We’ve seen more fashion beauty inventions in the last few months than there were in entire decades in the past. 2017 is turning out to be the year of virtual reality and a ground-breaking player in AI fashion and 360˚ tools. Despite all these innovative new design platforms, tried-and-true tradition has remained a strong force in both fashion and beauty creations. This week, classic fashion took on a whole new meaning with Louis Vuitton’s new Masters collection of handbags and accessories inspired by great painters of the past. Rather than settle for holographic material and metallic-inspired trim, the iconic designer chose to cover its new products with famous artwork by names like Da Vinci, Van Gogh, and Rubens. They’re a welcome change of pace from wearable technology. Looks like it’s time for your wardrobe to take a little journey to the past.
THE MONA LISA
The first famed piece of art featured in this collection speaks for itself. Louis Vuitton’s Leonardo Da Vinci bags carry the iconic face of Mona Lisa, the most visited and written about portrait in all of painting. It’s a fitting way to introduce this new blending of art and fashion. Everyone’s will know this work right away so there’s no need to reel in the curious but uninformed audience. Each bag, backpack, and wallet boasts gold monogram serti and reflective metallic lettering. The trim comes in two colors. Pink if you want a strong, defined outline and turquoise if you prefer a color more closely related to the famous portrait. The turquoise trim is only available on the scarf and chain-link clutch. If you’re a purist, go for the fringed scarf free of trim.
GIRL WITH A DOG
French painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard seems an appropriate second painter to adorn Louis Vuitton’s Masters collection. He was a painter turned printmaker with a lust for the sensual and extreme. Yet, these qualities don’t come across in the image chosen to cover his bag. Far from being is most famous work, the simple “Girl with a Dog” is a calming piece of art communicating fun and youthful whimsy. Complemented with a pastel pink border, this is the perfect summer bag to give your outfit a spark of classic innocence. It’s a great conversation starter too.
THE TIGER HUNT
The most violent painting featured in the Masters Collection, this ebullient hunt illustrated by Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens is lot to take in. If you want to cause a stir with your handbag, this is the way to do it. Even the trim on these bags is surprisingly strong. Blue isn’t usually a powerful color, but the pure shade used here is deliciously vibrant. No scarfs available in this design. Perhaps that’s because it’s loud enough you only need to wear it once per outfit. Treat Louis Vuitton’s Rubens bags as statement pieces.
MARS, VENUS, AND CUPID
Walking around with a Titian handbag this summer is the perfect way to flaunt full frontal without wearing those mesh tops from Coachella. By far the raciest piece in the Masters collection, this design features an illustration of the moment when Cupid smote Mars and Venus with his romantic arrow. It’s pretty much hyper-sensual love printed onto a bag and silk scarf. Even the fuchsia trim screams romance. If you want to walk around toting affection in mythical proportions, this is the way to do it.
WHEAT FIELD WITH CYPRESSES
After some very emotive images from lesser known artists, Louis Vuitton ends their Masters collection with another name everyone will know. These last bags and scarves feature a gentle spring scene by none other than Vincent Van Gogh. Flowing pastels and a baby blue trim make this final entry the perfect one-two punch for your spring and summer wardrobe. Wear the bag and scarf together or separately. Either will boost any solid color outfit to the next level.
Thanks to lead designer Jeff Koons, the Masters collection works as both a fashion and a means to inform people about great artists from long ago. What a welcome change it is to look back with pride. When the world goes crazy for technology, it’s nice to see a little reverence for the past now and then.
— Julie Grossman