De Stijl–inspired wire purse

As a precursor to my recent obsession with sartorial time travel via consignment-store clothes shopping, I searched far and wide (aka, online) for mod dresses and, more specifically, dresses in Mondrian-style patterns. Let’s get the first part out of the way: the proportions of ’60s sheath dresses and mine are not generally compatible.

Now the second part. Don’t judge me for not having already known that Yves Saint Laurent designed a Mondrian Collection of dresses, some of which are now housed in museums including the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, and The Met in New York. I know now!

Not having found a satisfactory specimen of the design’s progeny, I shifted gears—to wire work.

One way, or another, I’m gonna get ya
I’ll get ya, I’ll get ya get ya get ya get ya!

—Blondie, “One Way or Another”

De Stijl is close to my heart, not only because it’s brilliant, but also because it was the style of the first art project that my significant other and I did together. We designed jointly, each creating our own mockups, and it became an exercise in compromise as well because we didn’t necessarily agree on all the lines! We then bought square cubby wall shelves, black decal tape, and spray paint; measured, drilled, and made it happen.

Now I was inspired to make a wire bag. I already had most of what I needed, so I just had to buy another mesh, some brass wire (the closest the store had to yellow), and a clasp for clutch purses. This was most of my free time over the past week:

The space inside the purse is tight, but enough to carry essentials such as a credit card, keys, a pack of tissues… with room for a vial of perfume! On a weekend trip, I demonstrated this proof of concept with a sample of Floraïku Between Two Trees, which lists notes of grapefruit oil, mate absolute, and vetiver oil. This is one of my favorites from the discovery set and reminds me of a more refined version of Le Labo Vetiver 46. It leans “masculine” and teeters on the verge of smelling slightly dirty, especially if I’m wearing it after sweating a bit. The dirt is literal, as this is a very earthy scent lifted to a muted glow by the grapefruit note. Several minutes into the wear, the notes conspire to blend into a tea-like character. Overall, the scent is like moist soil and woody with a rich background that’s fruity but by no means trivial.

Between Two Trees is positioned by the brand as a “dark shadow” to be layered with another Floraïku fragrance to bring “power” to it. I did not try this as I wanted to experience each perfume fully on its own, but can imagine it adding depth and providing contrast to brighter fragrances.

The vetiver note reminds me distinctly of an Aveda herbal tea I fell in love with over 20 years ago, featuring licorice root. I have 5 different kinds of vetiver essential oil and vetiveryl acetate, and none of them smell like this. It appears also in Floraïku My Love Has the Colour of the Night, with gaiac oil, patchouli oil, and vetiver oil. This one is a dry, even astringent wood, greener than guaiacwood essential oil typically smells because of the patchouli, but that licorice root impression is unmistakable. I wish I knew what other ingredients these two perfumes have in common to create this effect.

3 thoughts on “De Stijl–inspired wire purse

  1. I loved your shelves joint project! It looks great! And it does remind me of YSL designs, but had you shown me a picture of that dress, while recognizing the image, I doubt I would have remembered the provenance (and that type of clothes absolutely doesn’t fit/flatter my body type 🙂 but I enjoy them visually).

    As someone who learned how to do with an even smaller bag during the Covid (normally my bags are huge and hold everything and then some), I can see that working, though the “see through” part bothers me a little if to thing about the purse as a functional piece vs. a fashion accessory.

    I need to wear my Floraiku set this summer: none of them will become a bottle, but they all are inoffensive enough to use them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! We were quite proud of it. 🙂
      The wire bag is actually not that see-through because it’s a double layer of mesh. I wouldn’t want one of those transparent plastic purses or backpacks either!
      Curious what your favorite Floraïku fragrance is/will be.

      Liked by 1 person

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