Friday, August 17, 2012

Wearable Books

Book-cessories--the term I’ve coined for wearable books--probably aren’t a new trend, but I was surprised to find some pricey examples in the July issue of Glamour magazine. French designer Olympia Le-Tan  is selling embroidered pocketbooks that resemble books with classic titles including Evelyn Waugh’s “Vile Bodies”, Erich Segal’s “Love Story” and Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”. Favored by celebrities like Natalie Portman and Michelle Williams,  clutches shown run 1140 euros, or $1,404.

One of the classic titles in Ms. Le-Tan's collection.
Something a little more recent...
....and something for my friends who share
my other line of work.

Ms. Portman carries her "copy" of Lolita.

Though I won’t be purchasing any of Ms. Le Tan’s creations, I did buy a wearable book this summer for under $25. A trip to the Western part of the U.S. brought the Stacked-NY family to Idaho Falls, Idaho, where we found The Bookstore on Broadway (more on this inviting family-owned business soon.) I don’t know the name of the designer, a local craftsperson, but if you’re interested in learning more, give the store a call at 208-881-5075.

This bag was made from an actual binding of Memoirs of a British Agent
by Sir Robert Hamilton Bruce Lockhart, journalist and secret agent. Mr. Lockhart
was implicated in a plot to assassinate Lenin.

The book was a bestseller in 1932, and inspired a film starring
Leslie Howard and Kay Francis (based only loosely on the facts).

Decorated with leather trim and a pretty brass ornament on the outside,
the bag boasts enough room in the lined interior to carry your
wallet, phone, etc, as well as another book! 

Back in New York City I haven’t seen any of my neighbors sporting book bags that resemble any of the ones shown, but this display caught my eye as I passed Saks Fifth Avenue this morning.  Even as window dressing, I’m glad books are always in fashion.

The mannequin is consulting her "Parisian Chic Weekly Planner."

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You can read more about Ms. Le-Tan in this interview at

Interested in creating your own book clutch? Arianna at offers instructions here