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PAINT JOB: “Art is everything to me. It’s all I think about,” said Lulu Guinness at the launch of her Paint Project limited edition clutch collection in London. “All of my collections draw on art for inspiration in one way or another, so it was a bit of a no brainer really! It was only a matter of time before my love of art and designing handbags fused together.”

The designer worked with the artist Joe Steele after hearing about his use of paint — and explosives — to create 180 bags signed by both. On Thursday night, Steele entertained party guests at the Old Sorting House on New Oxford Street with live explosions from a paint cannon that colored the designer’s trademark clutches.

“Joe is very experimental in his approach to art, and not afraid to push the boundaries, much like my approach to handbags,” said Guinness. “I like a challenge, and exploring innovative new techniques, so Joe and I made the perfect partners in crime. I’ve not come across anyone who can use paint in such an impactful way, not since Anish Kapoor.”

Three of the bags created that evening and one of the designer’s personal bags will be sold on eBay with proceeds to benefit The Art Room, a charity that utilizes art therapy to help children.

“My approach to making art is all about destruction, chaos, and chance,” said Steele. “I’ve been experimenting with explosives with [experts] SysFX since 2009, and we’ve had a few interesting scrapes and near misses, especially when working with nitric acid!” The bags, covered in red, black and white paint splatter, are priced at 295 pounds, or $446, and will sell in Lulu Guinness stores and online.

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