For the fifth year in a row, the Artycapucines has returned to steal a spot in the wearable art realm with its stunning designs, created by five leading contemporary artists chosen by the Louis Vuitton Maison.
Louis Vuitton’s Capucines bag epitomizes both beauty and timeless appeal. Since its initial launch in 2013, the bag never lost sight of its purpose to accompany women in their everyday lives, regardless of their styles and preferences.
The famous handbag, designed by Nicolas Ghesquiére, is named after the Parisian street Rue Neuve-des-Capucines, where Louis Vuitton’s first store was in 1854.
To preserve its identity and capture the bag’s versatility, Louis Vuitton announced the birth of Artycapucines in 2019, the first limited-edition iteration of the Capucines bag, featuring talented artists from around the world invited by the house.
The 2023 edition sees the Artycapucines in a similar but fresh light. Louis Vuitton has featured five contemporary artists – Billie Zangewa, Ewa Juszkiewicz, Liza Lou, Tursic & Mille, and Ziping Wang – to bring their creative visions to the Capucines.
These five latest designs, limited to 200 pieces wrapped in specially designed boxes, become Louis Vuitton’s testament to the bag’s ability to unite artist talent with the ingenuity and craftsmanship of its masterful artisans. Exuding unbridled creativity, the 5th edition of the Artycapucines Collection combines the Maison’s emblematic Capucines with the unique vision of five leading contemporary artists.
American artist Liza Lou explores the notions of social consciousness and materiality through her sculptures, paintings, and large-scale installations. Draped and carefully embossed, Liza Lou’s sculptural Artycapucines recalls her signature beadwork, printed in pastel hues reminiscent of her emblematic Cloud paintings. Its delicate texture offers a contrasting layer against the smooth Capucines bag, perfectly framing the iconic Louis Vuitton clasp. For a trompe l’oeil effect, the Maison developed a new technology to emboss a woven glass bead pattern, carefully enveloping the Capucines to mirror the organic forms of the original oeuvres, while creating additional exterior pockets.
“Conceptual craftsmanship is at the core of all my work. With the team of artisans at Louis Vuitton, there was a shared love for experimentation and rigorous attention to detail.” ~ Liza Lou
BILLIE ZANGEWA (Header Image)
A South Africa-based artist born in Malawi, Billie Zangewa celebrates the amalgamation of gender, identity, and race in a socio-economic context through raw silk assemblages. Transposing her 2020 oeuvre, The Swimming Lesson, Zangewa’s Artycapucines bag depicts her son Mika on the edge of a glistening pool, adorned with hand-stitched beads and metallic thread to create a sparkling reflection, and three Monogram penguin charms in an ode to their enduring connection. In a fusion of art and fashion, Zangewa’s original bronze silk patchwork was scanned and printed in high definition, capturing its natural creases, and attached to the Capucines with deliberately uneven stitching. A recurrent theme of her piece, gold detailing outlines the pool edge and continues along the top of the bag, to the metallic LV signature.
“I have a love of texture and tactility so working with fabric was almost inevitable.” ~ Billie Zangewa
Chinese-born artist Ziping Wang explores the overwhelming visuals of digital advertising in the modern era through her paintings and illustrations, from still life to geometric patterns. Playfully reinterpreting the Maison’s codes through a kaleidoscopic lens, Wang’s mini-Capucines, the smallest Artycapucines created yet, combine a graphic motif reminiscent of the iconic Damier with chromatic adornments. Imbued with whimsy, the creation is evocative of candy wrappers and sweets. Animated with whimsical embellishments, the Capucines’ smooth surface is layered with a shimmering midnight-blue patent leather in a vibrant patchwork of textures and hues, to transform the iconic bag into a sweet treat – complete with a candy cane handle.
“I was extremely impressed by the details that were achieved in this bag: from the mint candy feet made of resin to the enamel gingerbread man who has LV Monogram flower buttons.” ~ Ziping Wang
TURSIC & MILLE
Serbian and French artists Ida Tursic and Wilfried Mille, collaborators for over twenty years, build their painting-on-painting technique with a uniquely liberated and conceptual approach. Tursic and Mille’s Artycapucines features detailed stitches and rich paint for sensory immersion, evoking the duo’s passion for melding together different mediums. Complete with a wood handle, the model nods to the artists’ canvases. Exemplifying unique savoir-faire, thousands of embroidery stitches reproduce brushstrokes from the artists’ 2021 painting, Tenderness, which are then meticulously printed onto the bag’s front panel in vibrant hues, to accentuate its depth. This process is repeated on the rear panel to transpose a kaleidoscopic palette, in a conceptual representation of perpetually starting over.
“That work is from a series of ‘sentimental’ paintings, which draw on the iconographic source of advertising images from the 1950s.” ~ Ida Tursic and Wilfried Mille
Polish artist Ewa Juszkiewicz deconstructs conventional ideas of feminine beauty, contrasting traditional European painting with the surreal to create hybrid figures. Juszkiewicz transforms her striking surrealist 2021 oil painting, Ginger Locks, reminiscent of a 19th-century portrait, into an inspiring Artycapucines bag. A delicate string of pearls adorns the side like a necklace, while a leather envelope hidden inside alludes to secret love letters of the past. Hand-sprayed, the gradated green background mirrors the original oeuvre to showcase the vibrant portrait, its details captured and reproduced in ultra-high definition using an innovative 3D-printing technique, which was also employed to camouflage the iconic LV signature.
“I wanted the bag to reflect the essence and character of my paintings. By combining various techniques and materials, like hand-dying and multilayered printing, the final effect is beautiful and sophisticated.” ~ Ewa Juszkiewicz
- Helen Siwak is the founder of EcoLuxLuv Marketing & Communications Inc and publisher of Folio.YVR Luxury Lifestyle Magazine, PORTFOLIOY.YVR Business & Entrepreneurs Magazine, and digital women's lifestyle magazine EcoLuxLifestyle.co. She is a prolific content creator, consultant, and marketing and media strategist within the ecoluxury lifestyle niche. Post-pandemic, she has worked with many small to mid-sized plant-based/vegan brands to build their digital foundations and strategize content creation and business development. Helen is the west coast correspondent to Canada’s top-read industry magazine Retail-Insider, holds a vast freelance portfolio, and consults with many of the world’s luxury heritage brands. Always seeking new opportunities and challenges, you can email her at [email protected].
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