Megs and I recently gave you guys a rundown of the season’s best wedding bags, both traditional and quirky, but there’s one little clutch that we didn’t include because we couldn’t decide which category it would belong in. On the one hand, the Chanel Shell Minaudieres are everything you expect out of a traditional nuptial bag – small, luxurious, twinkling little things in shades of extremely pale ivory and blush. On the other hand, they’re giant molded sea shells, so “traditional” might be a bit of an overstatement. Unless you’re having a beach wedding, though; then these bags are perfect. If your wedding budget is completely open-ended, that is…

After being featured prominently on the Chanel Spring 2012 runway, it was an unquestionable conclusion that these pieces would be priced for only the wealthiest of Chanel’s customers, but even I was a bit blindsided when I contacted Chanel to inquire on the retail prices. For the version dotted on all sides with multicolored freshwater pearls, Chanel is charging an utterly hefty $48,000. For the plain pearlescent resin version? $33,000. Even the Chanel associate on the phone seemed to choke a little bit on those numbers.

Considering that the more expensive of the two is literally covered in real pearls (and beautiful ones at that), the price point makes a little more sense – that many pearls in any form is going to deplete almost any budget. I can’t quite figure out, though, why the version with no pearls still costs $33,000. Surely the molds for this kind of shape would have been difficult to make and the production time-consuming, but even factoring those things in, the price doesn’t quite add up for me. If any of you Chanel diehards out there know what’s up, please fill me in. If you’re in the market for one of these pieces, you can contact Chanel at (800)550-0005 for purchase information.

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