NEW YORK — Like a piece of social anthropology on a strap, high-end handbags reflect the style sensibilities of a certain rarefied set at a particular moment. Manufacturers have learned to strike while the leather is hot, cultivating the myth of exclusivity with long waiting lists.

For fall, there’s a buzz surrounding Chanel’s perforated camellia bags. “Chanel is back in a big way,” said Eppie Engle at a recent Christian Dior runway show and luncheon at the Americana Manhasset in Manhasset, N.Y. “I think they’ve gotten a younger look. They don’t all have chains and aren’t hard to carry.”

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