Louis Vuitton’s Artycapucines Collection 2022

Over the past four years, Louis Vuitton has commissioned artists to design their famous Capucine handbag. “Introduced in 2019, the project has been providing a carte blanche for internationally-acclaimed artists to offer a contemporary take on the Capucines. Techniques like 3D embroidery, digital printing and a host of handcrafted details rendered on a kaleidoscope of colours and textures have lined the previous editions.” (The Voice of Fashion)

It is one of those exciting instances where the worlds of fashion and art join forces. Where one begs to ask: Is it wearable art? Or collectable fashion? Both, perhaps, and it seems as if that was what the LV was going for. For it is one canvas: the Capucine handbag, with its iconic cut and shape. A blank slate for each artist to express their ideas and artistic vision, while collaborating with a master fashion house. A project like this is relished by both emerging and established artists, because quite frankly, its great publicity as well as reachability in terms of their work, career and name.

One of the masterpieces from the collection last year was Zeng Fanzhi’s portrait of Vincent van Gogh, using 42 coloured threads to make more than 700,000 stitches mimicking the Gogh’s own iconic brushstrokes.  

This year Louis Vuitton’s Artycapucines Collection has taken this further by commissioning six artists — Amélie Bertrand, Daniel Buren, Peter Marino, Park Seo-Bo, Ugo Rondinone, and Kennedy Yanko to work on this project.

French artist Daniel Buren known for his trademark vertical strips, transformed the handles into a graphic black-and-white circle that extends into the body of the bag. His Artycapucine comes in several bold colours, as well as black.

Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone transforms the Capucine into a rainbow vision, featuring a colourful harlequin pattern created with over 14,000 beads stitched by hand.

Louis Vuitton employed American artist Kennedy Yanko’s signature “paint skin” technique which transformed her Artycapucine into a sculptural object. Although, the bag is artfully crumpled, it’s still functional. It has a removable handle and a pouch underneath that functions as a sleeve so that you can carry the bag as a clutch.

Adapted from an original painting from his Écriture series, Park Seo-Bo’s Artycapucines recreates this moment he experienced in nature, meticulously translated into bag form with the assistance of his grandson, the designer Park Jifan. To recreate the painting, the bag’s calfskin was treated with a brushstroke-like “coup de pinceau” effect.

French artist Amélie Bertrand’s final piece has a bold ombré design inspired by the shades of the evening sky and a few hidden tricks. The handle is phosphorescent, and it glows in the dark after it has been “charged” by the sun. She adds sculptural elements and a thick chain to the front.

American architect Peter Marino got his inspiration from a medieval box as the bag features a full black exterior with matching studs, additionally the highlight of the design being the clasp, which can be slid sideways to lock or unlock the bag. 

Certainly a collector’s item for there are only 200 pieces of these bags available at a time, each piece retailing for a whooping $8,000! 

Artist, critic and a self proclaimed historian. I write about the this and thats, odds and ends, and etceteras of the art world.

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