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Anatomy of a Classic: the Louis Vuitton Artycapucines

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Deconstructing the New Louis Vuitton ArtycapucinesPhotographer: David Schulze

In the mid-20th century, Kenneth Battelle was the hair stylist responsible for launching a thousand bouffants upon Fifth Avenue. His hands shaped the crowns of a who’s who of New York society, including Gloria Vanderbilt, Brooke Astor, and Babe Paley, all of whom have been immortalized with their vertiginous Battelle-engineered coifs.

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The bag’s distinctive nail heads and handle rings echo the details on the luggage made at the end of the 19th century by Georges Vuitton, the founder’s eldest son. Photographer: David Schulze
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Painter Ewa Juszkiewicz’s signature surrealist twist on classic portraiture is exemplified by Ginger Locks (2021). The bag’s leather tag bears a profusion of lush tresses for good measure.Photographer: David Schulze

While his pricing is not public knowledge, we can assume he wasn’t cheap. Having a luscious mane has always been an envy-­inducing status symbol. Take Marie Antoinette, who signaled her regal rank to her courts with gravity-defying updos, or Kim Kardashian, who paid nearly $10,000 for hair stylist Chris Appleton to do a single ponytail. And we can’t forget about Rapunzel, whose hair—which was believed to have healing powers—got her locked up in a tower by an evil sorceress.

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The gradated green hue draws from the original Juszkiewicz painting, which was replicated with 3D printing. David Schulze
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Louis Vuitton’s signature Japanese-inspired flower motif was designed in 1896. Here, it is gem-set on the petal-shaped flap of the bag.David Schulze

Good hair can be an art form even when it isn’t on your own head. See: Louis Vuitton’s latest Artycapucines handbag, part of an annual collection of wearable art made in collaboration with artists. Here, Ewa Juszkiewicz—a Polish painter who is fond of warping the faces from Renaissance portraits with a touch of surrealism—gives new meaning to the concept of a flattering hairstyle. And also arms you with great art cred.

This story appears in the December/January 2024 issue of Town & Country.

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