Scout’s Honor: Olympia Le-Tan’s Moonrise Kingdom-Inspired Clutches

by Emma Orlow

When I was younger, I lasted in my local chapter of the girl scouts for a whole two weeks before I quit. In that time frame I never got any cool patches or anything, but I did get to sell and eat lots of those delicious thin mint and coconut-y cookies. And although all of the women who ran my sect of the girl scouts were extremely pretentious, I’ve always secretly found scout culture interesting.

Wes Anderson’s new movie, Moonrise Kingdom, follows the relationship between Sam (Jared Gilman), a Khaki Scout who’s considered to be “emotionally disturbed because his parents died” and Suzy (Kara Hayward), a girl living with her family in a house nearby the troops, who is allegedly a “troubling child” because she has a deeper attachment to her books and records than to her family. After meeting at play, Sam and Suzy become pen pals and plan to run away, packing only their necessities. In Sam’s case this is his scout survival gear, but in Suzy’s it’s a suitcase filled with her plastic record player, a Françoise Hardy record, her kitten, a pair of left-handed scissors, and six books she stole from her school library. In essence, these items represent the saturated whimsy of the movie. In reality if two twelve year olds ran away, they would probably need more to shelter themselves; however, Moonrise Kingdom is all about bestowing a temporary magical shield from dealing with adult problems.

I was recently listening to an NPR interview with Wes Anderson in which Anderson remarked that the pop-up book quality the film has to it (I like to think of it more as a moving dollhouse) was an intentional effect carried out to even the actual books he made for Suzy to read in the movie. Six artists were commissioned to create artwork for the books featured in Moonrise Kingdom, with titles such as The Disappearance of the 6th Grade and The Girl From Jupiter that epitomize the innocent angst that fills the film. Anderson even wrote passages for the books, that Suzy later reads aloud during the movie.

So for those of you, like myself, who were hoping for an injection of Suzy into our lives, we’ve just come one step closer. Now, we can hold one of Suzy’s very own books in our hands every day. I was stalking the website for my all-time favorite accessories designer, Olympia Le-Tan, today and came across an amazing discovery.

Parisian Olympia Le-Tan, began her line of hand-embroidered book clutches in 2009. The collection spawned from a love of literature, a passion she shared with her father, French illustrator Pierre Le-Tan, and her talent for embroidery inherited from her grandmother. Just this weekend, Le-Tan released the designs for her new series of clutches, and they’re inspired by the books featured in Moonrise Kingdom! So now, not only do I dream to read and watch more of Wes Anderson’s creations, but I want to wear them too!

Keep checking out Olympia Le-Tan’s site for more information on when the book clutches will be available for purchase.

Image courtesy of Olympia Le-Tan’s Tumblr.

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