If someone were to tell me that they were going to design a bag based on an oversized jewelry box, that might sound like kind of a bad idea. Surprisingly (or not so surprisingly, depending on how much you follow the brand), Maison Martin Margiela was able to do so with a signature minimalist flair. The Maison Martin Margiela Jewelry Box Clutch might look like it’s supposed to hold a pair of very, very large diamond studs at first, but it’s really meant to hold your night-out necessities. Personally, I’d prefer the giant pair of earrings…

This little bag packs a lot of wit into a small package. The interior looks just like the cases that you get when you actually buy a piece of jewelry, as does the domed, sueded exterior. Not only that, but the design seems totally functional as well – it would hold anything that your average box clutch could contain. My initial reaction to this bag was somewhat dubious, but the more I looked at it, the more I warmed up.

Until, that is, I got around to reading the description of the materials. As it turns out, the exterior material isn’t real suede – it’s the same fake suede that covers actual jewelry boxes. Although that design choice perhaps scores another point for witty realism, if Margiela wanted to transform a jewelry box into a luxury handbag, the editorial decision to use real suede should have been made. With the fake stuff, the price just doesn’t seem justifiable. Buy through Net-a-Porter for $1375.

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