MARY KATRANTZOU has teamed up with Longchamp to create two handbags bearing exclusive new prints. Based on an East-meets-West theme, the capsule collection will land at French store Colette during Couture Fashion Week later this month.
"I met with Sophie Delafontaine, Longchamp's artistic director, about a year ago to discuss the possibility of working together for the label's spring/summer 2012 collection," Katrantzou told us. "She had seen my work and thought it would be a great collaboration for both. It was a really great opportunity for us to work with a brand with great heritage and I loved that it's family run. Their Pliage and tote bags are the perfect canvas to engineer a print and it's also great to offer women who might not be ready to commit to a fully printed look, a bag to accessorise with!"
The larger tote bag is centred upon the sculptural staircase seen in Longchamp's New York store - a design Katrantzou believes to be the true embodiment of modern, Westernised architecture - and decorated with orchids, dragons and corals. For the second, smaller bag, the designer used both an Asian temple and New York Carnergie Hall as her starting points, adorning both with colourful flowers and lanterns.
London-based Katrantzou also created a print to cover the label's Pliage line - a collage of floating orchids and lanterns.
"The prints we designed reference Vietnam temple architecture, Thomas Heatherwick's design for their Soho store, lanterns, orchids, an aquarium and many more surreal juxtapositions," Katrantzou explained. "I wanted to create a Mary Katrantzou world for Longchamp and they were amazing at letting us be so creative with the prints!"