When designing her first handbag collection, Monique Lhuillier stayed true to her label's signature style. The designer's just-launched line of 13 minaudières features details as intricate as those that appear in her bridal and runway collections, including bejeweled closures with faceted Swarovski Xilion crystals packed into handcrafted wire frames. "The mix of these materials is meant to create an emotional response when they touch your skin," Lhuillier tells InStyle in our September issue, on newsstands now and available for digital download. "The structure of the metal against the softness and sheen of the satin creates a sense of balance."
That means the clutches, which start at $1,895 and are available now at moniquelhuillier.com, work with any look, from the ballroom to brunch. "This piece is perfect for a gown, but I believe women in 2015 are not held by such conventions," says Lhuillier. "In the right moment, with the right attitude, accessories are chameleons. They take on the sensibility of the woman who wears them."
While they can be dressed up or down, one thing's for sure: the clutches are definitely decadent. "Faceted, glistening stones will always feels luxurious," says Lhuillier. "But I'm always trying to find that juncture of luxury and whimsy." Her approach to making the designs more fun? Adding a bit of bling. "Hardware can be so serious, but these loose stones are playful while still evoking a sense of fantasy," Lhuillier says. Plus, "The stones make a wonderful sound as they move over each other."
They may be beautiful to look at—and fun to listen to—but Lhuillier's favorite part about the handbags is less about the details and more about the woman carrying it. "These do more than just elevate what you're wearing," she says. "They also raise your spirits."
Scroll down to see our favorite pieces from the collection, available now at moniquelhuillier.com.
Stella Matte Minaudière
Sophia Stingray Minaudière