BAG REVIEW: Givenchy Pandora Medium in Aube + Spot A Fake Givenchy Pandora
So are you looking for a luxury handbag to get for yourself this Christmas? Consider the Givenchy Pandora bag. Honestly, this is my least favorite Givenchy bag style because I find it a lil' weird, but I eventually gave in because of this wonderful color called Aube from the F/W 2013 collection--it turned out to be one of my favorite daily purses!
Givenchy Pandora has been around for at least 5 years now, if I'm not mistaken, and it remains as one of Givenchy's most coveted handbag styles along with Nightingale and Antigona. I got this bag last year in Duty Free Philippines at P79,000+, but since price has increased dramatically over the last few months, I think this particular size now retails at P90-100k+.
This bag is inspired by the myth of Pandora and her box, hence the box structure. Givenchy has been known for their styles that challenge the ordinary and it is evident in the Pandora and its single handle.
Some things you have to know about the Pandora: It comes in two styles: Distressed and Smooth. From what I know, Distressed is made from Sheepskin and Smooth, from Chèvre or Goatskin (Need some reference for this) and it came in a couple of limited edition styles such as the Patchwork, Bi-Color, Tri-Color, Studded, and Animal Prints. Currently, there are three types of Pandora: Pandora 1 (this one), Pandora 2 (more structured and is more solid than the classic), and Pandora 3 (as soft as Pandora 1, but comes with a flap cover like the Cèline Soft Bag). Sizes for this bag are mini, small, medium, and large. I chose medium because size is just right and it can accommodate my stuff without that 'squished' look and condition.
Please bear in mind that this authentication post is intended for this particular style and color only. The other Pandora as well as the rest of Givenchy's bag styles bear different features.
The rest of my review on this bag after the cut!
Goatskin is my favorite because this leather is the toughest of all leathers, plus it's fairly lightweight too-it can withstand wear and tear quite gracefully, and it doesn't require extra care, unlike Balenciaga's lambskin City Bags. This bag has been with me for almost a year now and the dye has gotten a little lighter (it used to be a deep, eggplant kind of purple), and leather has gotten softer, but these never affected the beauty of the bag in any way-I actually like that it got softer because it made the bag easier to lug around! This Pandora has a floating Givenchy metal tag on the center portion of the leather patch, located in between the two external zippers. If the Pandora 1 you have or the one you're eyeing has a tag that's attached to another leather patch or metal tag, is placed off center, and is placed somewhere other than here, BEWARE!
Goatskin, even if it's new, has mini wrinkles all over it and it really feels buttery smooth, with a bit of texture. If the leather on your smooth Pandora 1 or the one you're eyeing feels rough, has lints all over, and the wrinkles don't look natural to it, BEWARE!
Pandora 1 has three external zippers: Two in front (topmost one is the access to the main interior of the bag, bottom one is the external pocket) and a small one on the 'chest' of the bag. If your Pandora 1 or the one you're eyeing has four external zippers, BEWARE! Btw, Pandora 1 is a soft, smooshy bag that collapses naturally if it's empty so if what you have or the one you're eyeing can seem to stand on its own, BEWARE TOO!
Here's a semi-close-up shot of the zipper. The zippers of Pandora 1 feel a little 'stuffed', but the stuffing inside them do not bulge out so much. If your Pandora 1 or the one you're eyeing has really bulky zippers and they are not uniform with the ones shown in these photos, BEWARE!
Pandora 1 has clean, even, tone-on-tone stitching and all its zipper lining has really thick 'teeth'. Also, it only comes in Silver Hardware (but I think they recently released a few styles in Gold. Can someone please verify this for me?). If your Pandora 1 or the one you're eyeing has thin 'teeth' on the zipper linings, stitching is not uniform with the hue of the bag and is crooked or uneven, and it comes in another hardware other than Silver, BEWARE!
Now here's the handle of the Pandora-I think they intended this style to showcase the box look of the bag even more and it works! The first- ever Pandora 1 styles had this issue wherein the handle will just get ripped off from the bag due to factory defects and usage among other things, but they've addressed this in the newer styles already. The handle is a thick, kinda' stiff rolled leather stuffed with another leather handle inside. If your Pandora 1 or the one you're eyeing comes with two handles or if it has a single handle, but it feels too flimsy and slim, BEWARE!
The handle is reinforced on four leather patches on the bag: two that serve as anchors for the handle, and two that serve as the base. If your Pandora 1 or the one you're eyeing doesn't have these or the handle is sewn directly to the body of the bag, BEWARE!
The rings that hold the handle to the bag are made from thick, stainless steel with a half moon shape and really shiny finish. If your Pandora 1 or the one you're eyeing has squared- off or round rings and they don't look smooth and shiny, BEWARE!
Onto the interior of the pandora. It has three pockets: One zippered pocket (the zipper lining and pull are outlined by a leather lining) and two open pockets. It also has a leather flap attached to the center portion of the leather lining, just below the zippered pocket. On the back of the leather flap, you will find the bag's heat-stamped serial code. The interior is lined with a thick cotton cloth. If your Pandora 1 or the one you're eyeing doesn't come with these pockets, the open pockets are located on the other side of the bag's interior, the flap is metal, you cannot find the serial code on the back of the leather flap, and cloth is made from nylon or some thin textile, BEWARE!
Here's the leather strap of the bag that allows you to convert Pandora 1 to a cross-body bag. Width of the strap is a little wide and shape is streamlined and slim, thus it doesn't hurt your shoulders and prevents the bag from sliding off. If your Pandora 1 or the one you're eyeing comes with a thin, stuffed- looking strap, BEWARE!
The strap comes with two thick, stainless rotating clamps with an automatic closure. If your Pandora 1 or the one you're eyeing does not come with these clamps, BEWARE!
How about the control card? Givenchy comes with a booklet- type of control card with a leather swatch that is uniform with the bag's style and hue. I think this control card is uniform for all Givenchy bags because I have the same thing too in my Antigona (whoops! Just revealed my Christmas gift for myself this year. :D).
Now here's a preview of the booklet-I won't show what's inside anymore to prevent counterfeiters from perfecting their counterfeits. :p If your Pandora 1 or the one you're eyeing does not come with this control card and doesn't have a leather swatch, BEWARE!
Now here's the dust bag that came along with the bag. It's huge and feels thick. If your Pandora 1 or the one you're eyeing comes with a flimsy dust bag and the word GIVENCHY on it doesn't look anything like this, BEWARE!
For someone who brings so much stuff with her every single day, I'm just glad that I went for a Pandora. It's so easy to style, I can put whatever I want in it without any worry, plus its unique style and shape always starts good conversations. It's fairly lighter than Antigona and Nightingale so if you're looking for an everyday bag from Givenchy, I would recommend the Pandora because you won't have to worry so much about weight-I used to think Nightingale is the perfect everyday Givenchy bag, until I got to feel how HEAVY it is. :(
One issue though is that the single, prominent handle feels a lil' slippery and the bag always slips from my shoulders when I carry it by that so I prefer carrying it by the arm or across my body.
Is Givenchy Pandora for me?
I say, this bag is perfect for the everyday gal! Givenchy's bags have really good quality in my opinion and they can withstand everyday wear and even careless people like me (lol). It's not too structured as well that you won't have to worry about getting scuffs and scratches on it easily. The style and look of the bag, however, won't really fit smart casual and semi- formal settings-I think it's just for everyday. If you want a bag that looks versatile enough for any occasion, go for either the Nightingale or Antigona.
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