Hey Ladies/Gents, I hope you are all having a FABULOUS Memorial Weekend so far!
I am finally getting to work on those Balenciaga photo & written reviews. I decided to post the Authentic one first so you have a reference guide to compare for the replicas I post afterwards. I tried to include some side by side pics on the reps but it's not easy to do so I only got a few from each mainly the front, back, straps and zipper.
This review is for the Authentic Balenciaga Classic City Rose Blush with Aged Brass Hardware that I purchased online last month (April 9th) from the Neiman Marcus website.
Here is the link where I purchased it from:
You can find the specs for this bag in the above link so I won't repeat them here. This review will mostly contain pictures and some comments on the minor imperfections I noticed - yes there are some imperfections :).
First of all, the color of this bag on their site is NOT accurate. The bag I received was a much darker peach than what is shown on their site. I like the color on their site better. But the color shown in my pictures below are not correct either.
In reality it is somewhere in between. Not as light as on Neiman's website but not as orange as in some of my pictures either. I think I would describe it an orange sherbet rather than Rose Blush because it isn't really anything near pink or peach.
These pictures were taken at night with artificial lighting by an amateur photographer so you will have to excuse the color variations :).
I had intended to only use this bag to do a side by side comparison review with my replicas and return it afterwards but I ended up keeping it instead lol. Even though the color was different than shown on Neiman's website it is still a beautiful color and I can't find one like it.
Balenciaga has become another favorite brand for me and it's also very popular with many of my readers and forum members so it's nice to have a real one to use as a reference guide. Plus I like to own at least one Authentic from each of my favorite brand :).
Anywhoo, I've already done a video of this bag on April 11th but I'll post that video here too so you can see the pictures and video all on the same page.
You'll see there is a color difference in the video and my photos even though they were both taken with the same camera but under different lighting.
The video was taken at work with just the regular ceiling lights in my office but I had a large window with natural light coming in though, not much since I did this right before leaving work. I think it was some time around 7-7:30pm.
And here are the pictures.
This first picture is probably the closest to how it looks in reality. The bag has a glossy finish which makes it look and feel rubbery. This was a surprise because I remember reading in several places that the glossy or shiny leather is how you can tell a fake from the authentic.
Some of my readers who saw my video sent me links to reviews of authentic bags where buyers were complaining about this so apparently the quality of their leather has changed. I know I would have preferred it with a matt finish for sure.
Top Left Corner of the front. The hardware on this bag is called Aged Brass which is like an Antiqued Bronze but the studs are darker almost black in some pictures. They are NOT the same color so if your replica is different also this is not a flaw.
Top Middle section of the opening.
Some of the pictures have less shine to it like this one below which is closer to how it looks in reality. It is not as shiny as the picture above. The lighting makes the bag more glossy in most of the pictures.
Top Right Corner of the front.
Bottom Right Corner of the Front. Here you can see the studs and buckles look black. They're not black and the orange color of the leather is also not correct. In reality it is a very dark antiqued bronze.
Bottom Left Corner of the front.
Front Middle of the bag.
Top Left Corner of the front showing the handle tabs with the handles laying down.
Top Left Corner of the front.
Top Right Corner of the front showing the handle tabs with the handle laying down.
Same picture as above but from a higher up view.
Back to the other side. This is the top view of the Left Handle on the front.
Same view of the Right side.
The color of the studs here are closer to what it looks like in person. It looks black in some pictures but here you can see a hint of bronze. We're still on the front and this is the Left handle.
Front Right Side.
Close up of the zipper part.
Same view with the leather tabs pulled to the left. The zipper
These pictures were taken a few days after I received the bag, before I decided to keep it so the tags were still attached but as you can see in this picture the mirror did not come with any plastic cover. That was a surprise, even my replicas had plastic covering. And you can already see there are lint and smudges on the mirror and I haven't even touched it!
This is a view of the Right Side of the bag with the handles up. This bag has a very smooshy soft leather so it does not have any structure to it. Just keeping the handles up for a few shots was difficult to do.
This is the same side with the handles down.
Bottom Left Corner from the picture above. The next few pictures will show various close ups and angles all on the same side.
Here is the middle part. There is a cut here in the leather where it is sewn together.
The Bottom Right Corner.
The color of the ring and the clasp are not the same. The clasp is noticeably darker, almost black. Also the ring is completely sealed. I noticed some of my reps the rings are not sealed. I don't know if all the Authentics are sealed or if it depends on the style but it's worth noting.
Notice the cut in the leather on the removable strap.
