I hope this pushes other brands to take the confines of gender out of their design process.
Last week I was perusing the Internet for awesome cute things to share with you guys when I ran across this breathtaking Edie Parker clutch:
Which, it appears, you can custom order with absolutely anything you want on it, in glitter cursive script. Trust me, my heart stopped. This damn clutch combines 3 of my very favorite things -- 1960s style hard sided acrylic bags, my own name, and glitter.
As I clicked on the link, wondering how much it could possibly be, I had a sneaking suspicion that there wouldn’t be good news waiting for me when I got all the info. Especially since I then saw this photo of crazed Italian fashion maniac and Vogue Japan editor-at-large Anna Dello Russo with one.
I sort of want to be her when I grow up. Anna herself has gone on the record as owning 4,000 pairs of shoes. And she’s probably lying to save a little face -- the real number could actually be higher! The cost of a bag (which, let’s be honest, she probably got for free) isn’t going to faze her much.
So I clicked. Are you ready? I hope you are lying prone on a fainting couch, because the clutch in question is a cool $1,795.00. That’s US bucks. (And does not include tax or shipping!)
I swear I cried. But in the middle of my sadness I realized two things:
- The base of this clutch is really just a good old-fashioned acrylic cube, popular since the Mad Men era -- and definitely back in fashion for Spring 2013.
- Vinyl letters are readily available in almost every craft store on the planet, so how hard could it be to make my own?
You will obviously need to find a good sturdy acrylic/plastic handbag to work with. While this could feasibly work with any floppy vinyl bag you may have lying around, I think what makes the Edie Parker clutches so insanely good is the fact that they are basically hard edged, snappy acrylic boxes. So, raid your grandma’s closet, hit up a thrift store, or buy one of the ones below that xoJane's crack intern Ellie and I dug up for you.
It turns out that adhesive vinyl letter stickers are actually a wee bit hard to find in glitter. Most of the ones readily available at craft supply stores are really just paper stickers. If you are a girl who spills her cocktails, this is a disaster in the making.
Thank goodness for the great state of Texas and the tradition of homecoming mums -- as some online floral supply spots ended up being where I found the best vinyl letter stickers. That mirrored clutch above would pop like crazy with some swirly-girly hot pink lettering.
The backside of this Bebe clutch (did I really just type Bebe?) is actually the side that's perfect for stickering your initials/monogram/personal manifesto on. You could then either carry it backward to show it off or have it be a little private detail that only gets shown selectively. And the horizontal line detail totally calls for some classic gold block letters.
The gummy-candy colors make them perfect for a prepster style monogram. Vivid Vinyl makes custom vinyl monogram stickers to slap on anything you want, in endless colors, patterns and sizes.
This BCBG clutch is a true minaudiere, which is a French word meaning "a small fashion accessory, meant as a replacement for an evening bag." I find that the term is most usually applied to a clutch that has a jewel-like quality to it. It is very often referring to the one and only Judith Leiber's creations, which Rachel Zoe is a fan of, even going so far as to design a line with her in the fall of 2006.
I’ve seen this orange Zara bag in person at the store -- it’s glorious, and would be so sick with some antique-style silver glitter letters.
After putting together all these ideas together for you guys, I realized I had all of the components to do my own version of the customized acrylic clutch right at my desk. I’d recently bought this cute jewel shaped plastic box-bag at Zara but hadn’t had a chance to carry it. Even though it was cute and unique, it wasn’t really moving me.
I always have a stash of these chrome-look stick-on auto letters at my house -- a style trick I cribbed from this crazy LA street artist named CHOD after I started seeing him using them all over the city. (For more evidence of street art influencing fashion, check out CHOD's fellow LA street artist, the brilliant Retna and his recent work for Louis Vuitton.)
Any time I need windshield wipers or coolant at the auto parts store, I make sure to grab a handful of these cheap letters so I can spell out random stuff with pizzazz wherever I see fit. But I usually just go with my initials, because I am a smug, self-satisfied bitch.
Be sure to clean the surface of your bag with Windex and let it dry completely before attempting to stick your letters on. You may want to break out a ruler and get really specific with your placement, but I obviously just willy-nilly’d it.
Knockoffs are a sad fact of life for fashion designers. Everybody wants in on good design -- but not everyone is a great designer! (Or has the pockets for an almost $2,000 bag.) The babe who is willing to go out of her way to DIY a bag like this on her own was most likely not going to drop the cash on a real Edie Parker one in the first place.
I really want someone to make a “F$CK” clutch. So go forth and sticker!
I’m on Twitter: @IveyAlison.