Thursday, January 8, 2009

Sprouse It Up with Louis Vuitton New Handbag Collection

Louis Vuitton's Speedy bag, with Stephen Sprouse Rose design, from the new collection

BE sure to save a little spending money for the arrival of Louis Vuitton's new Stephen Sprouse collection, which will be hitting stores on January 15.
The collaboration between the fashion house and the artist, which was born of creative director Marc Jacobs' desire to "deface" Vuitton's iconic monogram, gets a new lease of life in the neon-hued offering which takes as its basis two signature Sprouse concepts: graffiti and the rose.
Thus, favorite bag designs the Keepall, the Speedy and the cult Neverfull holdall are daubed with Sprouse designs and there is a distinctive street vibe to graffiti-tagged jeans with Day-Glo details, slouchy T-shirt dresses and fluorescent leggings in tribute to the artist, who died in 2004 after battling lung cancer.
"I tried to use the things in Stephen's vocabulary, and give the collection the shape, silhouette and styling that Stephen would have done when he was at the top of his game," Jacobs explains. "It really is a complete homage, and a complete combination of what is Louis Vuitton, and what is this legendary icon, and then what are the icons and the lasting aesthetics that Stephen left in the fashion world."

The Stephen Sprouse-Louis Vuitton tale is as long and fascinating as one might expect. It began in the late 1990s, when Marc Jacobs was the newly-installed artistic director of Louis Vuitton and he spotted a painted-over LV trunk while apartment-hunting on rue du Bac. The apartment in question belonged to none other than Charlotte Gainsbourg, and the trunk had been the property of her father Serge Gainsbourg. Jacobs then called Sprouse, an artist he admired for Sprouse's graffiti signature on clothing and art, and months later, models trotted down the Spring 2001 runway carrying graffiti-ed Monogram Speedy and Keepall bags. Almost instantly, they became collector's items. After Sprouse passed away in 2004, Jacobs unveiled a leopard print in his Fall 2007 collection created during their earlier collaboration.
The 2009 collection is a reinterpretation of the original collaboration, and it will introduce two new limited-edition leather goods lines, Mongoram Roses and Monogram Graffiti. The rose motif will appear on another Louis Vuitton bag, the Alma, which will be launched in bright new colors of Monogram Vernis. "I did my best, in a very first degree way, to do what I think Stephen would have done, or has done, in terms of fashion," Jacobs said in a statement. Jacobs also created a capsule collection of ready-to-wear in honor of the artist.
As part of Louis Vuitton's commitment to Sprouse's work, a scarf is reproduced each season & the house will also make a donation to the National Academy of Design - Stephen Sprouse Scholarship Fund to mark the launch of the collection.

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