Feeling Rich

Feeling Rich

There's got to be a whole lot of irony in Olympia Le-Tan tackling "Power, Corruption and Lies" in her A/W 12-3 collection of bijoux book clutches.  At the presentation, we were led through the sumptuous rooms of Mus√©e Nissim de Camondo, admiring the clutches elegantly dotted around, with full knowledge that they will eventually retail at prices upwards of four figures.  With titles such as Charles Dickens' Christmas Carol and William Makepeace Thackeray's Vanity Fair as well as a few embroidered caviar tins and fake OLT currency thrown in for good measure, Le-Tan is attempting to address the oh-so-relevant subject of class and economic inequality.

Perhaps Le-Tan is embracing the economic prohibitive qualities of her work with this theme.  You can't afford this beautiful book clutch but you'll bend your way through a myriad of financing means to get it anyway or you'll spend your life despising the minority who can afford it.  That could be a theory that's a shade of depth too far.  Regardless of ideological contradiction, the crux of seeing this collection is that I still find myself craving one of her pieces, especially as she has embroidered some choice titles that are right up my literary street* – Fitzgerald, D.H. Lawrence and Larkin.  And so the system wins again.  I leave myself open to the capitalist slaughter house.


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When the presentation finished up in the kitchen, the tone lightened up considerably from pondering Le-Tan's message about power and corruption.  A gang of Bettie Page look-a-likes danced their way in, wearing Le Tan's ready to wear line and proceeded to do a little bit of a strip tease.  This part was easier to analyse, as these heavy-fringed babes in their bookish plaids, innocent princess coats and Clever Girl tees took to playfully stripping down to their black underwear.  You can be smart, coquettish, conservative, playful and sexy all at once.  When Le-Tan came out to take her bow, it was clear that the clothes were a close manifestation of her own personal style.  For Le-Tan's first foray into ready to wear though, projecting personal wants and desires on to the designs seems like a smart thing to do and thankfully, she hasn't gone overboard with the retro gazing, despite the uncanny resemblance of her Betties.

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*Once again, I have to reiterate that buying and carrying one of these book clutches without having read the book seems wholly foolish.  I don't advise it one bit and plan on pedantically interrogating OLT customers just to double check.  Be warned. 


Leave a comment
  1. Material Fixations

    2012-03-11 at 12:24 AM

    Regardless of the mixed messages, I love this “I don’t take myself horribly seriously” presentation and fun sophisticated collection. Love how flamorous and slightl goofy this editorial is!
    Material Fixations

  2. S

    2012-03-11 at 1:16 AM

    wow, those girls actually look a lot like her, before reading I was thinking, why is Olimpya taking her cloths of? anyway, I totally agree with you Susi, Le tan work just makes my teeth hurt, too much beauty, history and romanticism in one little clutch.

  3. Top Moumoute

    2012-03-11 at 1:32 AM

    You’ve got to give it to Le Tan though, those little clutches are a truly original idea, beautifully carried out. Although I agree that I’m not sure why they are quite so prohibitively expensive..

  4. Kazuko

    2012-03-11 at 6:03 AM

    haha, loved this post. i love her clutches but they actually look so real that you could even carry an old book – ok, not really but you get the point. yes, i do want one, but even if i’d get one as a gift, the price would still hurt.

  5. Suzi

    2012-03-11 at 7:04 AM

    Love this post, have been oogling these clutches for some time. I think I’ll have to just keep oogling them…
    Suzi x
    For the Love of Audrey

  6. Thea vintage

    2012-03-11 at 7:58 AM

    Very cute clutches! And the interior suits them well! Nice event!

  7. Style Astronaut

    2012-03-11 at 12:18 PM

    Beautiful pictures! The beginning pictures remind me of films like ‘The Royal Tebenheums’ or maybe thats just me being obsessed with that film!

  8. comp

    2012-03-11 at 12:39 PM

    I love the presentation of the bags! She is amazing, surprising and very special and corresponds to the style of Olympia Le Than!

  9. Shai

    2012-03-11 at 1:40 PM

    Those book clutches are adorable and the presentation so magical!

  10. Lauren@Styleseer

    2012-03-11 at 3:23 PM

    Great presentation! I love the book clutches and wish she had one more aligned with my literary interests. Guess the F. Scott Fitzgerald would be my pick from among those here.

  11. Serdane

    2012-03-11 at 3:58 PM

    She is a so funny designer, I’m always passioned by her inspiration and the way she can open her world with a lot simplicity and extravagance !

  12. Jane Alisa

    2012-03-11 at 10:11 PM

    Beautiful pictures, I love how lavishly presented the books were.

  13. Healthy Options

    2012-03-12 at 12:20 AM
  14. theabraham

    2012-03-12 at 5:03 AM

    your last note on this post is kind of snobby…

  15. susie_bubble

    2012-03-12 at 8:59 AM

    It probably is but I don’t care. If you’re going to be spanking EUR1,100 or so on a clutch that illustrates a book, at least let it be on one that you’ve actually read. It’s kind of like wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt without knowing who he is or what he did.

  16. Lady Danburry

    2012-03-12 at 2:31 PM

    This is totally awesome. My head is spinning over those book clutches!

  17. Aisha

    2012-03-12 at 3:36 PM

    I love the shots taken!

  18. Aisha

    2012-03-12 at 3:37 PM

    Check out my blogs on http://www.smithgeorge.co.uk

  19. theabraham

    2012-03-13 at 5:56 AM

    getting your point, but at our kind of, i dunno, modernized and knowledgeable time, knowing Che Guevara is kind of expected, but we are not to that extent where we must also be familiar with, was it “Girl In Winter” up there?
    What if someone just sucks for unparalleled, i have to say, craft as Le Tan’s? Im really sure of what im saying.

  20. susie_bubble

    2012-03-13 at 9:46 AM

    Sure, of course you can appreciate Le-Tan’s craft and they really are quite exquisite clutches. However, she does illustrate quite obvious authors, ones that I’d expect most people to have read at least something of – Sallinger, Fitzgerald, Thackeray, Hemingway, Dickens, …
    To take your example, “Girl in Winter” might well be obscure as a novel, but Larkin is one of the most famous English poets of the 20th century.
    I stand by my point. We can agree to disagree. I mean, reversely, if you had ¬£1,000 plus to spend on a book clutch, wouldn’t you want it to be something you had read and had enjoyed and had meaning to you? It just seems like common sense to me…

  21. Lesley

    2012-03-13 at 7:21 PM

    Oh my heavens, she has “Till we have faces”. WANT! (And I guess that’s also kinda mixed messages, but never mind.)

  22. Dolly Drops and Dreams

    2012-03-14 at 1:05 PM

    I adore her bags sooo much…I’ll keep dreaming of them

  23. theabraham

    2012-03-16 at 6:38 AM

    it’s good to know how people still factor in philosophy and warm emotions to shopping instead of just hauling, you know? But i still dont think it’s fair for someone to step back from purchasing such product (which happen to fall into Le Tan’s category, or a tee shirt with Dickens on it) just because he/she is not familiar with the subtext.
    i do understand how you see it, and how you see it works, but at another end i do hope Le Tan does not feel the same.

  24. Tatouage

    2012-03-16 at 9:50 AM

    That was a very great show !
    Thanks for these pictures !

  25. chloe

    2012-05-30 at 10:31 PM

    Are those her underwear? In Bazaar photo also. I am looking for full coverage that will have NO panty line for silk jersey. Anyone know who’s these are, or another that will be seamless?

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