Splurge or Steal: Storybook Clutches
24 July 2012

Splurge or Steal: Storybook Clutches

Originally published on Tongue in Chic, 24 July 2012

Welcome to the July edition of Splurge or Steal. This month I’ve scoped out book clutches, and by that, I mean clutches that actually look like hardback copies of first edition novels.

Sure this isn’t really a new thing – designers such as Kate Spade and Lulu Guinness have ventured this territory once before, and perhaps even pioneered it – but it was DJ-turned-accessories designer Olympia Le-Tan, who truly made these into a trend with her quirky reinterpretations of hardcover literary classics such as The Great Gatsby, Wuthering Heights, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, to name a few.

This month’s splurge is the Love Story clutch. Daughter of French illustrator Pierre Le-Tan, Olympia has a knack for transforming literary masterpieces, that for many prove to be yawn-inducing, into something quirky, whimsical, and full of personality. Perhaps the downside to these surefire conversation starters is that they are priced at €1,140 a pop on average, though expensive as they may come Olympia Le Tan has such a fast-growing fan base that there really aren’t nearly enough of these babies to go around! In fact, since the launch of her label in September 2009, she has turned most Hollywood celebs into intellectuals, especially on the red carpets – Clémence Poésy, Natalie Portman, and Michelle Williams are ardent fans.

What do I have to say about Olympia Le-Tan? Genius. But then again, could we expect anything less from a woman who had once worked at Balmain, and interned with Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel?

While Olympia Le Tan’s clutches would surely burn a hole in most of our pockets, here’s a much more affordable alternative. The Key To My Heart storybook clutch from ASOS retails at just £25! While this might not be a redesigned version of a classic novel, it’s by no means substandard in comparison! The oversized tassel detail gives the clutch a sense of authenticity and evokes an old-world charm reminiscent of bookmarks attached to expensive leather-bound books and encyclopedias.

Will it be the Splurge or the Steal for you?


Images: ASOS, Olympia Le-Tan