Eye-catching, colourful clutches hand-sewn by a Philippine maker

The graphic patterns and vibrant hues on Carissa Cruz Evangelista’s boxy Beatriz bags tempt a writer inclined to monochrome

From left: Beatriz cotton Judith clutch, $300, and Marge clutch, $250
From left: Beatriz cotton Judith clutch, $300, and Marge clutch, $250

The last thing I was looking for on my recent trip to the Bahamas was a vibrantly coloured clutch bag. I would never usually go for a clutch on a beach holiday, nor for such vibrant colour back home in the city, but I was so taken by the embroidered clutches that I discovered at The Blue Rooster – Harbour Island’s emporium for all things barefoot chic – that I bought one to remind me of bright holiday sunshine in the wintry months that lay ahead.

Beatriz cotton Cheska clutch, $300
Beatriz cotton Cheska clutch, $300
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The boxy minaudières (from $250 to $300) handmade by Beatriz – aka Carissa Cruz Evangelista, a maker who is based in the Philippines – stood in a bright row on one of the shop’s shelves and the strong colours and dazzling graphic patterns caught my eye immediately. The tough part was choosing between shades of azure blue – very Caribbean, a perfect souvenir, I reasoned – or the striped version that looked like a miniature Bridget Riley painting and could easily work for a night out on the town. Other striking colour combinations included emerald green and hot pink, vivid orange and canary yellow, as well as a more muted navy with contrasting shades of cerulean blue. 

Beatriz cotton Colourblock clutch, $250
Beatriz cotton Colourblock clutch, $250
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In the end, I opted for a smaller, slightly faceted rectangular version ($250) in shades of fuchsia, indigo and teal – great for a black-tie event when paired with a tuxedo, or in summer with the simplest white dress. In retrospect, I wish I’d bought another one (or three) of these bags in different colourways as I’m enjoying just staring at it atop my chest of drawers – a cheerful reminder of Bahamian bliss.

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