Tuesday, July 12, 2011

William Needs A Clutch

How appropriate, the "Princess Crystal" minaudiere by Judith Leiber.
Personally, my purses of choice have always included a shoulder strap. I like the idea of not one, but two free hands. At a cocktail party for example, one can tell whoever is serving the champagne that, "I'll take two coupes, please and thank you, the second one is for my friend or husband . . ." (Or, in truth, back-up when the passage to the server becomes clogged by an influx of thirsty guests.)

However, I predict -- yes, remember where you heard this -- we will be seeing a run on clutch bags, also known in their various incarnations as envelopes, minaudieres and pochettes. Why am I convinced of the soon to develop mass movement you may ask?

Simple: The Duchess of Cambridge.




Have you noticed all the adorable mostly teeny pochettes she always carries? Unfortunately in her case she cannot be running around with two coupes of champagne and therefore the accessory gives her something to do with her hands. Note what William is always obliged to do with his when they're standing around trying to pay attention to whatever their hosts or host countries are trying to do to entertain them.





I have a beautiful Chanel envelope bag for day. It has never left the felt bag it came in (or in which it came if you prefer). I once had an Hermes clutch given to me by an old boyfriend -- in both senses of the word, he was a lot older. He brought it back to me from a trip to Paris. I had no idea at the time of the value or the pronunciation of the gift. I gave it to my best friend. As I said, I wasn't into clutches and it had absolutely no sentimental value. So, there you go.

For your perusal, a clutch of clutches:

Judith Leiber

Roger Vivier -- one could make an exception for this don't you thing? The one above aussi perhaps.
Roger Vivier
Roger Vivier
Zara
Judith Leiber

Now, I'm in intense re-think mode. Maybe it wouldn't be such a bad thing if I could only carry one coupe at a time and at other moments when one has two hands awkwardly searching something to hold other than each other, a clutch may be the latest fusion of fashion and function.

25 comments:

ms. caboo said...

I find the huge bags with all the crazy buckles, rhinestones, and horrible patterns women haul around here in the US horrible! I am not a purse person--I have one for everyday, and one for dressy occasions. It has a shoulder strap--I would have a heck of a time with a clutch. Considering the Duchess doesn't have to carry much with her, I can see that a clutch works well for her. For me, give me a shoulder bag in a muted color with no buckles, snakeskin, or other garbage on it!

une femme said...

I'm with you, Tish. Even my daintiest evening bag has a shoulder strap. But I love the look of a carried clutch, even if I don't partake.

Wildernesschic said...

I love a cute little clutch, I have a few old evening ones that I adore.. Don't you think that the royal couple remind you of a better looking version of the old Duke and Duchess of Windsor...xx

kathy peck said...

I love clutches, always have - but never thought about one of the reasons you mention here - something to do with my hands, as I can be rather shy at cocktail parties etc. I also think it's can be a charming, and either whimsical and sophisticated accessory. Love all your choices! Roger Vivier makes some of the best.

Ann Marie said...

Ms. Caboo....you echo my sentiments exactly; I never understood the big gaudy bags. Have you also noticed just how hard it is to find an understated, well made leather bag without all the "junk"?
Tish, your thoughts observations are always so enjoyable!

Ann Marie said...

ugh, I meant to type-thoughts & observations....sorry!

nina said...

Dear Tish,

I just love your blog... I read it daily..before I read the news... just as an antidote to all ugly... I look forward to it... Please keep up the excellent work!!!

Cécile

Rubi said...

I bought a little satin clutch for the wedding I attended recently, but decided I needed something that left both hands free. Rather than a shoulder bag, I found a "reticule" with a wrist strap. It was the perfect solution, as it was tiny and pretty, and didn't impede two-fisted Mount Gay and tonic consumption.

Rubi said...

Meant also to say that they are dead easy to make, even with minimal sewing skills. Just Google "reticule sewing pattern," and go mad.

Mary said...

