By  on April 17, 2017

Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Titian and “Mona Lisa” herself — coming soon, to a handbag near you, if you happen by the Champs-Élysées, 57th Street and Fifth Avenue, or any of the 150 Louis Vuitton outposts where the brand’s new, flashy Jeff-Koons-has-his-way-with-the-Masters collaboration will be housed beginning April 28.

In a big, splashy, celebrity-laden party at the Louvre on April 11, under the gaze of Mona herself, Vuitton formally presented Koons’ collection of handbags and small leather goods, which had been on full view on the brand’s web site throughout the day. In pictures, at least, the bags look amazing. They’re a lot of fun, a little outrageous and beautiful — if your idea of beauty veers somewhere between bucolic romp and steely eyed Leonardo da Vinci diva, and whose doesn’t? They’re all marked with a little bunny charm indicating, “Koons worked here.” As for the rights to the paintings, just like “Happy Birthday” and “Hamlet,” these masterpieces fall under public domain, including the 500-year-old “most famous painting in the world,” whose legally co-opted image graces everything from refrigerator magnets and T-shirts to endless artists’ homages and satires. Still, the cost of this enterprise to Vuitton is unimaginable — and its anticipated returns, even more so — just figuring venue rental and Koons’ commission alone.

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