Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Le-Tan Universe

Everything about the Le-Tan sisters glows, sparkles and pops whether it be the images from their latest romp around the globe, their humble studio in downtown Paris or the latest release of their products released in Baroque gilded rooms or chic Japanese hubs. I knew both to be the figure heads of their own thriving fashion business and Olympia to have worked at the Chanel branch in France at the mere age of twenty-one, but I didn't get a grasp of their cultural needs and aspirations till I followed their blog and they took their bags and quite felt wares to Japan and exciting new frontiers. One day I will own a milk carton evening bag and wear it to match my clothes and then finally I will be fabulous, demure, and the toast of the town. That's the plan at least. Otherwise I can display it like a stuffed bird or something on my desk in a precious glass case.

The whole setting of this particular release party is opulent and decadent, but book clutches from Olympia Le-Tan can rise to the occasion. Some people may find their price tags to be ridiculous and over the top, but the lining for these humble minaudières and from London company Liberty, the fittings are in brass and everything is handmade in a quaint and gorgeous studio in France. You really couldn't ask for more in terms of the fairy tale story to enhance the reputation and cost of an item. Sadly the allowances of a poor university student don't quite cut it for something as grand and luxurious as a Olympia Le-Tan clutch, but I'd have little places to really show it off anyway so that's okay too.

I'm still struggling between choice of elegant style and the refinement of an adult woman or the reblellion and cheap, colourful vintage clothes of a girl obsessed with Etsy. Had I ever cleaned my room, persisted that a small chandelier be installed in my bedroom and watched Kirtsen Dunst portray Marie Antoinette than perhaps I would feel a deeper affinity for this photograph and it's composition. I do like the match of glistening brass of furniture and accessory and the clash of tapestry prints and navy is surprisingly satisfying.

With so many wonderfully crafted accessories made in tribute to great books and classic novels, if I ever found pieces as wonderful as these all clustered together and seemingly abandoned I would probably stash them away and escape any venue at the speed of light. Then again, if I had such a wonderful vintage/ rustic piece of furniture in my room I would also be keen to turn it into a makeshift hat rack or lay out the next day's outfit ready to wear.

Some of the cutest bags have been circular in shape and sport all kinds of made up vintage wares; from dental floss to first aid kits and everything in between including airlines, cookbooks and petroleum jelly. I'm not sure how good a cookbook would be if it was circular but they're all so sweet and look even better when worn with simple outfits and tattoos. I'm still in a bit of a devilish mood and depreciating, self-constructed mood in which I hope to reinvent myself Every path seems to require having money though...


All the coolest and hippest of fashion designers/ business people have kitsch vintage typewriters as decoration in their rooms or installations and while I do have one myself, I no longer adore it as much as when I first clapped eyes on it and am contemplating throwing it back on eBay. I can't exactly fit a wooden picnic table or children's desk set to display it and I struggle for room in my humble abode... I should probably just enjoy the Le-Tan's second generation reveling in punching keys and get rid of my own typewriter.

The world's obsession with attached collars and pretty colours seems to have finally died down after enjoying a peak of two years, but Olympia Le-Tan's humble experimentation could easily breathe new life in to this tired trend. My favourite collars are on the extreme ends, the navy collar with pink ribbon would suit a vintage denim shirt I love to wear, whereas the dramatic red and black collar could brighten up any boring vintage white blouse. I have no doubt that there's no longer a skerrik of these left for sale and before the end of this Japanese release party ended they were snapped up, post-haste.

You know you're a success in the fashion world when you can afford to buy a customised cake inspired by one of your designs an it is a decent likeness of your fashionable artwork. While I loathed reading 'The Catcher in the Rye' and no teacher forced me to experience the drama of Holden Caulfield I can still appreciate the chocolate icing of the book cover as a sweet baked treat to celebrate this thriving brand and what is sure to be another bumper year of activity. You truly can have your cake and eat it too when you put your head down and work hard to establish such a great reputation as accessory maker to the stars and those of us most obsessed with fashion and deluded by finances.

I never did decorate with curtains at any stage in my life, and the only bust statues to have taken my fancy are made of wax and are the strangest possible candles you can imagine but seeing your monogram symbol as part of an installation as well as fabric accessories displayed in such a chic way is pretty Parisian (if I may be so bold as to say so).



Intuitively I have never would have dreamed that chic French Parisians and Le-Tans would have combined so easily with the outlandish quirk so typical of Japanese young adults. The girls above have caused me, all the way in Australia to feel a little inspired- there's no pink hair dye yet but extensions may be on the cards and I own the same leopard dress as the girl on the right. Too bad I can't really squirm in to it properly. Despite that min or setback, I can see the real potential for pink and natural leopard print colour tones; some cardigans and hair dye are a bit of a slouchier and more relaxed approach I may soon take (fingers crossed).

There's a sweet irony of these three little happy amigos sitting together; Madeleine being a native French and perfectly charming as a rounded dolly but the peanut bear and small Totoro are no doubt good company. I wish there was room at my disposal to decorate in childhood melancholia and minimalist design, but my own toys are mass produced and nasty and living space cluttered with the ordinary and blase.

I believe this is sister Cleo photographed above with a bit of a severe/ quizzical look like those most stylish librarian you could ever hope to meet. The combination of her printed blouse with peaking collar and cat face sweatshirt really does channel the mood and atmosphere of her kooky setting perfectly and amplifies it to a powerful place. Her glasses are equally sweet- I don't need any at the moment but they instantly transform a look and change the way people perceive you without them.

I can't manage to find coin purses in the vain of Studio Ghibli, but the Nintendo video game Animal Crossing had a large influence in my life than any film and I have tracked down a few suit pouches of this same style to fit snugly in many of my handbags loosely scattered about my room. At this age I should be considering getting a nice thick, leather wallet and growing to become a woman of grace but the designs are always so boring and similar. No, I think I prefer my soft furry friends with eyeballs stitched in rows with bewitching stares. I find their design, feel and texture to be much worthy of holding whatever small fortune I may be blessed to have.

I'm pretty torn that I can't find these little characters anywhere and just sprinkled them around like confetti to all the dirtiest high schools in the area as well as pamphlets picked up from all the regional clinics, but capsules in plastic are hard to come by. Some of my friends absolutely hate swallowing pills and my boyfriend can't ingest anything without pulverising it into powder but I do like the contrast of primary colours and medical white as well as slogans in English. Notice the date 1988 copyrighted... before the reign of grunge, raver culture and underground illicit substance scenes.

Because of the Le-Tan's adventures in the land of the rising sun, Japan has been on the top of my list of places to visit; either as study abroad (very difficult since I can't speak Japanese) or with my mother who has already been there. I envision myself posing with peace sing finger tips and a series of giggling school girls flying at each of my arms to pose with me when I stand for outfit post photographs. The strange culture, cartoons and colour of the city as well as traditional history make it so interesting to me as a young person and I do vow to see it one day; I just need to wait and raise the funds at home first.

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