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In the clutch

By Erin Carlson

Making the rounds on the social circuit, and perusing countless photos of parties and galas and triple-VIP events, we here at the Gazette can always be sure to spot the tiniest of purses on the most fashionable of women. For those not fluent in handbag-lingo: Those tiny purses are called clutches, and we’re endlessly fascinated. How does one pack such an accessory when prepping for an epic night that may involve sneaking away to re-apply lipstick, brush wayward hair follicles back in place and snap a chic bathroom selfie to post on Instagram? On a mission for answers, we approached three of our all-time favorite fashionistas, each with a style uniquely her own. Here, Deepa Pakianathan, Yurie Pascarella and Stephanie Marver share their statement-making wardrobe staples and the stories behind them. Tip: If you’re addicted to your iPhone, this page is not for you.

Stephanie Marver

The efferverscent philanthropist, a connoisseur of high fashion, adores this glittery Judith Leiber because it reminds her of how she met husband Jim Marver. Says Marver, “Jim and I met through the Ballet and we love the art form and have both supported it for decades, and this is our homage to Swan Lake.” The Troll doll is her nod to daughter Carissa, who wants Marver to “take a little piece of her with me when I go out!” She also makes sure to bring Aquaphor lip moisturizer rather than a tube of Tom Ford, explaining: “I don’t like to put lipstick on in public.”

Deeva Pakianathan

The stylish, risk-taking venture capitalist showed us her Alexander McQueen accessory, in which she always totes a “credit card, cash, cell phone (iPhone 7 with no case), lipstick and lip pencil.” McQueen is among her go-to designers for clutches, clothes and shoes, “as many of their collections work with my ‘look,'” she says. “Fashion is indeed a very personal interpretation of wearable art!” When we met with Pakianathan, she had a valet card tucked within the mini-bag, which could also double as a very attractive (and, yes, wearable) wallet.

Yurie Pascarella

“It was made especially for Bergdorf Goodman’s 111th anniversary,” the elegant Pascarella says of her charming Leiber and collector’s item. “It does have a little chain attached to it which I never use.” Her New York-based personal shopper, the esteemed Betty Halbreich, had advised Pascarella: “This is very special.” The clutch’s design is based on a chandelier that hangs in the famous department store. Inside, she stocks just a few things: “Lipstick, a tiny little mirror and some cash­—always, some cash.” Meanwhile, “I’m not married to my cell phone,” she notes. “You’re there to enjoy yourself, not to take pictures or text people.”

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