By  on September 10, 2008

At Vivienne Tam’s runway show Tuesday night, the audience got a glimpse of a pared-down notebook computer the designer calls a “digital clutch” because it’s so small and lightweight it can be tucked under an arm like an envelope bag.

The lacquerlike cover and inside are injected with a red and lavender peony print. “I wanted to elicit the sense of happiness of being surrounded by beautiful flowers in the garden,” said the designer, who is known for her use of color and prints. She collaborated with Hewlett-Packard on the design. “Women travel so much, we need a thin computer and a fun and fashionable one,” she said. Tam currently uses an Apple laptop.

The HP notebook will come out next year and weighs less than a pound, the designer said. It will have a hard drive, she added. Hewlett-Packard plans to reveal more details about the computer when it ships, said a spokeswoman.

The computer will match Tam’s spring collection of clothing, accessories and shoes.

“Consumers today are driven as much by fashion, taste and design as they are by price, power and function,” said HP marketing vice president David Roman in a statement.

The many layers of the peony — Tam’s favorite flower and the national flower of China — remind her of the modern woman in all her multifaceted, multitasking glory, she said. It also fuses Asian and Western cultures as well as antiquity and modern style, fashion and technology.

HP has partnered with Glam to create a Web site for the launch,, where visitors can see a virtual catwalk with Tam’s designs, virtually dress themselves in Tam’s clothes, and download digital accessories such as a screen saver and wallpaper. Tam plans to launch an online store, but no date has been set.

Tam said she tried to bring a sense of life to the computer with her design. “I love working on colors because colors give life,” said Tam.

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