ACCESSORY Book clutches are a good way to wear your geek on your sleeve

Accessories are little capsules of self-expression. That is their whole purpose; to do what the main outfit cannot. Clutches, that way, have become a good canvas. Jewellers like Van Cleef & Arpels and luxury handbag designers like Judith Leiber made famous the minaudieres, the small, beautiful things that are designed to contain smaller things that make you look beautiful but look like they won’t fit in a square of blotting paper. Lulu Guinness brought in the red lip clutch, and the more recent collaboration between Maison Martin Margiela and Swedish high-street giant H&M saw the delicious metallic candy clutches.

With geeky becoming fashionable — librarian glasses, laced up brogues, buttoned-to-the-chin shirts, et al — book clutches by accessory and ready-to-wear designer are suddenly everywhere. Cannes saw at least three versions — based on La Belle Bete by Marie Claire Blais, Tolstoy’s War and Peace , and This is Jazz by Rudi Blesh — all designed by Paris-based accessory and ready-to-wear designer Olympis Le-Tan. The designer has become a go-to for her book clutches; there are those based on Bram Stoker’s Dracula , Flaubert’s Madame Bovary , Howard Coxe’s Passage to the Sky , and The Uncertain Trumpet by ASM Hutchinson.

SHALINI SHAH

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