There’s something about the word “clutch” that doesn’t sit right with us. Especially when it’s prefixed with the word “man”. On the best of days, when we hear it, we think either female horse or car part, but catch us on a bad day and we cannot be held responsible for sullying young minds whose owners’ ears have not been covered up in time. Clutch is something you do to your mother’s hand when you are small and scared, not something you carry. “Envelope bag” sounds so much nicer. Especially when followed by the words “by Prada”. To be completely frank, Prada do some of the best bags out there. It stands to reason that they would also be one of the best at coming up with a name that both sounds rather manly and suave as well as instantly conjuring up images of clean-lined, rectangular perfection. Men do not want accessories that date. They prefer investment pieces. Classic designs. Designs based on concepts as simple as that of the envelope. Much like its paper namesake, this bag is based around the premise of the leather being cut into a rhombus shape, with the triangular side flaps being folded over a central rectangular area. The bag is then fastened with a simple lock in silver that snaps into place with that satisfying click you only get with luxury goods. We call it the click of money. The leather they’ve used here is that saffiano stuff that has become their trademark. It’s just rigid enough to hold its shape with a simple stitch up the sides and adds a little something special to the two-tone palette. Ideal for daywear. Fill it with papers and your iPad and place under your arm. Looks especially smashing against a backdrop of those floral padded jackets. For those more daring types, there is the version with the studded flap. Both the colour palette and stud arrangement echo those of the western shirts. The overall effect is rather Jon Voight in Midnight Cowboy, a look regularly hailed as sartorial genius. You could also, if you were the generous sort, use it as an envelope. Just add a stamp and post. Imagine the charming surprise of finding one of these among the usual pile of bills. And what’s better than spreading the joy of Prada? Sometimes it’s better to give than to receive.
by Natalie Dembinska