The fashion industry has gone off the deep end for Spring 2014, and I'm not simply talking about the oceanic ensembles we viewed on the runway this season. While cartoon-emblazoned sweatshirts and creepy crawler dresses are certainly daring, it's the idiosyncratic clutches and purses that are really igniting fashionable controversy — especially now that one on this list gained fame in the Solange-Jay-Z-Beyonce elevator tussle video.
These aren't mere spangled clutches which have come into vogue this season, but rather, a crop of handbags which resemble quotidian objects — or a few items you might not want to display in public. Designers channeled their favorite books, food, and even childhood cartoons to inject some fun into the everyday bag. However quirky Spring's clutches might be, the trend favors form over function, so don't expect to carry one of these little beauties to work in lieu of your oversized tote. These kooky clutches are for after-hours activities when you may want to strike up an impromptu conversation with a stranger, or simply amuse your best friends. Here are a few of the most eye-catching clutches on the market.
The Handcuff Clutch
Charlotte Olympia has always been ahead of the curve in terms of eccentric shoe design, but her clutches are especially memorable for their second take-inducing styles. Ms. Olympia's latest quirky wares include a kinky handcuff clutch, a golden teddy bear bag, and for those closet comic book fans, an Archie Comics-themed clutch, all available for a pretty penny on Net-a-Porter.com.
The Bambi Bag
Not to be overshadowed, Givenchy countered with a Bambi-themed collection which includes a black calf leather clutch with the doe-eyed Disney cartoon emblazoned across the front, just in case couture and childhood cartoons are two of your favorite things.
The Scary Sea Creature Clutch
If Jaws is your go-to summer flick, you may be amused to learn that accessories designer Edie Parker embraced a shark motif on one of her whimsical clutches this summer, atop a background that looks remarkably like rippling water in the right lighting.
The Bag Of Chips
This is the bag Solange was carrying at the Met Ball before her face-off with Jay-Z in the elevator — and the brand's taken full advantage of the free press by launching a new slogan for the clutch: "Worth fighting for." Even if it wasn't for the scandal, this bag would have caught my eye. Anya Hindmarch's newest offering complements the designer's grocery store-themed show, but takes the humble food shopping excursion to a higher level with her Crisp Packet Clutch.
The Petrol Purse
Karl Lagerfeld would have disappointed his eager audience if he didn't dream up another of his farcical interpretations of the trend for Chanel. On the rare occasion when you need both your purse and some extra fuel for your car, don't despair: Chanel's new gilded gas can purse has you covered. However, those who wish to avoid the wrath of Mr. Lagerfeld likely won't let their new clutches see the light of day, let alone a petroleum-filled gas pump.
Whether you can't wait to get your hands on a quirky clutch or find the trend repulsive, even the most cynical fashionista might crack a smile when she sees a giant gummy bear swinging from someone's shoulder as they bounce out of Bergdorf's.
Images: Givenchy Antigona Bambi Print Clutch, $445, Farfetch.com; Edie Parker Sharks Acrylic Clutch Bag, $1595, neimanmarcus.com; Charlotte Olympia Handcuff Perspex clutch, $1,295, net-a-porter.com; Anya Hindmarch Crisp Packet Clutch, $1595, us.anyahindmarch.com, Instagram/@maradxb