The History of the Clutch bag

We took the inspiration from the long history of the women’s Clutch bag, to create, for the first time ever at Lukacs Laszlo Vienna a woman’s bag. Our design is inspired by the powerful story of all women, about their social status and their passion. We celebrate all that women represent and our bag is a tribute to all the loved females in our lives.

After World War 1, women’s apparel changed drastically in keeping with the times. Gone were the restrictive corsets and superfluous layers. Gone were the frills and softness of the Victorian era. They simply did not fit in with the lifestyle of the more independent and fun-loving women.

The clutch bag sees its conception in the 1920’s when short hair and small pochettes, the first version of the clutch were the top fashion must haves of the day. The designs of clutches in 1920’s were reflective of the women of the time – sleek and sharp.

The clutch became so popular as it was seen to be flattering to the shape of a woman’s body, where she was able to keep a streamlined silhouette. Featuring geometric motifs, it no longer needed to be precisely coordinated with the outfit, as was the case in previous decades.

In the 1930’s, a slight variation to the pochette led to the creation of the clutch as we know it and also led to the introduction of glamour. Crafted from gold or silver, and featuring jewels, they were the go-to choice for film stars. Varying in designs and shapes, from animals to cupcakes, they were the evening choice for the rich and famous.

Clutches are definitely one of the items that cannot be missed in a girl’s wardrobe. They have been a hit on the runways for so many seasons. But what you might not know is that the ‘finger purse’ as they were called, actually originated in the 1930s and was associated with Hermés. Hermes was the main leather bag designer in those days.

Over in America, the financial crisis that originated from the Wall Street crash in 1929 obligated the market to manufacture products with cheaper materials, like the baquelitte plastic. This synthetic gave the bags a more rigid and shiny aspect, and women often chose them frequently in colours to match their dresses. The more elegant ones were wrapped in more elaborate fabrics and was a social differentiator. As the ladies never brought more than gloves and lipstick to social events, the bags remained finger-size and clutch like.

Once the woman’s presence in the job market grew, so did the bags and the clutches were temporarily forgotten. Women now had to take more items with them, like wallets, make up, keys and, much later, cell phones (which were quite large initially). It was only in the first decade of the 21st century that designer and trendsetter Alexander McQueen brought the clutch back to the fashion industry. In elaborate and glamorous versions, the small hand-bags became and remain a real must have for social events.

The clutch in the 1960’s was viewed as more of a symbol of youth, on trend and complimenting the mini skirt.

Nowadays, this fashion accessory is popular for more festive events, such as weddings or when out partying, where only the essentials need to be carried about.

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