Another good reason for taking a clutch to cocktail parties: one cannot go 'wild' for the appetizers (better for the diet) because one hand is holding the glass or goblet and the other has to hold the clutch!!! No hand is available for those fingerfoods - Forced DIET!!!

Mary in Oregon

SewingLibrarian said...

I once took a clutch on a two-week trip to Italy, and I loved it. That seems weird, I know. But I limited myself to the basics, and I kept it in my hands all the time. No pick-pocketing, and I wasn't hauling around a big load of stuff. And I think it may have had a wrist-strap, too.
I hope the Duchess also brings about a revival of sheer hose - I hate bare legs on everyone all the time!

quintessence said...

We have already been having a run on clutches here!! I bought several this year and am loving them. I just tuck them under my arm when I'm double fisting it with 2 coupes!!

LPC said...

Oh my god! Poor Wills! Who knew he suffered from the dreaded "finger pinch of anxiety?" And Ms. Princess can of course always call over an equerry or something if she wants to double fist her drinks.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I am enthralled by her every move, despite myself. She so outshone the Hollywooders.

BigLittleWolf said...

I'm a shoulder bag girl myself. But that minaudière? The Vivier???

I'd grab them in a heartbeat. And carry them with something classic and all black (and likely with a bit of cleavage).

Especially if there were spectacular shoes to wear with them!

knitpurl said...

BigLittleWolf echoes my sentiments. Shoes, shoes, shoes always! Will add that I've been known to leave my tote in my car while attending events where I carry a minaudiere or clutch. Never know when I'll need something from that tote! xoxo, C.

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

You are definitely right on to the clutch trend Tish. I have always loved clutches. Shoulder bags always fall off of my shoulders. I am fascinated by the Duchess. She is a real class act. I'm so pleased for her that the Queen seems to think the same thing about her.

I also agree with ms. caboo about the sloppy bags women tote around in the US with ugly patterns. And worse yet, some of them are expensive.
Sam

Bourbon&Pearls said...

I love clutches but Kate has come late to the trend, she's a follower not a leader of fashion.

The RV one - oooh!

Lisa said...

I remember Lady/Princess Diana always had a clutch when she hit the scene. Often times it would be under her arm so both hands were free. I thought, perhaps, Kate carries one to not only give her something to hold but it does rather restrict the drink/food intake! I thought I spotted her with a glass of wine at one of the California parties but a different angled photo showed that it was water/lemon slice in a wineglass. So many things to learn... Also at the BAFTA gathering, the woman in the black evening gown escorting the Duke and Duchess had a too-large bag slung over her shoulder - ruined her look.

Anonymous said...

I really wonder if the girl eats much. She is so thin! Though, she does look healthy and glowing, so I wouldn't say she's anorexic but I just can't get over how tiny her body is for her height.

LuxeBytes said...

If I had that feathery green Vivier clutch, I don't think I'd be able to stop myself from using it ... all day, every day. It's sublime.

The American Suburbanite in Rural England said...

I had read this post this morning and read through the comments and when I just turned on the computer this afternoon, this article was on the Yahoo home page. Sewing Librarian, your wish may be Kates command!

http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/beauty/kate-middleton-brings-back-pantyhose-bare-legs-are-so-2010-2510160#photoViewer=6

CashmereLibrarian said...

Although I admire the aesthetics, I could not use a clutch if my life depended on it! I NEED to have so much on hand! Although I must admit, an iPhone does make it easier to have all my information together with a minimum of bulk. So perhaps I should rethink my strategy.

SewingLibrarian said...

Thank you, American Suburbanite, for the link to the article about the Duchess and her hose. I read it with interest.

Shelley said...

I could not manage a clutch at a party. I'm certain I would put it down and walk off without it. I would love it if hosiery came back into style. If you have great legs and can manage to keep them tanned/painted, fine. Many of us older ladies don't meet those criteria. I think sheer hose look much nicer than bare legs, at least in a dressier setting.

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