Six of the best colourful evening clutches

Dressed-up designs brimming with colour and charisma

Clockwise from left: Lolita Lorenzo Plexiglas, gold-plated-brass and batik Palmares minaudière, €1,578. Amanda Pearl duchesse-satin clutch bag, from $575. Silvia Furmanovich emerald-inspired clutch bag with a cabochon tourmaline clasp, price on request
Clockwise from left: Lolita Lorenzo Plexiglas, gold-plated-brass and batik Palmares minaudière, €1,578. Amanda Pearl duchesse-satin clutch bag, from $575. Silvia Furmanovich emerald-inspired clutch bag with a cabochon tourmaline clasp, price on request

Bright, brilliant Brazilian clutches

Brazilian jeweller Silvia Furmanovich’s one-of-a-kind clutch bags are mini-marvels of marquetry. Each is made of sustainably sourced wood from the Amazon rainforest in northern Brazil, with Furmanovich’s vibrant images translated into detailed wooden forms by artisans in the remote Brazilian state of Acre. Designed in close collaboration with a client, the colourful clutches (from $5,000) begin with a theme – insects, flowers or even the facets of gemstones – before the design is set, then pressed and curved into such woods as red muirapiranga, yellow tatajuba, purple roxinho and azul carvalho. Shapes vary from rectangles to octagons, with bright hues (deep reds, aubergines and brilliant yellows) – a Furmanovich trademark. Back in the jeweller’s São Paulo atelier, finishing touches range from shells to precious stones such as vivid tourmalines, topazes, citrines and fire opals, all set in 18ct gold. silviafurmanovich.com. CHRISTINA OHLY EVANS

A modern minaudière inspired by Africa  

Lolita Lorenzo is a brand whose Italian-made designs have a rich narrative, and whose founder, Carol Muthiga, takes travel as her inspiration. Her Palmares minaudière (€1,578) is made to order from Plexiglas, fabric and gold-plated brass, and takes you on a high-gloss trip to Africa with bright blue, yellow and fuchsia elements, inset with distinct wax-print batik. It’s an extraordinary, modern minaudière that combines jewel-like qualities with sci-fi sheen. lolita-lorenzo.com. MARK C O’FLAHERTY

Clockwise from top: Retrovi linen and Lefkaritiko lace Berengaria clutch, €464. Beatriz thread and PVC Marge bag, $300. Nathalie Trad shell Lucia clutch, $1,050
Clockwise from top: Retrovi linen and Lefkaritiko lace Berengaria clutch, €464. Beatriz thread and PVC Marge bag, $300. Nathalie Trad shell Lucia clutch, $1,050

Exquisitely sculptural clutches

For Beirut-born and Dubai-based designer Nathalie Trad, clutch bags are a vehicle to push the design boundaries of traditional materials and create exquisite sculptural pieces. “I always tend to gravitate towards shell as a base material, which I source from east Asia,” Trad says. “I love to complement it with other materials such as wood, stone, resin, brass and stainless steel, creating a marriage of materials that seem incompatible yet harmonise beautifully.” A Parsons graduate, Trad worked under the mentorship of the design team at Proenza Schouler before launching her own range of handbags in 2013. As objects of great beauty they are certain to become collector’s items. A standout choice for evening from this season’s Sun, Moon and Stars collection is the exquisite “celestial” Lucia ($1,050), inlaid with distinctive shells from east Asia. nathalietrad.com. BEATRICE AIDIN

Mesmerising minaudières

The boxy minaudières (from $300) handmade by Beatriz – aka Carissa Cruz Evangelista, based in the Philippines – are an eye-catching double whammy of strong colours and dazzling graphic patterns. The tough part is choosing between the versions that look like miniature Bridget Riley paintings and could easily work for a night out on the town. Other striking colour combinations include emerald green and hot pink, vivid orange and canary yellow, as well as a more muted navy with contrasting shades of cerulean blue. The smaller, slightly faceted rectangular versions would be great for a black-tie event. beatrizph.com. CHRISTINA OHLY EVANS

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One-of-a-kind clutches

For over 600 years, Cypriot craftswomen have worked in Lefkaritiko lace and Fythkiotiko fabric, handweaving and hand-embroidering intricate patterns in myriad shapes and shades. Transferring these traditional techniques onto a range of very 21st-century clutches is Retrovi, a treasure trove of vivid bags. Created by Cypriot co-founders Myrna Demetriou Pattichis and Myrto Fereou, the one-of-a-kind clutches come in contemporary shapes and have a distinct spirit of escapism. The Berengaria (from €464) – a neat bag (28cm x 16cm) with a magnetic closure in both lace and woven variations – is named after a 12th-century queen of Cyprus and is available in a plethora of appealing patterns and shades, such as Fythkiotiko, which weaves red, purple, fuchsia and metallic turquoise yarns into diamond shapes over a silk-blend lining in red and purple. Other designs allude to Cyprus’s royal past, including Alice of Champagne, who has inspired a slightly larger design (36cm x 17cm, €530) with a concertinaed edge, and Caterina Cornaro, whose name is given to a taller clutch (29cm x 20cm, from €530). retrovi.com. MARY LUSSIANA

Vibrantly coloured creations

For investment dressers, the exquisitely simple cylindrical satin clutch bags by Amanda Pearl would certainly add a vibrant touch to evening ensembles for years to come. Seattle-born Amanda Pearl Brotman, a former ballerina whose fashion-based CV includes stints at Marc Jacobs and Erin Fethersto, designs her bags in Manhattan and they are handcrafted in Tavarnuzze, in the hills of Tuscany. Each of her colourful, sculptural creations (from $575) is built around a gold- or silver-plated-brass cylindrical or octagonal frame, covered with various silks and leathers. The striking hues – aubergine, chartreuse, emerald, aqua and more – are combined with semiprecious-stone-set closures, such as amethyst, labradorite, rock crystal and mother-of-pearl. Some 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. amandapearl.com. CHRISTINA OHLY EVANS

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