curator Dr. Lucia Savi.

The exhibition will show the function, symbolic meaning, design and manufacture of bags through the centuries, Savi said.

Items were donated by some of the world's biggest designers and fashion houses, including Fendi, Prada and Karl Lagerfeld. Iconic items such as the first ever Hermes 'Birkin' bag, and Mulberry handbags from the private collections of models Alexa Chung and Kate Moss are on display.

One quirky bag, designed by artist Damien Hirst for Prada, employs real insects.

Savi said she hoped the exhibition would show visitors how bags have become a "symbolic expansion of ourselves" and something that people have used "throughout history and across the world."