We were privileged to be given a Sneak Peek of Clara Kasavina’s Fall 2013 Collection of impossibly beautiful evening bags and collectible fashion jewelry. Clara, who always has her pulse on the most up-to-the-minute fashion trends, has designed her collection around three topical themes: Africa, Anna Karenina and Asia all of which come under the rubric, Affordable Luxury. Here’s a foretaste of what’s to come:
1. This is Africa
In keeping with her extraordinary ability to create accessories using skins, Clara Kasavina’s Fall 2013 Collection includes a variety of belts wrought of exotics that conjure the bushveldt of South Africa, the plains of Zambia and the desert of Namibia. These wholly original belts are fastened with sculptural buckles in the shape of elephant or cheetah heads. The to-die-for buckles were created by Clara’s husband and design partner, Misha Berger, whose background is in both sculpture and jewelry.
Clara is best known for her red-carpet-ready evening bags and minaudières, many encrusted with Swarovski crystals. This fall Clara’s evening bags combine leopard prints with smooth leather inserts. Minaudières close with double faced heads of cheetahs. There are bracelets, too, in both copper and dark brass, which feature double-faced cheetah or elephants closures.
Inspired by Leo Tolstoy’s classic book, the period and the film starring Keira Knightley, Clara has designed evening bags embellished with Russian broadtail & sheared mink. “I remember,” she says, “Russian dolls dressed like Anna Karenina, who, though a fictional figure, was universally known in Russia. The dolls wore a typically 19th century fashion – a tight-fitting jacket and skirt that billowed to the floor. The outfit was green and adorned with Russian broadtail.” This fond memory inspired Clara to create broadtail (now often called Astrakhan, after a city in Russia) handbags. These creations, carried in the evening to dinner, the theatre or a special event, project quiet luxury without foregoing sensual appeal.
Tassels are popular in Asia as ornaments on everything from hand fans to shoes (Chinese women used them to draw attention to their feet), at the ends of belts and as bookmarks. Depending on the culture, tassels have been used as symbols of love, protection, status, prayer and decor. In ancient Japan, a samurai would hang silk-braided tassels from his sword as a protection in fighting battles. Clara just adores decorative elements and has discovered the ornamental value of tassels from China and Japan, Thailand and Korea. “They are so charming, and they add panache to an evening bag or purse. Don’t you agree, darling?”