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This Handbag Is a Canvas
The Capucines MM handbag from the artist Donna Huanca.Credit…Photo by Thomas Lohr, courtesy of Louis Vuitton
By Sean Caley Newcott
For its ongoing Artycapucines collection, launched in 2019, Louis Vuitton collaborates with six international artists to create a limited-edited design for its beloved Capucines satchel-style handbag. This season’s crop comprises Vik Muniz, Paola Pivi, Huang Yuxing, Gregor Hildebrandt, Zeng Fanzhi and the Bolivian American artist Donna Huanca, best known for her richly pigmented paintings, sculptures and performance pieces exploring the female body’s relationship to identity and space. Her contribution is a striking reimagining of her paintings “Cara de Fuego” and “Muyal Jol”: sumptuous washes of navy, royal blue and milky white that the atelier has carefully 3D printed onto the white leather of a Capucines bag. Paired with an intricate embroidery process, the design is also selectively hand-painted to mimic the layering effects of Huanca’s distinctive brushstrokes. And as a further nod to the artist’s study of the female form, the bag’s handles are anchored by metal hoops reminiscent of body-piercing rings. The result is a classic leather handbag transformed into a portable painting. Price on request, louisvuitton.com.
Rococo Swedish Rugs
By Flo Wales Bonner
Scandinavian design may be commonly associated with the minimalist and understated, but it has a “more exuberant” side, says Charlotte Rey, Swedish co-founder of London design studio Campbell-Rey, which she runs with longtime friend and business partner Duncan Campbell. For the duo’s first foray into rug design, a collaboration with Stockholm-based company Nordic Knots, they turned to the flourishes of Gustavian style for inspiration. The Swedish interpretation of French neoclassicism provided a wealth of formal motifs, says Campbell, which became “loose and playful” when abstracted. The resulting designs include a trompe l’oeil grid, inspired by a garden maze, in four shades of green; a pattern of graphic, zigzagging ribbons in raspberry and amber; and intertwined chartreuse vines on a lilac background. Despite their historical influences, they feel decidedly contemporary in their bold irreverence and are designed to last, being handmade by artisans in Bhadohi, India, from New Zealand wool. Campbell imagines them as “heirlooms of the future.” From $945, nordicknots.com.
A Latter-Day Abstractionist Gets His Due
By Will Fenstermaker
For over 40 years, the artist McArthur Binion has made painstaking, large-scale abstract paintings interrogating Black history and experience. He had to wait until 2013 to gain gallery representation, but at 75 he’s belatedly been recognized as one of the country’s preeminent living painters, and his newest works are now on view at Lehmann Maupin gallery in Manhattan. Binion often layers colorful grids over personal documents and historical records — birth certificates, address books and old photos, which the artist calls the “under-conscious” of his paintings. Most of the new works were made last year, during Derek Chauvin’s trial for the murder of George Floyd; in one, an image of a lynched man is obscured by multicolored grids. Others reference jazz — Binion traces the development of Abstract Expressionism back to bebop and its improvisational ethos — and the artist’s early career as a writer. “Modern:Ancient:Brown” is on view through Oct. 23. lehmannmaupin.com.
A Shift to Men’s Wear
By Flo Wales Bonner
Though the British clothing and lifestyle brand Toast started out with women’s wear, male partners of staff members would frequently wear the pieces, drawn to their unfussy shapes and relaxed fit. So releasing a men’s collection felt like a logical step, explains Nikki Sher, Toast’s head of men’s wear. The new line features pieces made to last, crafted primarily from natural materials that are sourced locally whenever possible. These include a classic ecru cable sweater knitted with yarn spun in Yorkshire; tapered drawstring-waist pants in moss-toned cotton linen; and a donkey jacket — a riff on work wear being a staple of any Toast collection — reimagined for softness in a tactile, peat-colored wool-cashmere blend. Designing for casual times like these means the pieces are also built for effortless layering: “No tucking in,” says Sher. Toast will display its new men’s wear collection at Brooklyn Grange on Sept. 24. us.toa.st.
An Extra-Loopy Belt
By Zoe Ruffner
Emme Parsons may be best known for her understated, timeless sandals, but since the launch of her eponymous line in 2017, the Palm Beach-based designer has been quietly expanding beyond footwear: Last summer, she introduced a delicate gold-plated anklet; this month, she unfurls a one-size-fits-all double-length belt, available in smooth black or chestnut calfskin with a silver or brass rectangular-shaped buckle. Crafted in Italy, the aptly named Yoyo can wrap twice at the waist, loop over itself into a half-knot or simply hang long and loose. “It really just is up to the woman and how she wants to style it,” says Parsons, who paired it with breezy caftans and oversized blazers throughout her pregnancy. $98, emmeparsons.com.
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