It is nothing new from designers to business executives, people love to collaborate. Maybe it all goes back to the saying, “two heads are better than one”? It doesn’t really matter why collaborations happen because I have to say, they always intrigue me – for better or for worse. There are always pairings that excite me while others make me go “hmmmm”. This time, Mulberry has collaborated with FRED (one of East London’s most influential contemporary art galleries) to design a series of artist designed, limited edition tote bags. FRED selected five British artists to reflect Mulberry’s individuality and identity. In the way any amazing collaboration should be conducted, Mulberry designers worked closely with the artists to ensure the vision at hand was captured.
Each tote has a noticeably different design which to me is great because that guarantees there is probably a tote out there for just about anyone! The tote to the right was designed by Kate Davis. At first glance you get a romantic vibe from the tote. I guess red does that, huh? Beyond that, the red rose on top of the black background offers a bit of softness and elegance which drew me in. Davis drew inspiration from a romantic moment she had in Rome and felt the design depicted a sense of pulling away from everyday life and focusing on romance and love. Whether romance driven or not, it is so important to be able to take a step back and simply, enjoy life and love.
Have you ever looked at those inkblot cards psychologists/psychiatrists have? Are they supposed to mean something specific? Even though trained, I find it fascinating that they are able to draw inferences from the thousands of things they could potentially hear from a given patient. Artist Paul Hosking made mirror, laser cut images that resemble the famous Rorschach inkblots. I definitely did not notice this at first glance (however thanks to the press release I am able to provide insight), but the inkblots are a portrait of the artist’s profile. The black background makes the vibrant colors pop. I could see the tote appealing to an array of people. From hipsters to psychology enthusiasts this tote is fabulous.
This next tote reminds me of my Aunt Mary Jean, the artist of the family. It’s not the design itself, but instead the first thing that came to mind when I saw the tote – “this must have been done by an artist”. For those of you artists out there, if you disagree, don’t be mad; I, in no way, have an artists eye. However, the artist behind this tote, Simon English, has made a series of six unique drawings that interweave images from his life and other drawings. This tote is brilliant. I love the individuality behind it and how each image looks separate from the others while essentially tying the entire bag together.
Artist, Phillip Jones is known for his large-scale oil paintings where he usually depicts characters he then develops over a series of works. In this tote, it is clear where his inspiration comes from – a deck of cards! The idea behind the expressively painted tote goes further, it continues the theme of fate an chance found in many of the artist’s larger oil works. I love the thought that Jones makes an effort to weave a theme throughout many facets of his work – whether it be an oil painting or a handbag, the same theme is visible. The theme behind this tote is one that influences every day life. To me, life really is a delicate balance between chance and fate. But, it really is this delicate balance that makes us all who we are today!
And last but by no means least, the tote by artist Peter Jones. I have to say, this tote is Megs’ and my favorite! I personally have always had a thing for monkeys – they are just so precious. So, when I came across this tote, I have to say, I instantly wanted it. For the most part I lug my stuff around in a tote (Megs thinks it is absolutely hideous) and I know I am due for an update. Jones takes an Andy Warhol inspired background and has the famous images of a monkey in three poses: hear no evil, speak no evil, and see no evil. The monkeys are captured fantastically against a blue backdrop. On top of everything else, notice the playful expressions on the faces – love it! Perhaps it is a good thing I’ve waited this long for a replacement.
Now that you’ve seen all five, which tote would you pick?
So, the only downside, these wonderful totes are only available for purchase from the Bond Street Store – in London, England. If you are in the area, lucky you! Either way, I think this collaboration was a tremendous success and I hope to see more like this in the future.
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