This is not a handbag

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Trending for ss14: the intersection between art and fashion. Oh yes, I’m well up for this. Ok, art and fashion have always been rampant bedfellows, but from here on in, I think we’re going to see a lot more fash-art hook-ups. Sorry purists but art just got fashionable.

To whet our appetites, we’ve had the Dior-Warhol collab for Aw13 and the art-inspired collection from Prada for ss14. Not to mention Chanel’s art gallery-themed ss14 show and the Chanel Bond Street store that’s practically an art gallery in itself.

And hot on the heels of Paris Fashion Week we have… FRIEZE! AKA, the place where anti-fashion fashionistas hang out, dripping in Prada, Chanel and Celine of course. (And let’s not forget, some of our favourite designers like to mooch about here too. Oh hi Raf…)


So here’s a really excellent fashion-art project that launches to coincide with Frieze. Huntergather (a fashion label and Wigmore Street store) has enlisted six artist buddies from East London’s Transition Gallery to hand paint a selection of found handbag as a commentary on female adornment. The bags are one offs and although they could be used as actual bags, they’re intended as artworks with the reclaimed bags serving as the canvas. And aren’t they wonderful?

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What I like most about this (aside from Cathy Lomax’s decolletage bag, top) is that it’s an entirely genuine collaboration borne of mutual creative admiration and friendship between the artists and Huntergather. David Bradshaw, the co-founder and creative brain behind Huntergather is one of fashion’s biggest influencers from a time when stylists and creative directors were strictly behind the scenes. From consulting on Prada menswear and launching GQ Style, to the current revamp of Versus, let’s just say this guy has connections. This is just one of many collaborations Huntergather has planned, the brand’s strategy is very much a 360 degree multi-media and multi-platform one. For now, you can see the bags (price on request) at Huntergather, 68 Wigmore Street, London, W1 from 14 October-17th November.

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[Raf Simons photo: via Charlie Porter]