Louis Vuitton never fails to produce a good collab. This is no secret. The seriously luxurious fashion label has enlisted international pop-artists like Stephen Sprouse, Takashi Murakami and the ‘Iconoclasts’ collection saw six art and design legends including Karl Lagerfeld, Rei Kawakubo and Frank Gehryto decorate its LV-emblazoned wares, all to widespread acclaim. Their newest collaborator: artist Jeff Koons. The end result is gorgeous.
The artist-inspired collection is called Masters and is the art-fashion hybrid that would have actually kept me from being distracted throughout my days as a GCSE art student (trust me).
The Masters collection is a 51 piece collab, featuring imagery from the artist’s Gazing Ball painting series in which Koons drew a series of large hand-painted reproductions of paintings by the ‘Old Masters’ (from over 40 artists). Amongst them is Rubens’ The Tiger Hunt, Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Fragonard’s Girl with Dog and Van Gogh’s Wheat Field With Cypresses. The intention of this lust-worthy collection is to generate an appreciation for old works amongst a young audience by bringing them into contemporary pieces. In simpler words: making old classics the new classics! When asked about the Masters collection Koons said “I hope people understand my ideas, I hope they embrace them as a continuation of my effort to erase the hierarchy attached to fine art and old masters.”
The Masters collection takes several of these images (sans ornaments) and transfers them onto classic LV bag styles like the Speedy, the Keepall and the Neverfull, along with wallets, laptop cases and shawls. Each bag features the artists name prominently on the surface (for example: Van Gogh, Fragonard, etc.) in reflective gold or silver lettering. The bottom edge of each bag features Koons’ initials in the iconic LV style (this being the first time LV has shared its signature monogram logo). In return, a balloon bunny (Koons’ trademark) done in leather replaces the typical LV ID tag.
While you may be questioning the alterations to famous works of art – seeing them being used to sell a product – rest assured, the beauty of incorporating such renowned pieces is that it influences people to talk about art. Art is such a lovely form of escapism and so any way to create a larger appreciation around such classic art pieces is such a victory. It’s one thing to go and see Van Gogh’s work, but to wear it? Oh what an honour!
The collection (dropping on the 28th of April) will with no surprise be fairly hard to get hold of (which is no shock to any Louis Vuitton ‘die hards’ who are aware of LV’s notorious scarcity). Bags won’t be sold online (they’ll be available at select Vuitton stores and a New York-based pop-up shop, opening later this month). The collection will go on sale ranging in prices from $780 to more than $5000. So, what about those who can’t afford a ‘Mona Lisa bag’? “Well, they can walk by the window of Louis Vuitton and enjoy them,” Koons told The New York Times.
Well, it looks like I’m in for some window shopping, eh!
Words: Maija Lily