Lounge Loves: Penelope Arty
The new Victor Vasarely Op-art inspired Longchamp bag gets our vote
French luxury brand Longchamp’s Fall/Winter 2017-18 accessories line doffs its hat to some of the season’s key trends: optical art, structured shapes and boho chic.
The 65 year-old brand is well-known for its iconic Le Pliage. Inspired by Japanese origami in its effortless ability to fold into an elegant pouch, the tote can be seen everywhere, in every colour and in artist-inspired limited editions.
The creative inspiration for their new Fall/Winter women’s bags is the 1970s Parisienne, a free-spirited, independent, strong woman embracing the trends of her time. Titled L’Art D’être Une Femme, the art of being a woman, the collection previewed in an artfully recreated Parisian apartment at the Taj Mahal Palace hotel in Mumbai on 10-11 May.
In all the four lines in the new collection, the Pénélope Arty tote is the most arresting. It references Victor Vasarely’s Op art and geometric architectural prints. The optical illusion and kinetic depth is recreated with handcrafted patchworks of treated leather meticulously stitched together for painterly effect. The play of textural differences—matte, gloss, metallic and velvet—cleverly reinforces the illusion of depth. Helmed by artistic director Sophie Delafontaine, this Op-art detail showed in the brand’s Fall/Winter ready-to-wear collection as well.
The Arty bag is easy to carry. Drawstring tassels, a playful detail, are a clever carry-forward from the existing Pénélope line. And there is a generous zippered pocket inside. Luxury leather handbags tend to literally weigh you down but a noticeable feature of Longchamp bags is their surprising lightness even when they are crafted in full leather. The secret is a patented technique to treat leather so that it retains its grain but remains incredibly supple. The other secret to lightness is to keep metal hardware to the minimum, as they do.
Besides Pénélope Arty, there is L’Effrontée, which is smaller in size and shape, targeted at “the slightly impertinent woman with lots of character”. The cross-body version packs in a lot of space. The combination of sizes lends itself easily to bag layering. The Madeleine is for the purist, with a rich grain finish and a silver bamboo-inspired clasp, an echo from the brand’s Russo Club line. For Le Pliage fans, there is the new Jeremy Scott designed graphic tote in fire-engine red.
Longchamp is taking pre-orders; the new collection will be in stores in September.
Available at Longchamp, DLF Emporio, New Delhi, and opening soon at Palladium Mall, Mumbai. Prices, Rs30,000 to Rs1.75 lakh.