Natalie Portman’s ‘Lolita’ clutch


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Natalie Portman showed up at the New York premiere of ‘Black Swan’ with a long black Dior gown, immaculate Dior makeup, and a purse made out of a copy of ‘Lolita’ by Vladimir Nabokov.

The purse is by French designer Olympia Le-Tan. Her book bags feature a hand-stitched version of the books’ covers, usually of titles or editions from the mid-20th century.


‘Catcher in the Rye’ by J.D. Salinger,
‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ by Tennessee Williams, ‘Strip-Tease’ by Georges Simenon, ‘Moby Dick’ by Herman Melville, ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ by George Orwell, ‘Dracula’ by Bram Stoker and ‘Letters to a Young Poet’ by Rainer Maria Rilke are among the purses in her two first lines.

The British newspaper the Telegraph has a slideshow of Olympia Le-Tan’s clutches, with a peek inside ‘Lolita’ (it’s a snazzy purple-and-green print).

Each comes in a very limited edition of 16 purses. And according to her website, Olympia Le-Tan clutches are available in the U.S. in only two New York stores.

Le-Tan’s purses may be one of the hottest things on the red carpet right now -- another one went to the Harry Potter premiere in the hands of French actress Clemence Poesy -- but for most of us, the cost is out of reach. A Le-Tan purse costs about $1,250.

Of course, book-style purses are nothing new. Last year we found books-turned-purses for sale on Etsy. And for the truly crafty, we also linked to a video guide for making your own.

Just one thing: if you’re going to rip all the pages out of a classic like ‘Lolita,’ don’t cheat yourself: read it first.


-- Carolyn Kellogg