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Olympia Le-Tan's Japanese Book Clutches

Her SS16 collection—a tribute to Tokyo's Hotel Okura—embroiders Rashomon, Hokusai and Hello Kitty onto handbags

by Nara Shin
on 16 October 2015

Paris-based, self-taught fashion designer Olympia Le-Tan has been creating covetable book-shaped clutches in small editions since 2009. Recreating everything from classics like Shakepeare's "The Merchant of Venice" and William Golding's "Lord of the Flies" to cookbooks and the more obscure and vintage, each intricately embroidered evening bag celebrates craftsmanship and literature—and brings to mind a time not-too-far-ago when people actually carried books. Most recently, Olympia Le-Tan's "Sentimental Journey" SS16 collection pays tribute to Tokyo's iconic Hotel Okura (in process of being demolished to make way for a new hotel) and Japanese culture, featuring a range of familiar Japanese names and titles, including Rashomon, Hokusai, Yasunari Kawabata and Nobuyoshi Araki—even Sanrio characters Little Twin Stars make an appearance.

There are some fun non-book apparel and handbags throughout the rest of the Japanese-inspired collection, like a beaded lucky maneki-neko ("welcoming" cat) clutch and a Hello Kitty milk carton bag (complete with vitamins A and D).

There are five days left to pre-order pieces from Olympia Le-Tan's SS16 collection via Moda Operandi, "trunk show" style. Check out more of her book clutches from previous collections via Le-Tan's e-shop. Her made-in-France versions, however, aren't cheap and cost around $1600.

Images courtesy of Olympia Le-Tan

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