I don’t go to a lot of black-tie parties, so I like eveningwear to be serious investment dressing. I expect the fashion pieces I buy for fancy events to last close to a lifetime, be it a sparkly top, a well-cut tuxedo, a perfect pair of heels or, my most recent acquisition, an exquisitely simple cylindrical satin clutch bag that I came across at a friend’s showroom in New York recently. I knew immediately that Amanda Pearl’s colourful, sculptural creations (from $575) would add a vibrant touch to many of my evening ensembles, and that I would use one for years to come.
The New York-based accessories and jewellery brand is the work of Seattle-born Amanda Pearl Brotman, a former ballerina whose fashion-based CV includes stints at Marc Jacobs and Erin Fetherston. Her unique bags are designed in Manhattan and handcrafted in Tavarnuzze, in the hills of Tuscany. Each one is built around a gold- or silver-plated-brass cylindrical or octagonal frame, covered with various silks and leathers. The striking hues – aubergine, chartreuse, pale gold, emerald and aqua – are combined with semiprecious-stone-set closures, such as amethyst, labradorite, rock crystal and mother-of-pearl. Some of the clutches feature Swarovski-encrusted detailing; others use handpainted fabrics and vegan-leather linings. They are all beautifully made, with a smart final touch in the form of a chain-attached mirror for elegant lipstick reapplication.
I had to add one to my festive wardrobe, but which one? I loved the various pops of colour on offer, especially a gold brocade version lined with moiré, but opted for a timeless navy duchesse satin roll ($575) with a silver frame. Since making my purchase, I spotted an Amanda Pearl clutch looking especially chic in the hands of Kenyan-Mexican actress Lupita Nyong’o at a red-carpet event. I’m in good – and very glamorous – company.