The clasp is very hard to attach or to remove. I like wearing this bag with the long strap but it's cute to hold it by the handles and letting the straps hang loosely in front so I don't plan to ever remove it.
You can see the cut in the leather better in this picture.
This is the same strap turned the other side. No cut on this side.
Back side view. I had to stuff this bag to the max in order to get all the crinkles out. In the pictures on the Neiman Marcus website the bag looks structured so they must have done the same thing or had some kind of bag shaper to keep it looking structured because this bag is definitely a slouchy slouch type of bag :).
The following 9 pictures, starting with the one below, are close ups of various parts of the back side. This is the Top Left Corner.
Top Right Corner.
Left Handle showing the underside of the tabs of the handles. Note the screws have a split in 2 places. All my replicas have the same splits.
There's a slight discoloration here above the handle. Not sure what that is since the bag hasn't been used yet.
Note the shoe lace like ties that are sewn into the handles. On this style there is only one where in the Giant 21 will have 2 strings.
You can see a gap in the holes where the strings are sewn in. This isn't noticeable in person.
This is the Left Side view.
The next 7 pictures starting with the one below are all close ups of various parts of the same side.
There's a cut in the middle of both sides of the bag at the bottom. Here you can also see a piece of a darker orange thread poking through. There are several spots on the bag like this but it isn't noticeable in person.
Bottom Base View.
This is a close up of the Left side. Notice the inconsistency of the thread sizes. Some are longer, shorter and uneven.
Here is the Right Side. You can see a cut in the leather here and more of those dark orange thread poking through.
Top Left view of the Base.
Top Right view of the Base. See the dark orange thread poking through?
Bottom Left Corner of the Base.
Bottom Right Corner of the Base.
Left Side Middle of the Base.
This is a shot of the front of the bag laying flat and angled from the base up. You can see the screw is not tight against the leather. In person it will appear tight but I am pointing this out because in the replicas they will look that way too and some people might think it is a flaw. Nope, just my camera making the gap look bigger than it is :).
The next 4 pictures are close ups of the bottom studs & buckles on both front and back.
The mirror has been stuffed into the pocket here, that's why the zipper is not closed all the way and the 2 leather straps sticking out are attached to the mirror. I am not sure what the purpose of the mirror is or how others wear it but I don't much care for it so I keep mine in the pocket like this.
Close up of the top of the handles.
I took lots of pictures of the straps, front and back and from left to right for both sides.
There is some sort of weird discoloration around one of the stitch here that's bluish and also a dark red/orange color showing through the hole. I don't know what that could be but it must be microscopic cause when I tried to find it in person I could only see a spec of something lol.
Some more discoloration on the thread on the bottom here too.
In this picture and a few others the bag has been super stuffed to try and work out the wrinkles. In reality you would not be filling the bag like this so the wrinkles will show. The bag came with minimal padding, I added lots of foam paper to smooth it out for the pictures.
The next 2 pictures are the handles of the back side with the bag laying flat as in the picture above and the handles pulled against the bag.
Top view of the double zippers. I have zipped it as close together as I can and as you can see there is still a gap. My replicas show this gap too which is why I wanted to point this out.
Each of the zippers have 2 long leather pulls.
The bottom of all Balenciaga zippers are embossed with Lampo. This is the Left Zipper.
This is the Right zipper. It's a bit more clear here. The Lamp is NOT completely centered.
The name plate on this style has a leather AND a silver metal plate. I have heard that All Balenciaga Bags have a black thread stitched on the top of the tag no matter what color the leather or the thread on the rest of the bag. Then today, I read that the men's bag DO NOT have this black thread. I can't confirm this since I have no interest in looking up the men's line but just thought I'd point that out.
I read that the serial #'s are the same on all of the same style bag. Here you can see that the #'s 115748 are shown on both front and back. I don't know what the other #'s stand for.
The inside is lined in a black cotton fabric. It's not as thick as I thought it would be but it's not thin either. I stuck the price tag inside the pocket here so you can see the plastic string showing where my thumb is. That was because I had planned on returning the bag afterwards but didn't happen that way lol.
No rating here, it's an Authentic bag so what's to rate lol. I will take some of the pics from this thread to compare to some of my reps where they apply. And I hope this post will help serve as a reference guide for those who purchased this style bag.
It's a beautiful bag and I love the color but my favorite Bal bag is still the one I got from Maja who got it from NBF, the one that was only $90 including shipping. Wish I could find more deals like that but I think I might have to stop with the Bals, I think 10 is more than enough for now :).