Bookish Escape

Bookish Escape


You wonder why literary-themed miniaudiere designer Olympia Le-Tan hadn't presented her collection at the legendary Shakespeare and Company. in Paris sooner given the pairing is just so damn fitting.  Still I suppose this season was the right time to give her embroidered book clutches and bags the perfect Parisian bookstore backdrop with Le-Tan's clutches coming out of their cult niche (over the course of fashion month, I must have spotted at least ten of Le-Tan's bags out and about…) as well as being included in Vogue Paris' recent feature on young designers.  I've lost a few hours to Shakespeare & Co. over the years and the night of Olympia Le-Tan's A/W 11-12 presentation two weeks ago was no different. 

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I've already quizzed Le-Tan about the collection for Dazed Digital but I wanted to take the personal opportunity to say that her latest collection Housewives' Choice was right up my street because Le-Tan's chosen choice of cookbooks and novels that are meant to be read whilst curled up in a state of feminine 'me' time, sum up the state of housewife-dom that I willingly throw myself into these days.  Yes, alright I'm 'working' at home – most of the time.  But a scary amount of time is also spent scrubbing ovens, thinking up recipes for dinner that night as well as taking out hours to go procrastinating in the local caff with a book and the paper.  My good life – Mr Muscle, perfecting creamy pasta sauces and Evelyn Waugh paperbacks. 

Back to Le-Tan's collection though and once again, it expands that extra little bit each time round with the unmistakable hand of her embroidery gracing everything.  Round hand-clutches, milk cartons, hair accessories and tote bags join the box clutches and the satchels.  It'll be interesting to see what other products get added to the mix in the future seeing as her embroidery seems to be enduringly endearing wherever it's applied.      




The "Made With Love" moniker of Olympia Le-Tan's label partly answers why the bags are achingly expensive and if you add "Made With Love, Man Hours and One Pair of Hands", that probably fully answers the pricepoint question.  Speaking to Le-Tan about her stay-at-home business makes me appreciate the fact that they are produced on a teensy tiny apartment scale and I wouldn't want it any other way so hopefully I'll swallow the price eventually. 



I'm a fuddy duddy stickler though and feel that if you haven't read the book in question, it would feel mighty silly to be carrying the accompanying embroidered accessory so this section which includes The Glass Menagerie and Madame Bovary will be my best bet…

Or else I can hunt out Le-Tan's choice of cookbooks (that are most probably out-of-print) to find that perfect souffle recipe and then I'll go about securing the matching OLT accessory.


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This about as close as I'd get to a milk carton (the real stuff makes slightly dairy-intolerant me yack…)


Upstairs at Shakespeare & Co. there was also a screening of Le-Tan's short film collaboration with Spike Jonze and Simon Cahn where the characters of her embroidered books engage in a wee tragic love story.  Le-Tan's embroidery is pretty much made perfect for stop-motion animation…



P.S. Olympia Le-Tan's Tumblr blog is a stellar example of a designer posting inspiration, press clipping and random piccies.  I'm no Tumblr-er and I don't want to pile pressure on designers to blog but a few pics a day makes an accumulative rich source for consumers, fans and journalists… case in point, Le-Tan's love of Hayao Miyazaki weirdly make me wish even more that I had the dosh to splurge on one of her satchels…


Leave a comment
  1. Ruby

    2011-03-20 at 8:31 PM

    Embroidered Books /Accessories looks lovely
    Take a look at How Animal Jewellery Jumping Out

  2. Kylie

    2011-03-20 at 11:48 PM

    eessh that is quite a few Euros, I do like liberty prints though. The book clutches are incredibly quaint. Not something I could buy myself, but would with open arms (and hands) except as a present haha

  3. Eli

    2011-03-21 at 3:51 AM

    these are so beautiful! I spend every day around lots and lots of books, so it is very cool too see these!

  4. Evelyn

    2011-03-21 at 1:45 PM

    i feel like i want to go there!

  5. osopolar

    2011-03-21 at 2:20 PM

    amazing… love it

  6. AngieMontreal

    2011-03-21 at 2:44 PM

    I love the grouping in the grey/red/chartreuse colours, so gorgeous!

  7. Olive

    2011-03-22 at 1:57 AM

    Cute books! I really want to go there! 🙂

  8. nana

    2011-03-22 at 4:02 AM

    Cool! I want to own them!!

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