December 6, 2016

Louis Vuitton ALMA PM Review and Photos

🎶Its the most wonderful time of the year!! 🎶 
December is such a blessed month and especially this year because I will be spending the holidays with my family. There is something magical about the holidays and all the happiness it fills our lives with. It also forces me to shop more and eat more. It's that time of the year, when I do not mind splurging and this time I ended up at the Louis Vuitton store at Holt Renfrew and walked out with this gorgeous ALMA PM bag in the Damier Ebene. I love structured bags and the ALMA bag happens to be one of the most structured bags made by Louis Vuitton. 
For pics and review keep reading!

Louis Vuitton ALMA PM as described on the website:
"The most structured of the iconic Louis Vuitton handbags. The original was the creation of Gaston Vuitton, who named it for the Alma Bridge, a span that connects two fashionable Paris neighborhoods. Shown here in Damier Ebène canvas."
I was told that the first ALMA was launched in the 1930s (the sales associate told me the year, but I can't recall) and its still is one of the most iconic Louis Vuitton bag. I fell in love with the Alma bag in store because it looks so sophisticated. No wonder its still in style!

Louis Vuitton recently changed their packaging to this orange box with magnetic closure. I love this packaging because it lives up to the standard of luxury expected from LV. I loved how much care was put by the sales associate at Holt Renfrew in packing this. She was amazing.

This is what the bag looked like when I took it out of the box. It came with the dust bag shown above and that is how I store it - in the dust bag and in the orange box :P
I need to take care of this beauty because I do plan to use it only for travel and evenings. Its definitely not my everyday bag. Or may be I will make it an everyday bag when I cut my nails short and remove any nail polish so it doesn't scratch or transfer on the handles. I usually use a 100% leather bag for everyday use and the grains of the leather, masks most of the scratches it gets from my nails or general wear and tear, but this bag has a really smooth leather trim at the bottom and the handles, and I can not imagine a scratch on it. It will be an eye sore.

I love this LV lock and the keys are in the key tag (clochette) that came with the bag.

I personalized my ALMA bag by getting the clochette hot stamped with my initial. I love personalizing things and this service was complementary at LV store, so why not.
There was a lot of options in terms of the color and font of the initial. I could get up to 3 letters hot stamped on the key tag. I stuck with only my first initial 'R'.
I think one letter looks better. What do you guys think, should I have gotten R.K. or my full set of initials R.S.K. ?
Gosh, I don't even use my middle name anymore!May be just one letter is better.
I chose the gold ink because I wanted to keep it classic, but you can have more fun with colors such as pink, yellow, blue and more.

The key tag is still taking its time to settle down on the handbag and it often swings awkwardly but with time leather does get a lot more supple. Will see how this goes.

If you look closely there is a little D ring on the handle where I have attached the clochette. That D-ring is for the strap. Alma does not come with a strap but I could have purchased it separately, starting from C$360.
I have a brown leather strap with gold details from my Coach bag that I plan to use with it whenever the need arises, but in the future, may be I would splurge on an LV strap because everything LV sounds so much better and feels so much more luuxxxeee.
I like to carry it on my arm most of the time and its the most perfect size to carry for my height and weight.

The symmetry is killing me.

If you notice in the pic below you can see the little square at the botton, that says "Louis Vuitton Paris made in France". This is the only place where it's mentioned that this bag is made in France and there are no engravings inside.

Another good feature of the newer ALMA bags is that they come with bottom studs so the leather base is protected from scuffing.

Inside of the handbag is lined with a gorgeous red lining which I think might be microfibre. I love the red interior. Its so beautiful and super luxurious but it could have been better if it was lined in leather for something more luxurious.
The one thing I really wished for was a zipper pocket inside. It has two cell phone pockets which are mostly filled with just napkins or a mirror. They don't really fit my cell phone well. I usually put everything in pouches before storing in my handbag, but a small inner zipper pocket for just throwing things in would have been great. Normally, I would like to keep my receipts in the inner zipper because I can conveniently reach for it when I am at the checkout counter and later on its easier to find the receipt if I need to return anything.
And just as I write this, I realized that other than receipts, I never really put anything in the inner zipper pocket. May be it's unnecessary? Or maybe the ALMA bag was not made for people who save all their  receipts. OMG, I need a lifestyle change :D

I picked up the ALMA PM bag because the size felt just right on me. Its comes in a BB size that looked too small, and I would be restricted to use it only for evenings. The MM size looked too big, like I felt that I could carry my laptop in it. So, the PM bag is the perfect size for me. I usually do not carry a lot in my handbag; mostly, wallet, sunglasses, keys, a small makeup pouch and a little agenda and pen, so this size is best for me. And there is a lot more room for additional things (receipts? :D) but I plan not to over stuff this beauty. At least not till it feels new.

Overall, I love this bag. Its beautiful, wonderfully crafted and it feels amazing to own one. Its also one of the lesser priced bags from Louis Vuitton, so if you have been thinking about getting one, you can start from the ALMA bag. There are so many stores that sell pre owned LV bags, but I would highly recommend you buy from the Louis Vuitton store, not because I will get a commission, but because you will truly experience the luxury of owning a Louis Vuitton bag. I enjoyed my shopping experience at Holt Renfrew and if I plan to buy another one, that is the store I will visit. The Holt Renfrew location has now moved to Chinook Center in Calgary (as of 2018) and I absolutely love that store as well! 

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