Just when we thought technology was threatening the existence of books, accessories designer Olympia Le-Tan reassesses how much fun strolling with a book in hand can be. Raised by a famous illustrator for a father and a grandmother who passed on her talent for embroidery, Olympia Le-Tan fused her love for literature and fashion and designed a whole new category of clutches.
Inspired by first edition covers of literary classics like Lolita and Moby Dick, Le-Tan launched her “You Can’t Judge a Book by its Cover” collection in 2009. Her embroidered clasped clutches are handmade in France and lined with Liberty of London fabric. With only 16 pieces per design, Le-Tan’s minaudieres range from vintage novels to kitschy manuals to compliment any quirky personalities. What’s your favorite read?
If books aren’t your thing, Le-Tan also designed playful cross-body milk, pill box purses and little dizzie bags that look like caviar tins perfectly suitable for the luxury lover type!
Now that her book bags have caught the attention of international fashionistas and socialites, Le-Tan decided it was time to expand her creativity into apparel. Clearly, working alongside Karl Lagerfeld paid off! She describes her 1950’s-inspired pinup collection like she describes her own personal style: “Bettie Page visits the library.” Suited for bookworms with an inner coquette, Le-Tan’s “Power, Corruption and Lies” collection ranges from plaid body-hugging cocktail dresses to leather pencil skirts.
And because accessories and clothing line aren’t enough for the young designer, Le-Tan took on a film project with the help of her friends Simon Cahn and Spike Jonze. In exchange for a Le-Tan embroidered Catcher in the Rye for his wall, Jonze agreed to take on the designer’s life long dream to make a film of felt. Two years and 3,000 hand-cut felt pieces later, Le-Tan’s clutch books have been brought to life in a tragicomic stop-motion animation filmed in her favorite Parisian bookstore, Shakespeare and Company.
The romance titled Mourir Aupres de Toi (To Die by Your Side) features an escaped skeleton from Macbeth and Dracula‘s damsel in distress Mina, two lovers who long for each other but are surrounded by many obstacles of literary masterpieces. We suggest you grab some tissues and lunge into Le-Tan’s enchanting world of felt!