Cool clutch bags from Caterina Zangrando, Charlotte Olympia, more

Los Angeles Times Fashion Critic

This holiday season, clutch bags are conversation starters.

Rather than holding onto big-name designers, women are choosing accessories from under-the-radar talents, such as the New York-based Lee Savage, whose minimalist, Donald Judd-like designs have been worn on the red carpet by Jessica Alba, Diane Kruger, Kate Beckinsale and others.

Colorful, modern arty designs by Tonya Hawkes, Lolita Lorenzo and Caterina Zangrando would look as fine decorating the living room mantel as they do completing a holiday ensemble. The same goes for Michael Nelson’s festive-looking bags, festooned with beadwork made by a cooperative of Maasai women. Another fab feel-good find is Kotur’s textured gold-plated clutch, with 100% of net proceeds benefiting the charitable organization Operation Smile.

For more retro glamour purses, Edie Parker’s glittered acrylic box bags are also making an impression in Hollywood, where they’ve been carried to the Emmys, the Oscars and beyond. They’ve been updated for the holidays with seasonal sentiments splashed across the front, in words such as “Merry” and “Ho, ho, ho.”


And for the truly fearless female, there’s Charlotte Olympia’s “It Makes You Happy” bag, shaped like a tequila bottle and guaranteed to be the life of any party.

Ingrid Schmidt contributed to this report