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It's not often that a bag stumps me as much as the Chanel shell clutch has this morning. Is it an inspirational piece of art? Is it obscene? I just don't know.

I can usually form an opinion quite quickly judging the accessory by the brand, the fabric, the design - let's face it, a handbag is the easiest thing to make an immediate yes or no decision on. It's not like a dress that looks amazing on the hanger but awful when you try it on (worst feeling ever) or putting on a shoe that you love but realised you can't walk in. As I'm unable to provide a strong argument either way, I'm going to leave it in your hands! Here are the facts about the Chanel's mysterious shell...

The design: Karl Lagerfeld always creates jaw-dropping shows, and the Spring 2012 catwalk was no exception. Inspired by the ocean, the whole collection had an 'under the sea' edge, with coral reef handbags and the shell clutch reflecting the seabed.

The fabric: There are two versions of the clutch - one made from a pearly resin and the other inlaid with fresh water pearls - both of which replicate the shape of a beautiful shell. The almost iridescent finish on the ivory shell gives a magical shine, and the fresh water pearls are soft in colour, adding to the femininity of the bag.

chanelshell2.jpgPros: It's certainly one of the most conversational bags I've seen in a while, and despite its prop appearance, it is a fully functional clutch. From the runway we've seen that it fits perfectly in the hand and can be carried by the ball of the shell or the lip.

Cons: It's £18,350 for the ivory shell, I can't even begin to imagine how much the pearl encrusted version is. Ok so it does come under "outstanding pieces" on the website, but could you ever pay that much for bag you would only use on occasion?

We want to know what you think of the Chanel shell clutch. Let us know in the comments below, on our Facebook page or via Twitter!

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