olympia-le Tan…the bookie’s favourite


WHEN Chloe Sevigny stepped out for the New Museum’s 35th Anniversary Spring Gala in New York last week, she studiously redefined the term “geek chic”. The Moby Dick title adorning her book-shaped bag sparked a flurry of double takes. “Is it a book or a bag?” they cried. With fashion’s latest obsession in her clutches, even a mannish white suit and slick of coral lipstick battled to outshine this coveted Le-Tan creation. Is swapping Mulberry for Melville the new way to tote?

“I make bags that look like books”, Le-Tan explains simply. Fashion’s elite, such as Clémence Poésy and Tilda Swinton, adore her eclectic and kitsch aesthetic. Each design, exclusively available from Browns or Net-a-Porter, is limited to sixteen pieces and lined with a Liberty-print fabric. “A quirky fusion of fashion and literature”.

Inspiration came whilst perusing the legendary Parisian bookshop “Shakespeare and co.” From Nabokov’s Lolita to Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, the bright graphics of first edition novels transcended the laden shelves. Who says you can’t judge a book by its cover? Armed with a love of literature and a penchant for embroidery, she has crafted a cult following for these irreverent little minaudières. Looking smart indeed.