Back when I first started writing for PurseBlog (in the Dark Ages, basically), I used to see beautiful, incredibly intricate clutches, often made from shell or filigree, pop up here and there from a small brand called Celestina. Designed by Filipino former model Maristela Ocampo, the evening bags all had a clearly oceanic influence and wonderful details. It’s been a couple years since I’ve encountered one of the brand’s handbag’s online even though I’ve often wondered if Ocampo was still designing, so you can imagine how pleased I was to find Celestina Resort 2013 available for pre-order through Moda Operandi yesterday morning.

With the recent Fab or Drab activity, it is time we make our Fab or Drab category a more active part of PurseBlog.

Today’s installment comes from an eclectic (and sold out) evening bag. The Celestina Espasol Filigree Clutch has every aspect of an ornate evening piece that may meet your fancy. The box shaped clutch is silver-plated and shows off cutout filigree design.

I’ve made no secret that I’m a huge and adoring fan of almost every clutch that Celestina has ever made. The materials used are those that are rarely found in such abundance in other clutches, and they’re used to amazing effect. The level of intricacy is unbelievably high on everything that they make, and they leave no detail unattended. But that doesn’t mean that their clutches are overdone – they’re usually sleek and modern-looking, despite their incredible uniqueness.

Celestina Resort 2010Not a lot of news to report on this subject, but I thought you ladies might enjoy seeing a picture of what’s to come from my personal favorite clutch designer – the Celestina Cruise 2010 Collection.

One of Celestina’s strong suits is making clutches out of unexpected, non-traditional materials. Most handbag designers limit themselves to animal skins and maybe some straw or canvas, but beyond that, there’s little creativity.

Fusing the organic with the fabulous, designer and former model Tina Maristela-Ocampo developed the brand, Celestina. A gorgeous collection inspired by the natural beauty, the Celestina collection is comprised of materials found in Maristela-Ocampo’s native home in the Philippines.

Celestina

Using native materials including abalone shell and shagreen (stingray) Celestina’s designs are created by local artisans. Celestina’s collection of jewelry and clutches take on a dramatic architectural feel softened by natural materials.

What is going on here? The first image I came across was a straight on view of this handbag and at first glance, it looked kind of like a pillow. I couldn’t figure out where to open the clutch, how it would store my essentials or how it would feel. When you think of leather or satin you can pretty much imagine what the texture of the bag would feel like.

Celestina Abalone Box ClutchSuffice it to say that I look at a lot of handbags. It’s kind of my job, and I’m lucky that way. And even with the enormous number of bags that I see, the Celestina Abalone Box Clutch has to be the best summer clutch I’ve seen in a while, and maybe ever. The exterior sides are encrusted with triangle-shaped pieces of abalone shell with a frame made of ebony and macasar wood, giving this little a bag a natural, beachy, organic feel that few bags have.

Although the holidays seem like so long ago, I continue my search for fabulous handbags I’d love to add to my wish list. After all, whoever said your wish list only applies during the holidays? As I am sure you know (because I say it all the time), I am a pretty practical girl. I like functional and fashionable handbags. But, from time to time, I do find myself interested in something that might seem a little more out there for my taste.


Celestina Cracked Mirror Clutch

I’m not much of a tiny-little-clutch fan. I mean, I’ve got a big key ring. It doesn’t always fit. Add my cell phone, and the thing surely won’t close. I’m particularly not a fan of the shiny-tiny-little-clutches. Judith Leiber? No thanks. In a pop culture that now bedazzles cell phones, her schtick it getting a bit old.

Celestina Crocodile Clutch1

Timeless and beautiful, the Celestina Crocodile Clutch shows off stunning black crocodile in a structured envelope clutch. The bone edges make the black crocodile stand out further and offer dimension to the clutch. Take it out to dinner or to a white-tie affair, either way this clutch is sure to be a hit. Measurements are perfect to fit in your hand; 7 x 3½ x 2½”.

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