What’s Going On December 19th?
Just a little post today; everything is starting to pile up on me as the time between now and Christmas shrinks, but I just had to take a moment to share my sartorial discovery of the day!
I was browsing British Vogue‘s website this afternoon, and I came across an article about a designer who I had not really heard much about before; the exquisitely exotic and ever unique Olympia Le-Tan. I realise that I am probably just being embarrassingly slow on the uptake here, but I thought that I would write a post about her anyway, as the designs are so wonderful and I am frankly baffled as to how she has slipped past my radar until now!
Aside from fashion and art, the great love of my life is literature, and I’m embarrassingly enthusiastic if you leave me in an old-fashioned bookshop, or get me talking on the subject of a favourite novel. I think this is why Le-Tan’s designs appeal to me; they perfectly combine fashion, art and literature in a way that is both stylish and quirky. The French designer essentially just re-imagines classic book covers and transforms them into bags and other accessories, and, as man style-savvy celebrities will tell you, the results are just beautiful.
Actress Natalie Portman rocked out Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita at the New York première of Black Swan, way back in 2010. Something that I have noticed when reading up on who wears Le-Tan’s designs is the thought that people seem to put into which clutch they choose, and I like the way that Portman chose a very dark, psychologically uncomfortable novel for the première of a very dark, psychologically uncomfortable film; although, maybe I’m reading too much into it (no pun intended haha).
At the premiere of her film We Need to Talk About Kevin in 2011, actress Tilda Swinton paired her teeny tiny Olympia Le-Tan bag with an elegant Heider Ackermann evening dress. I love the way that Ms Swinton’s striking looks and grown-up attire juxtaposes with this, Ant and Bee, a children’s book; again, perhaps a subversive nod to her own film about a deeply troubled child?
More recently, Katy Perry showed off her own Le-Tan piece, based on Webster’s Dictionary, alongside an equally dreamy Oscar de la Renta gown at the American Music Awards last month. I love that way that her dress, her polka dot nails and that floral cocktail ring all co-ordinate, whilst the book/bag draws your attention with a splash of bright yellow; this isn’t a look I would normally go for myself, but everything about it eludes fun, and I think it very much suits Ms Perry.
Le-Tan has recently released six new designs, all based on children’s books, and they are as charming as ever. Le-Tan herself says that her favourite is I am! Says the Lamb, saying “I loved that book when I was a little girl and still do. The cover is so cute!”
I think that my personal favourite from this, Le-Tan’s latest range, would be the clutch based on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, simply because the lion looks so worried! I always quite liked the idea of such a seemingly fierce creature actually being very timid; there is something in it that is both sad and funny.
However, if I could have one Olympia Le-Tan from her entire collection, it would have to be Alice in Wonderland, which has remained one of my favourite books throughout my life. Although, I do quite like her take on The Great Gatsby; but that would mean giving up my main man Shakespeare. And what about Roald Dahl? Can I just have a whole shelf-full please?
Unfortunately for mere mortals such as myself, Le-Tan usually only makes sixteen copies of each design, and they all sell for over £1000, so it doesn’t look as though I’ll be getting one any time soon. I suppose I shall just have to carry a real book around with me instead.
Happy December 19th!
P.S; I just got ridiculously distracted by her Instagram. Help me, I’m obsessed.