Books to love, to hate, to study, to eat, to read, to browse… the list could be endless. For someone are true objects of worship, for others are the purpose of a life and almost a mission, for others work or pleasure. And for someone they become a fashion accessory: recycled or designed ex novo, books are reinvented as trendy clutches and bags, for an “editorial fashion” that has nothing to do with the latest best selling book published!
While e-books and digital books gaining ground and the experts shout to the crisis of publishing and publications, the glittering world of fashion – normally considered far away from cultural elements and considered as something ephemeral and superficial – happily borrows from literary traditions making of the book, or at least of its shape, a refined accessory, a unique of cult. The only flaw, fashion creations are much less economic than a book.
The idea comes from British designer Olympia Le Tan, a Londoner by birth but raised in Paris, which for years has been making clutches using covers of the most popular titles in international literature. Magic boxes, made of felt and canvas with snap closure and lined interior, which open on the side to hold personal effects (a few, given the size) and to carry culture around. An accessory to keep strictly in hand like a book, and that stacked next to other volumes will not be out of place in any library, adding, however, a touch of style. Treated as true works of art, these bags are unique pieces, a bit as rare and hard to find books: novels, noirs, treaties, fairy tales… a book, after all, reflects a part of who reads it, just like an accessory reflects the characteristics of the wearer.
The idea of the London-based designer is not the only glamor interpretation of publishing; there are those who reuse the old covers of volumes, rigid ones, to achieve handbags of a bit vintage taste. Appropriately combined with antique fabrics, the bindings become the perfect base for roomy and fun accessories, even in this case, unique pieces. The books generally are recycled or re-invent themselves in so many ways but the fashion side of the publishing world was missing, and so instead of talking about styles, clothes, accessories, books will become main subjects: they have never been so fashionable!