In choosing a purse, you can either go for function or fashion statement.
This Dominique Aurientis black suede drawsting purse, with a fancy hanky drop and gilt filigree tassels, is definitely statement, and a big one at that.
It's opulent without being overly decorated, and very fashionable. Hard to believe this bag is from the late 1980s because its fantastic silhouette and versatility are so contemporary.
Fashion accessories such as our purse and jewelry made by Frenchwoman Aurientis are highly-prized by collectors, almost in the same ranks as the other iconic French names: Coco Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior.
The House of Dior honed Aurientis's designer instincts. While studying at the Sorbonne University, she took a part-time job at Dior and "discovered her calling". After four years at Dior, and design jobs at Givenchy and Isabel Canovas, she started her own eponymous company in 1986. According to her, she loves doing accessories, "because you could play with all the materials". But she started out with jewelry "because jewelry sells well".
Interviewed a few years ago, she said, "every piece is handmade, every chain is designed, every stone is cut specially." In the late 1990s, she adopted two children in Brazil and relocated her jewelry business to Bali, working with local artisans and exploring traditional and eco-friendly methods. She moved back to Paris in the 2000s and now lives and designs from Provence. The interview says that Aurientis opened an online store, but we couldn't find any link that works. It also says she worked as a consultant for Emilio Pucci.
Our purse is from Aurientis's early days. It has been described as Russian-inspired, showcasing a gilt soutache (or Russian braid) at the center of a luxurious black suede backdrop. The chevron-shaped bottom of the bag is lined with gilt filigree balls.
The purse closes at the top by pulling a pair of thick, shimmery gilt cords. The cords are the color of dark gold with an olive green cast. They have tassels at the ends with a combination of gilt filigree balls and squares, and large baroque glass pearls.
The cords are also extra long, allowing for a few options on how to wear this purse. You can tie them into a knot close to the tasseled portion and wear this crossbody, or maybe put the knot closer to the center for a shoulder bag look. The cords are even long enough to tie around your waist, so this becomes a fanny pack.
The bag measures 10" tall and 9" wide, including the gilt ball fringe. The cord pull has a length of 64", with the top of the purse open. It has a Dominique Aurientis satin tag on the inside of the bag.
Our purse is in overall excellent condition. It's very clean and shows minimal wear. The black suede is not "blackest" black as you'd see in new suede, but has aged nicely, so it has a warmer, softer overall look but still black. The soutache is a dark gilt color, with no fraying; no visible fraying on the cords as well. We un-knotted the cords so you could re-tie them any way you want. The gilt balls and squares are still richly gilt, with no visible wear; same with baroque pearls.
Aurientis Opulent Drawstring Purse, 1980s: Black Suede, Gilt Braid, Filigree & Faux Pearl Tassels
USPS Priority Mail Small Flat Rate Box
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