Departures - Instant Classic

If you're already familiar with Honore de Balzac's fantastical morality tale La peau de chagrin, don't get too hung up on possible parallels with a new accessories company by the same name.  Founded by visual artist Sofie Guerrero and the fashion publicist Mesh Chhibber, the highly abbreviated Peau de Chagrin line (just a handsome shulder bag and a cuff are on offer for now) does not grant the bearer wishes or shrink like the enchanted peice of shagreen does in the tale.  But pull back a little to Balzac's larger themes about consumption, greed and waste, and things start to come back into focus.  With an emphasis on durability and practicality, all Peau de Chagrin pieces are handmade by a single artisan in the Jura Mountains and produced in a limited run of 100.  A copy of Balzac's work comes with the shoulder bag, the brand's first release.  In subsequent years, Peau de Chagrin will publish new editions of the works from the late-19th-centure Decadent literary movement. - Alexandra Marshall.