Olympia Le Tan Magritte-inspired collection.


STYLISH SURREALISM: Olympia Le-Tan, the French designer known for her signature book clutches, has launched a capsule collection inspired by the surrealist paintings of Belgian artist René Magritte.

The designer reproduced some of her favorite Magritte artwork on her classic structured rectangular clutches, as well as on mini, round cross-body bags. Highlights include a clutch featuring the artist’s famous “Belga” painting of a woman smoking with a bright blue sky with clouds in the background, and a rounded shoulder bag with 3-D embroidery of a human eye, which emulates the artist’s “Objet Paint: Oeil” painting.

Le-Tan reproduced the artworks on the bags by embroidering them with silk thread. All pieces are lined using Liberty fabrics; a brand signature.

“I always love a challenge and reproducing Magritte’s paintings in hand-embroidered form certainly was quite a challenge. I think we did quite well,” she said. “Coincidentally, we finished them just when the show at Pompidou started,” said Le-Tan, referring to “Magritte: La Trahison des Images,” an exhibition of the artist’s work that is currently on display at Paris’ Centre Pompidou and sponsored by the Belgian accessories label, Delvaux.

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Le-Tan has also come out with a campaign to accompany the launch of the capsule collection, shot by Norbert Schoerner, with the French stylist Camille Bidault-Waddington as the model. The campaign further embraces the surrealist mood of the collection by re-creating the patterns on the bags, such as Magritte’s signature blue clouded sky, as the backdrop of the images.

“My friend Norbert Schoerner and I have a lot of mutual passions, Japan was one, surrealism is another, so he was an obvious choice for these images. As for Camille Bidault-Waddington, we thought she would be a perfect present-day Georgette Berger, and she was,” added the designer, referring to Magritte’s wife and muse.

The bags are available to preorder on the designer’s web site until Oct. 4 and prices range between 885 euros, or $993, and 1,665 euros, or $1,868.

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