Seamless Micro Purse

Went on a little vacation, completely emptied out my bedroom (threw out everything except for the extreme essentials) and because of the heat wave this past week I lost 10 lbs by default-I’m feeling very light. It’s been so hot that the thought of eating anything grosses me out, which is why I couldn’t even bring myself to post about food. I’ve been drinking naked juices and Poland spring seltzer.

So I was thinking about what my next bag design would be. Flavor wise I was really feeling something boxy and trapezoidal, very Jackie-O, but it would have to be updated in a major way. What would be the twist? While looking at some origami, I got the answer.

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I love how origami has this stiff look, all the edges are razor sharp and the 3-d shape very strict and geometric. I wanted to apply this origami concept to my next leather bag but how? Leather doesn’t fold like paper, in fact it just flops around. Scoring would never work because you’d have cut marks everywhere. The challenge would be how to design and construct a bag without seams.

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Without the use of stitches, a sewing machine, or glue, the clever application of folding paper can yield 3-d shapes with impeccable craftsmanship. So methodical and
cold, but still made by hand.

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After a few days of frustrating experimentation, I finally got this leather to mimic the texture of origami. Creating a seamless purse was challenging, but a purse without seams turned out to be even more structured and pristine than one with seams. When you seam something there will always be a curvature. You will never get a perfect corner. But with paper origami, these sharp edges are possible. And no matter how well you stitch leather, a stitch eventually has to cut away from the leather, and there is always a chance for a loose stitch (Esp at pressure points). But with this folded leather, nothing can come loose because this bag is derived from one pattern piece. Ultimately this design is about cutting to the essence of a bag’s shape in the most simple and direct way possible, without relying too much on machines or the crutches of decoration or pattern making. Most of you with some design experience will know that eliminating is much harder than adding.

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Stitches are only used to top stitch the edges. This detail is both aesthetic and functional, it just seals the edges and gives a finished look to the bag. But seams were not used to build it’s 3-d shape.

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What I was really looking for, corners that were incomparable to that of a turned out seam for a hyper boxy feeling.

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With this set, I included two calf-hide styles. When I merchandise a design I hate to deviate from it’s original idea. It’s got to be one design in five different colorways. Only then you can see how the different materials react to the design. It’s like in a science experiment, you have independent and dependent variables. The design is the dependent variable, and the materials/colors are the independent. That way you can test what succeeds best. I’ve done so many tests already and black is ALWAYS the most popular color. But maybe the hot pink has a chance this time? We’ll see, it’s my favorite color out of this set. While the leathers bend and fold into sharp edges, these calf hides are slightly different. You can see that even with it’s sharp edged structure, the unruly hairs still overpower these sharp edges.

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Now to the important part, the lining. As if leather isn’t already expensive enough, I had to add leather lining. But since this bag is small, I thought it would be nice to go all the way. On the inner flap of the bag, I added padding for a plush feeling.

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Extra attention was added to one of the inside flaps, where credit card slip pockets would be part of the design. There is also one zip pocket on the other side for cash.

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The bag folds and clips shut, the magnetic snaps are so strong that they will shut themselves upon close contact.

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For one of the other calf hide styles, I use one that was shaved and sculpted into a snake skin pattern. One of my favorite materials and brought from Italy.

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All of the bags are available in the shop. Thanks for reading.