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ANATOMY OF A T0-DIE-FOR DESIGNER EVENING BAG: FROM IDEA TO SKETCH TO PRODUCT AND BEYOND by Peggy Healy

At the May Accessorie Circuit trade show in New York City we were blown away by a new evening bag from Clara Kasavina, the ready-for-the-red-carpet designer line of clutches, purses, minaudières and fashion jewelry.  (So red-carpet-ready are her bags that at least three celebrities wore one at the party of the year, the Met’s Costume Institute Gala, sponsored by VOGUE and exhibiting the clothes of Schiaparelli and Prada.) But back to the to-die-for evening bag we saw at the show and the beautiful permutations it spawned.  What was the inspiration? How do such beautiful, must-have bags come to be? Which comes first, the components or the design? To find out, we went to the source – designers Clara Kasavina and her husband and collaborator, Misha Berger.

She said:  What happened, darling, is I went to a Swarovski presentation and fell madly in love with their new marquise-cut crystals in Denim blue. They came up with a whole new crystal shape! So I was very influenced by this.

He said: What I like is that Swarovski came out with the marquise in three sizes….

She said:  Swarovski said that their creative people drew inspiration from Shanghai, Bangkok and....

He said:  As soon as Clara said “Shanghai” to me, a picture of a Chinese fan popped into my head.

She said:  Then Swarovski invited Misha to design a bag using the marquise crystals for their platform at the Accessorie Circuit Show this coming August.

He said:  I was under deadline – they wanted it finished by the time of the Accessorie Circuit – so I got to work, sketching out a fan-shaped bag, encrusted with different sizes of the marquise crystals.  I did the first one in Denim blue.

She said:  Then I took Misha’s design, turned it upside down, embellished it with clear crystals, draped it with marabou feathers and named it Larissa-- so feminine and so sparkling, darling. don’t you think?

He said:  Somehow when the moment of creativity comes, it should be a flash and not something labored.  That’s what happened with the Samira bag.

Are you luxurious in your tastes?  Yes?  Then the creations of Clara Kasavina are for you. And here’s where they took Samira next: