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Natalie Portman's 'Lolita' clutch

Natalieportman_lolita 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

Photo: Natalie Portman at the "Black Swan" premiere Nov. 30 in New York. Credit: Evan Agostini / Associated Press

 
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The clutches aren't actually made from old books, rather they are modeled on them. If you look at the story linked to in the piece above, you can see clearly that they are not books, but manufactured cloth items. So no worries, Carolyn--there's no tearing out of pages!

If you look at the story above, you can clearly see that in the prior sentence to the one that mentions tearing out pages, there is no link but a reference to a link in a previous piece about making your own book purse. One more sentence back is a link which if taken, leads to another link on making a purse out of a book. So back to worries--there is tearing out of pages!

These are super cute, but way too expensive for us common folk!

it's lovely...i'd like one..

Anyone can afford $1,250, it's just a matter of priorities. Why are people talking about $1250 like it's ten million bux? IINM $1250 is less than what your average Air Force PFC makes in a month.


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