Lines We Love: Olympia Le Tan

– By Nausheen Shah – 

Pick a cover any cover.  Perhaps you are an avid reader and novels such as ‘the Catcher in the Rye’ and ‘Doctor Zhivago’ tickle your fancy.  Yet, what should be your library has become a makeshift accessories closet lining your ‘bookshelves’ with adorned handbags and clutches instead.  Yes, we all understand.  It happens to the best of us.  Well, we have found a solution that can combine the best of both worlds and relieve a smidgen of that guilt.

Designer Olympia Le Tan


Meet Olympia Le Tan, a self-taught fashion designer, born in London and raised in Paris.  Combining her two obsessions, embroidery (a talent she inherited from her grand-mother), and literature (a passion she shares with her father, French illustrator Pierre Le-Tan), Le Tan creates one-of-a-kind handbags and minaudières representing, among other things, books.  The bags are handmade with love in France in very limited editions, but distributed in over 30 select shops around the world.

Olympia Le Tan Spring/Summer 2013 "Macaroon" bag

Since the launch of her eponymous accessories label in 2009, Le Tan’s collections have included anything from a caviar tin inspired wristlet to a milk carton cross body bag.  For her Spring/Summer 2012 collection, Le Tan allowed her love for music to evoke a Jazz themed line.  Three new bag styles were introduced: the “Little 45″, a square box-clutch with embroidered reproductions of jazz and blues record covers, the 7″ bag, a square leather bag with a brass handle where you can actually put your 7” vinyls if you still have any, and the Macaroon bag, a round clutch with brass sides, with embroidered reproductions of vinyl labels.

In addition, Le Tan recently launched her first ready to wear collection in March of 2012, displaying classic clothes with a twist.  The line is mostly a mix between Olympia’s British and Paris heritage using velvets, tartans, college stripes and Liberty print fabrics to create dresses, jackets and a few leather pieces.

Olympia Le Tan Spring/Summer 2013 Collection

Adored by dames across the globe, this is one collection you have to go straight to the source to obtain. Exhibiting unparalleled, lavish details, Le Tan’s pieces are crafted in a way no other designer is able to duplicate.  So next time you notice the literary-loving fashion elite cradling a piece of text, don’t assume the obvious.  Haven’t you already learned?  Never judge a book by its cover.

Olympia Le Tan Spring/Summer 2013 Collection

Nausheen Shah is a New York based fashion designer turned stylist/creative consultant who has worked for the likes of Catherine Malandrino and Zac Posen.  In her travels, Nausheen’s love of language, cuisine, art and interior design flourished, informing her unique, distinctive, and global style.  She also runs her own ‘fashion as a lifestyle’ blog – A Shah’s Life and can be followed on Facebook @nausheenshahstylist and Twitter @nausheenshah


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