Leather And Neon And Stripes, Oh My! Clare Vivier Talks About Her Holiday Edition Clutches

clare-vivier-2Shop It Now Refinery29 pals, spoiler alert: Ladies we love are totally getting one of these super-adorable Clare Vivier bags under their tree. Not only are they the perfect size — room for a wallet, cosmetics, and mittens — but they are just the right type of bag to take from the office to your nighttime adventures. And, we don't have to tell L.A.-ers, but for the rest of you: Clare Vivier is kind of a big deal. With an adorable Silver Lake freestanding boutique and the coolest spots in the nation (Steven Alan, Helen Yi, Bendel's, Anthropologie) carrying her wares, her foldovers and envelopes are serious go-tos for easy-breezy gals. So, when we had an opportunity to team up with Vivier on our own Holiday Edition collection, we thought: Locally produced leather, a streamlined French aesthetic, and cheerful pop-art colors? Where do we sign up? (Answer: At Reserve, where you can scoop these stunners today!)
Wow! From France to Los Angeles! How did your time in France affect your designs?
  "I'm American. I grew up in Minnesota. I lived in Paris 15 years ago, and I met my French husband there. We spend a fair amount of time there every year, and I definitely feel like a French aesthetic influences my work. I try to make chic, unfussy designs which could become classic pieces — all attributes I associate with French design."
And in which way have you embraced the aesthetics of L.A.?
"Actually, strangely enough, L.A.'s is similar to a French aesthetic in that it is often very minimal, and I appreciate that about Los Angeles design."
Will animal print ever stop being the epitome of cool? (We say no.) What about it makes it so classic and desirable? 
"Gosh, I just think it won't. It has gone beyond standing the test of time; It's just chic and cool."
You have two variations of two styles for this collab: The stripe and the leopard print. Why did you choose these two for Refinery 29? What do you like about each? 
"Neon continues to drive me crazy, just a touch with neutral is definitely addictive. And the animal print on leather is a breakthrough for us because, while I love the print, I don't always love working with hair-on-hide."
Which one would you choose for yourself?
"I will have to have one of each. One of the darker leather with the spots and one with the neon-yellow stripes."
When you were working on this collaboration, what was on your mood board? Any songs? Books? Movies? Images? Phrases? What were you hoping to evoke?
"They kind of came from two different inspirations, but they both work well together! The spots emerged from a late-1960's Belle Du Jour period in France. I feel like this pattern is one that Deneuve could have worn. And the neon-striped clutches are derived from my Pochette, which I initially made of undyed leather. One day, I saw a woman from a distance wearing bright-pink pants and neutral pumps. She was so far away, I couldn't tell if she actually looked good or if the actual pieces she was wearing were cute or not, but one thing that I couldn't get out of my head were those two colors together: It has been a huge source of inspiration for me!"  
What is your favorite special-occasion bag? What makes it so special to you?
"I don' t have one. I carry my own clutches for everything — from black-tie soirees to a super-casual movie date with my husband, they're dream companions for me: I haven't run into a time when they didn't work."

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