While fashion and the fine arts have and continue to be regarded as separate entities, the two fields have long held a deeply intertwined relationship, often resulting in collector worthy collaborations. Such is the case for Delvaux, a Belgian luxury leather goods maison, which has maintained an enduring partnership with the Magritte foundation since 2015. And in honour of the Belgian surrealist painter’s 125th anniversary, the brand has launched an Asia exclusive capsule collection inspired by René Magritte’s two great loves—his art and his wife, Georgette Berger.
Launched officially in Hong Kong on 4 August and in time for Qixi, Delvaux unveiled a series of its most iconic and classic silhouettes, whimsically reimagined with key motifs from Magritte’s body of work at their flagship store in K11 Musea.
In tandem, the maison has brought in a traveling exhibition of seven works of art by Magritte—all paper studies of what would lead up to be some of his most iconic works of art—from various private collections around the world which have not been displayed to the public until now, offering a rare glimpse into Magritte’s creative process. The next pit stop—Seoul, which will include seven additional AI generated iterations of Magritte’s paintings such as the Tomb of Wrestlers (1960) and L’Art de la Conversation (1950).
Delvaux’s latest capsule is arguably the most tender and personal to Magritte’s life and creative process as a surrealist painter so far. Signature Delvaux bag styles and small leather goods from the Tempête to Brilliant have been reintroduced in shades of aloe, azure, ivory and bloom, colours which are heavily reflected in Magritte’s body of work. In addition, the collection features four key motifs, each inspired by a specific painting of Magritte’s. Here is Vogue Singapore’s breakdown.
The word “Amour” and the figure of intertwined swans have been poetically embroidered in 3D bourdon stitching on Brilliant and Pin bag iterations. Inspired by the painting, L’Art de la Conversation (1950) depicting two swans on a moonlit lake, this is the most obvious nod to Magritte’s love for Georgette, his wife, muse and greatest champion. They met as teenage lovers, but were separated by the war. Six years later, they reunited and remained together until Magritte’s death.
La Trahison des Images (1928-1929), one of Magritte’s most iconic works of art featuring an image of a pipe accompanied by the famous quote, “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” (This is not a pipe) gets reinterpreted on Brilliant and Pin mini bucket bags, ironically embroidered with “Ceci n’est pas un Delvaux” (This is not a Delvaux).
The apple, a motif that is synonymous with Magritte’s work, was often employed in his paintings to question the line between reality and illusion and the hidden and visible. As such, small leather goods by way of adorable coin pouches and leather key chains have been crafted out of multiple pieces of leather, but made to look like a single piece.
The image of a man in a bowler hat, his face hidden from plain sight, is perhaps the most recognisable motif in Magritte’s work–often being interpreted as a self-portrait–and features on the newly launched Pin city and other small leather goods.
A select edit of the capsule collection can be purchased from the Delvaux store in Singapore located at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands and Takashimaya.