I can honestly say I did not know what the word minaudière meant until this year. I don’t even think I had ever seen it written or heard it spoken. And then all of sudden…it is everywhere. Of course that is because a minaudière is part of almost every evening ensemble in fashion magazines.
According to Wikipedia, minaudière (pronounced mē-nōd-ˈyer) is a women’s fashion accessory, generally considered a jewelry piece, intended to substitute for an evening bag. A case with compartments, it allows storage for several items in a small space, such as a makeup compact, lipstick, watch, reading glasses, or keys.
According to Oxford Dictionaries, the word is French, and literally means ‘coquettish woman’.
The minaudière appeared during the 1930s. Its invention is attributed to Charles Arpels, of Van Cleef & Arpels. They are usually hard-sided and small enough to be nestled in the hand. Some have an attached chain or a lanyard to go around the wrist.
Judith Leiber is a designer that makes some of the most unusual and high-end minaudières. There are vintage ones that are coveted and then there are very affordable newer versions…and everything in between. Some are encrusted in jewels or come in novelty designs from sea creatures to pastries. Others are made of leather, exotic skins, satin, or metallic materials. There truly is a design option for any taste.
Also, if you are a DIY kinda gal…why not make your own. Here is a tutorial from Honestly…WTF.