July 6, 2011

A Clutch Situation

So the High Priestess of Effortless Cool (a.k.a. Kate Moss) got married this past weekend! Frankly, I was more curious about her wedding day garb than that of the other Kate M. or Princess Charlene. She didn’t disappoint, looking naturally radiant in her simple Galliano gown. Then again, she’s been pulling off stellar, trendsetting looks for more than two decades. Here she is at the Met’s Costume Institute Gala in 2007:

Kate Moss wearing TopShop in 2007

Notice her tiny evening purse. I think it could classify as a minaudière—you know, those infinitesimally small, ornamental cases that celebrities use as handbags at fancy soirées. Judith Leiber has pretty much cornered the minaudière market:

“Lucy” ladybug minaudière in crimson with semi-precious onyx. Measures 5.75″ wide, 4″ tall, 1.5″ deep.

“Oran” Egyptian-inspired minaudière. Measures 6.75” wide, 4” tall, 2” deep.

I think Glamazons can get away with carrying holding the mini evening bag because they have minions who schlep all their other stuff. Stars, when fawningly asked by people like Maria Menounos what’s in their purse, respond breezily like this [insert head-toss-to-the-side here]: “I only carry a credit card, Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream—cuz I can’t leave the house without it—and, oh yeah, a good luck gold charm that my fiancé found at a little hidden market in Capri.” Well, that’s just peachy, but for those of us who don’t employ sherpas, my frame of reference involves braving the daily Orange crush on Metro’s worst line, and the only things that would fit in my fictitious minaudière are a SmartCard and travel-size Purell.

But on those rare occasions when I do have a formal shindig to attend (woot!), I use this $90 clutch by Club Monaco. Look at all I can haul, without it morphing into a football:

Club Monaco clutch and contents. Measures 10″ wide, 8.5″ tall, 3″ deep.

  • It’s patent leather which dresses it up.
  • Its dark purple color is versatile and goes with everything.
  • And it has a nifty, convenient side handle which means you can use it like a boxing punch mitt.

Now that’s coming through in the clutch.

Update on July 9, 2011: By pure luck, I caught the last two minutes of Entertainment Tonight on Wednesday night. Correspondent Samantha Harris was talking about the new US Weekly issue where they mention what Kate Middleton is carrying in her small clutch during her trip to Canada. Apparently, it’s the bare minimum: blotting papers, lip balm, compact and handkerchief!

Update on December 16, 2012: T Magazine offers up these glamorous clutches for the holiday party season. (The $7,000 one by Valentino is particularly exquisite.)