Ex­otic Skins

Louis Vuit­ton cel­e­brates its haute maro­quinerie ser­vice with a world­wide launch event in Sin­ga­pore. Kay Fong dis­cov­ers the world of pos­si­bil­i­ties this be­spoke ser­vice of­fers

Indonesia Tatler - - Style Spotlight -

ick a shade of python, then ac­cent it with a pre­cious stone such as agate. Or would you pre­fer a stun­ning piece of crocodil­ian leather, its beauty aug­mented by hand-painted strokes. Then, there are ex­quis­ite os­trich and lizard op­tions for a clas­sic ap­peal. And we haven’t even started on fur yet.

The jour­ney of cre­at­ing some­thing that is truly unique, with ac­cess to an ex­ten­sive range of rare skins and Louis Vuit­ton’s renowned savoir faire is part of the magic of its haute maro­quinerie ser­vice. The mai­son’s ori­gins lie in craft­ing be­spoke trunks for its clien­tele of well-heeled bour­geoisie un­der the stew­ard­ship of its epony­mous founder. While it con­tin­ues to equip its jet-set­ting clients with cus­tomised trunks to ac­com­pany them on their trav­els, Louis Vuit­ton has also ex­tended this tra­di­tion to its haute maro­quinerie ser­vice, where its most ex­clu­sive cus­tomers are given the op­por­tu­nity to add a touch of their own style and per­son­al­ity to the mai­son’s iconic bags.

Es­tab­lished in 2011, this ser­vice al­lows cus­tomers a chance to ex­plore dif­fer­ent colours and tex­tures of leather, en­abling them to put their own stamp of cre­ativ­ity on the mai­son’s cov­etable bags, in­clud­ing the Noe, Tri­an­gle, Lockit, Mi­laris, Neo Steamer and the lat­est ad­di­tion, the new clas­sic Ca­pucines.

With the in­clu­sion of the Ca­pucines bag style in the haute maro­quinerie ser­vice in Septem­ber 2015, Louis Vuit­ton al­lows cus­tomers to ex­plore their cre­ativ­ity with a style that takes its name from the very foun­da­tions of the brand, as the mai­son opened its first bou­tique sell­ing trunks on rue Neuve-des- Ca­pucines in Paris in 1854.

The style it­self was first seen on the run­ways in 2013 and is known for its sin­gle or tri­coloured de­sign. While the shape and form of the Ca­pucines is one that is clas­sic, it has also lent it­self to play­ful­ness and dra­matic colour, with in­ter­est­ing vari­a­tions in ma­te­rial com­bi­na­tions. The ul­tra-wear­able shape and soft leather give the bag an al­most-ca­sual feel, mak­ing it easy to carry ev­ery day.

Ul­ti­mately, how­ever, the bag is all about her­itage. As ex­pected with Louis Vuit­ton, the beauty lies in the de­tails. The out­line and en­graved riv­ets sub­tly ref­er­ence the brand’s sig­na­ture, age-old trunks, while the qua­tre­foil clover petal and rings con­nect­ing the bag

and the han­dle are sub­tle nods to the brand’s jew­ellery col­lec­tions.

De­spite its clas­sic shape, the bag has great po­ten­tial for orig­i­nal­ity, as the crux of the haute maro­quinerie ser­vice is that the po­ten­tial lies in the hands of the cus­tomer. Whether you pre­fer your Ca­pucines in a mini BB or medium MM size, the pos­si­bil­i­ties are end­less. There are count­less per­mu­ta­tions avail­able, with 26 calf leather and 16 crocodile leathers to choose from, and the op­tion of 27 goatskin or lamb­skin colours for the lin­ing.

You can opt for gold or pal­la­dium hard­ware for the fi­nal touch, and for a dash of flour­ish, you can also opt to em­boss your bag with a 25-char­ac­ter per­son­alised mes­sage. This ser­vice is of­fered at The Shoppes at Ma­rina Bay Sands flag­ship store, Ngee Ann City and Ion Or­chard bou­tiques, and the process can take from five to 12 months. The bag is truly a feat of hand­crafts­man­ship, and re­quires over 300 com­plex steps that in­clude se­lect­ing by hand only the finest qual­ity leathers, fin­ish­ing the edges, and stitch­ing the leather.

On Septem­ber 22, Louis Vuit­ton hosted in Sin­ga­pore its first-ever world­wide, largescale event for its haute maro­quinerie ser­vice, and of­fered a wide range of ex­otic, bright-coloured leathers. The use of ex­otic skins is quite an achieve­ment given the del­i­cate na­ture of these leathers, which must be ma­nip­u­lated care­fully to main­tain the Ca­pucines’ trade­mark sup­ple­ness.

The Ca­pucines is the per­fect can­vas to cus­tomise a bag unique to an in­di­vid­ual. Its place firmly ce­mented in the mai­son’s his­tory, its fu­ture can only move for­ward cre­atively, in the con­fi­dent hands of Louis Vuit­ton’s leather crafts­men.

The use of ex­otic skins is quite an achieve­ment given the del­i­cate na­ture of these leathers

What goes into the mak­ing of a Louis Vuit­ton haute maro­quinerie bag?

Style can­vas

All wrapped up A suede bow is tied around the Ca­pucines bag in nat­u­ral python for 48 hours to main­tain its form

Hand made Choos­ing the best patch of leather for the han­dles and edges of a python bag is a mas­ter­ful skill (above); set­ting the LV ini­tials (left)

The flap of the Ca­pucines bag is man­u­ally shaped Prepar­ing the cladding for the LV mono­gram logo The han­dle of the Ca­pucines bag is hand-cladded with the same ex­otic leather as the bag

Just some of the tools and el­e­ments needed to craft, by hand, an ex­otic Ca­pucines bag in the PM size The lin­ing of the bag and the al­li­ga­tor leather are stitched to­gether

Pre­ci­sion is key, as the ar­ti­san cal­cu­lates the thick­ness of the leather

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