Though it's been a while since we've needed to carry a party bag, it’s fair to assume just about everyone is ready for a splashy night on the town. And if you’re keen to mirror the spirit of The Roaring Twenties, skip the standard clutch and reach for an elegant minaudière, instead. According to The Fairchild Books Dictionary of Fashion, the minaudière is a small, rigid metal evening bag made in oval, oblong, or square shapes and used to hold cosmetics.
It’s a decorative piece that’s often embellished with jewels and loads of sparkle. Its name is likely derived from the French verb minauder, which means to smirk. It gained popularity when sold by Cartier in New York and patented by Van Cleef & Arpels, a creation of the luxury jewelers since 1933. Van Cleef & Arpels, Charles Arpels drew inspiration for the design from socialite Florence Jay Gould who "carelessly [stowed] her worldly accessories in a simple metal box." Arpels created the perfect vanity case and intended it to hold everything from lipstick and a mirror to a cigarette holder and powder compact.
What Is A Minaudière?
The minaudière is a small, rigid metal evening bag made in oval, oblong, or square shapes and used to hold cosmetics.
This iconic accessory has morphed over time, beautifully representing the period it lives within, from Art Deco to the 21st century. If your evening look could use a splash of dazzling elegance, consider one of the minaudières ahead.
Though priced like a collectible, this vintage minaudière from the OG is worth drooling over.
Judith Leiber is another luxury designer who is famed for her collection of bejeweled minaudières, often in attention-grabbing silhouettes, like this decked-out avocado.
A giant pearl is just the kind of bag your night-out look is in need of.
Reach for the stars—literally. This statement clutch is embellished with crystals and boasts a gold-colored brass handle.
The elegant silhouette combined with a sparkling topper makes this option a timeless pick.
We love the tie-dye ombre effect on this evening piece from Alexander McQueen.
You can always count on a bold accessory from this modern British house. This egg-shaped clutch is elegant and unique, making it the perfect bag for special occasions.
This is the kind of vintage accessory you’ll be asked about constantly. The brassy gold color and intricate details make it a must-have.
This metallic gold minaudière feels luxurious and refined. We’d wear this with a silk slip dress and strappy sandals.
Seashells make every outfit better. This summer-ready bag comfortably holds all iPhone models and comes with a detachable chain.
The perfect way to incorporate a pop of color.
A dazzling fish makes for the perfect party companion if you ask us.
Another gorgeous vintage option you’ll wear endlessly.
Tortora PG, Keiser SJ, Abling B. The Fairchild books dictionary of fashion. New York: Fairchild books; 2014.