IN THE ST YLE OF

A GI­ANT OF THE MOD­ERN- ART WORLD TAKES HIS CUE FROM THE OLD MASTERS.

ELLE (Canada) - - Radar -

When you first set eyes on Jeff Koons’ new hand­bag col­lab­o­ra­tion with Louis Vuit­ton, you don’t just come away with a shop­ping list of cov­etable leather goods. The bags are also a good sub­sti­tute for an Art His­tory 101 syl­labus. In­spired by Koons’ own Gazing Ball paint­ings, the col­lab takes fa­mous works of Western art off the walls and lit­er­ally puts them on ac­ces­sories—da Vinci’s Mona Lisa on a Keepall week­ender, Frag­o­nard’s Girl with a Dog on a clutch, Ti­tian’s Mars, Venus and Cu­pid on a Nev­er­full tote, for in­stance. “We tried to choose works that would fully com­mu­ni­cate the pa­ram­e­ters of the project,” says Koons of the first in­stal­ment of his col­lec­tion with the his­toric French fash­ion house. “[There are] land­scapes but also dy­namic paint­ings, Baroque paint­ings [and] in­ti­mate paint­ings about love. Re­ally, [it is] the breadth of the canon of art his­tory from a present-day point of view.” Each bag in­cludes a short bi­og­ra­phy of the artist whose iconic work was trans­posed on the em­i­nently strok­able leather ex­te­rior.

This isn’t Louis Vuit­ton’s first rodeo in the mod­ern-art world. Pre­vi­ous (crazy-pop­u­lar) artist part­ners in­clude Cindy Sher­man and Takashi Mu­rakami. What’s unique here is that the Amer­i­can provo­ca­teur was al­lowed to rein­ter­pret the iconic “LV” with his own ini­tials—a first in the brand’s his­tory. It’s a nod to the col­lec­tion’s theme, which links var­i­ous parts of art’s his­tory to­gether. “You have the con­nec­tions right there in the artists link­ing with one an­other—like Rubens’ The Tiger Hunt, which is based on da Vinci’s The Bat­tle of Anghiari,” ex­plains Koons. “You have all these dif­fer­ent lev­els of in­ti­macy and emo­tion tak­ing place, and every­body is in­ter­con­nected.” n

The Masters Col­lec­tion bags, Louis Vuit­ton (from $1,690, louisvuit­ton.com)

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