In Review

Artful fashion: the season’s best collaborations

Fashion houses team up with contemporary artists

Berluti and Brian Rochefort collaboration

From paintings finished by a global list of contemporary artists to archival ceramics, the season’s best collaborations look widely for creative inspiration.

Here we round up some of the noteworthy team-ups.

Louis Vuitton and Henry Taylor

Louis Vuitton first introduced its Artycapucines project last year. Extending carte blanche to a selection of contemporary artists, the Parisian heritage brand has invited blue-chip names including Swiss creative Urs Fischer, Alex Israel and Yale School of Art alumnus Tschabalala Self to re-interpret its Capucines bag, a best-selling design named after the rue des Capucines, the address of Louis Vuitton’s debut boutique which opened in 1854.

This year’s Artycapucines class of six artists counts Brooklyn-based Josh Smith and Henry Taylor: at his Los Angeles studio, Taylor first finished A Young Master in 2017, working with acrylic paint. A portrait, with A Young Master Taylor captured his friend Noah Taylor, a fellow artist and founder of Los Angeles’ The Underground Museum. At Louis Vuitton’s master ateliers, artisans experimented with various printing methods to recreate Taylor’s painting in a leather bas-relief. “I’m sure Noah would get a kick out of people carrying the bag," says Taylor. “Asking themselves, ‘Who’s that on my bag?’”.

Berluti and Brian Rochefort

At Berluti, the heritage brand’s creative director Kris Van Assche has previously partnered with master makers – among Viennese brass workshop Werkstätte Carl Auböck and Royal College of Art trained designer Simon Hasan, who in his work adapts medieval leatherwork techniques – on homeware collections. For his first foray into ready-to-wear collaborations, Van Assche has called upon American ceramist Brian Rochefort. Van Assche is a keen collector of ceramics himself; his team-up with Rochefort took shape digitally and long-distance, forged between the Berluti ateliers in Paris and Rochefort’s Los Angeles studio. Van Assche says: “Right now, collaboration feels like a meaningful way to create something new.”

Michael Baumgarten Copyrighted

Celine and Tyson Reeder

Unveiled on camera as part of Celine’s Spring / Summer 2021 film shot at Monaco’s Stade Louis II football stadium, a collaboration between the brand’s creative director Hedi Slimane and American artist Tyson Reeder includes colourful nylon windbreakers, satin souvenir jackets and a cotton bucket hat. Slimane chose Reeder’s 2019 painting Autobahn, a pastel capture of fantasy foliage and stylised motorbikes against an azure blue and green background. Autobahn is exemplary of Reeder’s work, which singles out overlooked details in everyday scenes. His 2014 completed oil painting Sunset Van superimposes a vehicle with the idyllic capture of sundown by a beach.

“I love using painting as a kind of amplifier or distortion pedal,” says Reeder, whose work has been exhibited at New York’s Museum of Modern Art Library and at Office Baroque (Brussels) among other galleries. “A handful of dead-end subjects – trees, cars, buildings – are allowed to sing a new song of wilfully arbitrary colour and pattern.”

Yoox and Nico Vascellari

Nico Vascellari is no stranger to high-profile collaborations. The Italian artist previously finished anagram-like motifs for Fendi, featured across the luxury brand’s menswear and accessories. This winter, Vascellari – whose work has been exhibited at institutions including Paris’ Palais de Tokyo and the Villa Medici in Rome, among many others – has joined forces with online store Yoox.

“My work as an artist has always been inspired by collaborations that aim to make direct contact with a wider and more diverse audience than the one who generally visits museums,” says Vascellari. Launched earlier this December, Yoox’s engaging seasonal campaign “Holiday Beats. Not ur conventional music show” presents three conversations with a trio of creative forces aired weekly and touching on topics such as sustainability and diversity.

Vascellari is joined by British rapper Stefflon Don and Italian singer Mahmood; all three have finished a custom artwork adorning Yoox’s Holiday capsule collection, with proceeds from sales donated to charities chosen by each talent. For his charity, Vascellari chose the Fondo Forestale Italiano (the Italian Forestry Fund); in tune, his 2019 finished artwork centres on photographs the artist took “during a wonderful full-moon in the Cansiglio Forest while I was looking for animals in the twilight”.

Daniele La Malfa

Fendi and Sarah Coleman

Roman brand Fendi has invited Sarah Coleman to reimagine its boutique in Miami’s vibrant Design District. At her New York studio, Coleman dreamt-up chairs collaged with archival Fendi images printed on vintage magazine paper and cushions reupholstered using the material of a 1980s Fendi beach bag; a vintage rattan peacock chair has been given a new lease of life, coated in signature yellow acrylic paint.

To mark the occasion, Fendi has released a trio of limited edition takes on Silvia Venturini Fendi’s best-loved Peekaboo ISeeU bags. The three Fendi Artist Peekaboos are fashioned from embossed leather, phosphorescent (FF-shaped) beads and glow in the dark embroideries. Coleman’s warped, optical illusion take on Fendi’s storied FF repeat pattern is the result of Instagram picture editing app FaceTune.

Dior and Claire Tabouret

For this year’s fifth reprisal of its Lady Art project, Dior has gathered ten contemporary artists working across the world. The line-up includes iconic American artist Judy Chicago and Claire Tabouret. Trained at both Paris’ prestigious École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts and The Cooper Union in Manhattan’s East Village, Tabouret’s work has been exhibited widely and features in the permanent collections of institutions such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

The artist has finished two Lady Dior bags, now produced in a limited edition run: made from fake fur, one accessory captures a group of girls dancing; Tabouret’s leather Lady Dior is emblazoned with a self-portrait.

Loewe and Ken Price

For a seasonal capsule collection, Loewe creative director Jonathan Anderson turned to Ken Price, among other creations revisiting the American art ceramist’s designs for plates used in Newport Beach’s La Palme restaurant in the 1980s.

Prince’s colourful vistas now dazzle on Loewe ready-to-wear and accessories; elsewhere, the collaboration harvest the Madrid–based brand’s artisanal know-how, seen best in intricately woven leather-basketry and puzzle-like leather marquetry.

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