If you’re like most of us, you probably don’t have an extensive stash of sparkly little party clutches and evening bags at the ready. During 11 months of the year, that’s not such a big tragedy, but then December comes around and hits us like a ton of bricks with its seemingly endless stream of evening get-togethers. Office parties, family gatherings, that invitation from your weird neighbor that you accept because you think there will be good liquor.
At first, they were simply a fashion-insider favorite. Then they were available on Moda Operandi, but only for a few days. After that, you had to contact the brand directly to order your Edie Parker Nameplate Clutch, a process which most customers shy away from in the era of depersonalized online shopping. Now, the day has come: an Edie Parker clutch bearing your name (or any other word) is one Neiman Marcus order away until November 7.
Intellectually, I’m aware that all designer handbags are overpriced, but I have the hardest time grappling with the prices of small, sparkly bags. At least with a big leather or exotic tote, you can see your money in the physical size and materials of the thing. With a shiny little clutch, the workmanship and expensive materials are a little harder to discern; I can tell cheap from expensive leather, but I couldn’t tell you how to decipher the differences between a glass crystal and a plastic one.
There’s both a roughness and relief to Fridays. On the one hand, we’ve made it this far and the weekend is within shouting distance. On the other, quite significant hand, we’re not there yet. It’s about lunchtime on the East Coast, which means that some of you are probably starting to wonder how long after lunch you’ll have to wait before you can believably feign food poisoning and leave early.
Somehow, I made it through almost the entire spring and summer wedding season without attending a single wedding. At 27, I’m a little too young for most of my New York contemporaries to be getting hitched, and my good friends back home haven’t been doing a lot of vow-exchanging lately either. That means I haven’t had to plan a single wedding outfit for all of 2013 – until tonight.
The smaller the bag, the more embellishment a designer can pile on it without worry that it’ll completely overtake any outfit with which it’s paired. That’s a basic tenet of good handbag design, and designers have taken the idea so much to heart over the past couple of seasons that we now appear to be hurtling toward the concept’s logical extreme rather quickly.
As much as I love Rick Owens’ industrial minimalism and Maison Martin Margiela’s subversive modernism, I’m an absolute fool for a girly, sparkly clutch. There’s just something about them that speaks deeply to my inner child who still harbors hopes of one day becoming a princess, even though I figured out early on that I was going to have to marry extremely well for that to happen.
One of my favorite things about Moda Operandi is that the flash sale site’s staff has an eye for new talent and smaller designers that are ripe for their big breaks. On any given day, you’ll find a relatively unknown upstart listed alongside the Valentinos of the world, which is exciting for anyone looking to be the first person in her group of friends to wear or carry the Next Big Thing.
Ahh, the Oscars! There’s nothing like a good red carpet, and the 2013 Academy Awards didn’t disappoint when it came to interesting evening bags. (Although, in our opinion, the clothes were better at the Golden Globes.) Roger Vivier once again won the night, but there was a pleasant amount of variation among the attendees.
One big trend that you almost couldn’t escape was actresses who matched their clutches exactly to the color of their dresses.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from covering the evenings bags that stars carried at the Golden Globes, Grammys and SAG Awards this season, it’s that relatively few celebs are willing to take a chance with an interesting clutch for a stroll down the red carpet. Perhaps their stylists just don’t think about it amidst all the dress drama, or maybe they’re afraid that anything that distracts from the dress is a unwanted opportunity to pull focus away from getting the star onto the Best Dressed List.