LA BELGITUDE: Fields of Belgian fries, bowler-hat-shaped hot air balloons hoisting miniature bags in Magritte’s sky-cloud motif into the sky, a freshwater-mussel-covered sea monster, and a cityscape made out of waffle skyscrapers. In a playful celebration of the Belgian spirit — or “la Belgitude,” in local speak — these are just a sprinkling of the surrealist landscapes dreamed up by madcap Belgian auteur-filmmaker Jaco van Dormael for seven mini-animated shorts for the global launch of Delvaux’s Miniatures Belgitude bag charm collection, which kicks off today.
Themed around seven major Belgian cities, with finishes ranging from waffle-quilted leather to screen-printed mussels and fries, the playful capsule houses seven limited edition itsy-bitsy incarnations of the house’s most iconic bag, the Brillant, created in 1958 by architect Paule Goethals for the Brussels World Fair. The collection is limited to a production of 2,500 pieces worldwide.
Among events lined up for markets including the U.S., Hong Kong, France, and the U.K., Barneys New York, the brand’s exclusive partner in the U.S., this week will host Belgium-themed window displays and smart in-store installations in its Madison Avenue, Chelsea, San Francisco and Beverly Hills stores.
Hong Kong’s Landmark Mall from Sept. 13 to 18 will host an exhibition in its atrium dedicated to the capsule, meanwhile, with local personalities due to attend the opening on Sept. 12.
Likening van Dormael to Tim Burton, as the quirky brains behind films including the cult classic sci-fi feature “Mr. Nobody,” starring Jared Leto, Delvaux artistic director Christina Zeller said, “He represents for me the perfect incarnation of the Belgian sense of humor, combining self-derision, poetry, a childish universe and fantasy.”
Among upcoming projects for the heritage leather goods brand, Delvaux chief executive officer Marco Probst confirmed the brand’s intentions to open a larger store on London’s Bond Street, though the project has not yet been finalized.