If there’s a single accessory that has captivated the high-end fashion market it’s the pouchette, the small pouch or clutch, big enough for hip girls to carry their phones, credit cards, beauty essentials, and even mini iPads.
This luxury collection comes in soft and less structured versions; sometimes even foldable, with envelope flaps, or just a simple zipper on top. Designers are taking advantage of the simplicity of their rectangular shape by splurging on punk and rhinestone embellishments – see Prada, Givenchy and Valentino – while applying clothing-embroidery techniques to their accessories. Plus, textured, embossed and metallic leathers, as well as the ever-classic leopard and snakeskin, have a place in these urban carry-ons.
Rebecca Minkoff’s woven leather envelope blends craft and punk into this mint envelope clutch! Measuring 13.5” x 11”, it is fully lined. $350. Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Avenue; 212-753-4000; saksfifthavenue.com
Proenza Schouler has managed to make utilitarian lunch bags into luxury goods - just take a peek at this color-blocking bag. 10.25” x 7.25”, metallic leather interior. $765. Bird, 203 Grand Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 718-338-1655; shopbird.com
Christopher Kane’s embroidered flowers are the best touch of spring to bring to a chic office meeting, or even an outing in the park 9.75” x 7”, with cotton lining. $695. Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Avenue; 212-753-4000; saksfifthavenue.com
Who could deny that snakeskin is nothing but a neutral in the eyes of creator Alber Elbaz at Lanvin? Measures 12.5” x 8.5”, fully lined. $887. Kirna Zabête, 96 Greene Street; 212.941.9656; kirnazabete.com
This rectangular Valentino clutch, outlined with studs, has as many punk references as it does feminine, ladylike ones; it measures 9.25” x 13.75”, and has canvas lining. $ 1195. Bergdorf Goodman, 754 Fifth Avenue (57th/58th Streets); 212-753-7300, 800-558-1855; bergdorfgoodman.com
The soft, yet slightly oversized shape of this 3.1 Phillip Lim embossed pouch, adds a bit to high-tech touch to any working-girl-ensemble; it measures 15” x 8”, and comes fully lined. $625. Saks Fifth Avenue, 611 Fifth Avenue; 212-753-4000; saksfifthavenue.com
Fendi’s zip-top clutch takes the minimal folded shape to a golden, rock-star-worthy accessory; measures 13.5” x 12”, and is fully lined. $350. Barneys New York, 660 Madison Avenue; 212- 826-8900; barneys.com
A ‘limited-edition’ tag is never unwelcome when it comes to handbags. This sleek white envelope clutch from Italian label VBH is the epitome of classic chic; measures 8” x 13”, and has suede lining. $2200. VBH, 940 Madison Avenue (74th Street); 212-717-9800; VBH on Facebook
We don’t know if it is the Op Art effect of this diamond-stamped leather pouch, or the punk studs and simplicity of shape, but this Givenchy pouch takes the price for chicest B&W mini-bag; it measures 6.5” x 9.5”, and has a fabric lined interior. $930. Barneys New York, 660 Madison Avenue; 212- 826-8900; barneys.com