Bulgari and Alexander Wang have completely different design aesthetics, yet the two came together recently to recreate the classic Bulgari Serpenti Forever bag.
Wang, known for the gender-bending athleisure that defines his namesake label, however, has dabbled with the reins at Balenciaga and has enough haute fashion clout under his belt to flirt with Italian finesse that Bulgari is so known for.
His involvement with the Italian luxury house is a part of their Serpenti Through the Eyes Of series, which launched in 2017, with shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood spearheading the programme. The task is for the designer to write their aesthetic on the tabula rasa of the Serpenti Forever bag, and in Wang’s case, that manifests in the blurring of high and low.
The shape of the Serpenti Forever bag gets reinvented in six styles, most of the range getting its silhouettes from common luxury packaging, like the dust bag, the watch box, and paper shopping bags.
“When Bulgari approached me to collaborate, I knew I wanted to create something that focused on the everyday overlooked items when purchasing luxury goods and transform it into something desirable for a global consumer of all ages,” said Wang.
His inspiration manifests in the soft-form Two-in-One satchel, with a leather drawstring outer that looks just like the dust cover your latest arm candy comes protected in, and the leather Shopping tote, constructed with clean lines and thin handles that bears an uncanny resemblance to paper bags one sees everywhere. Except, of course, these cost about a thousand times the price.
For those who prefer the less outlandish, Wang also retains the look and feel of the original Serpenti Forever with three of his designs, though each is naturally ramped up as part of the designer’s signature.
The Duette, for example, merges form and function with a roomy inside pocket, while the dramatic Triplette sees three serpentine closures stacked atop one another instead of the usual one.
All the bags are available in a crisp white, black, mint green and python skin, and come adorned with snakehead closures that Wang resurrected from Bulgari’s 1960 archives.
The collection will launch this September 2019 at New York Fashion Week.
This article was first published in Lifestyle Asia Singapore.