The latest guest collaborator in Bvlgari’s ongoing series “Serpenti Through The Eyes Of” is Greek designer Mary Katrantzou. If you’re not familiar with this series, it’s where the Roman jeweller gives free rein to a guest designer to re-interpret its signature Serpenti Forever bags.
The choice of Katrantzou comes as somewhat of a surprise, given how low-key the designer has been of late – she last showed her eponymous label during the Spring/Summer 2020 season.
According to trade publication WWD, however, Katrantzou has opted to take things at a slower pace. She has likely opted out of the traditional fashion week calendar and is experimenting with new partners and categories like homeware design as part of a push towards defining a new vision for her label.
Mary Katrantzou is experimenting with working with new partners and categories like homeware design as part of a push towards defining a new vision for her label.
Unlike last year’s irreverent direction for the Serpenti Through the Eyes Of outing with Yoon Anh of cult label Ambush, Katrantzou has opted to put a more ornate and glamorous spin for her bag designs.
The key highlight of Katrantzou’s collection is the introduction of a new style to the Serpenti bag lexicon. Called Serpenti Metamorphosis, the designs span a shoulder/crossbody style called the Serpenti Metamorphosis Handle, a prim top-handle bag simply dubbed the Serpenti Metamorphosis, and an evening number called the Serpenti Metamorphosis Minaudiere.
It takes a skilled artisan more than 40 hours to complete the intricate Serpenti Metamorphosis top-handle bag.
Katrantzou has long been known to be a dab hand at whipping up complex and innovative trompe l’oeil prints. The latter is most clearly translated in the Serpenti Metamorphosis, where the trademark snakehead closure has been laid against a vivid and textured explosion of butterflies (a recurrent Katrantzou motif) created via intense embroidery work.
Each intricately-designed bag ($14,300-$17,600) reportedly takes a skilled artisan from Paris’ Atelier Montex more than 40 hours to complete, which explains its limited quantity.
It’s a sensuously tactile feast with the Serpenti Metamorphosis Handle bag.
The Serpenti Metamorphosis Handle bag is likewise another tactile pleasure with its plush nappa leather and another contender for the pillow bag trend we recently spotlighted.
The bag also sports a rather nifty feature that harks back to its theme of metamorphosis: a sculptural snake-shaped handle (inspired by the bracelet of the Serpenti Harlequin watch from the ’60s) can be swapped with a gold chain strap so that the bag can be converted into a crossbody design.
You can swap the chain of the smaller-sized Serpenti Metamorphosis Minaudiere and wear the bag as a crossbody or a wristlet.
For those who like all things serpentine, it doesn’t get much more in your face with the Serpenti Metamorphosis Minaudiere which is available in two sizes and crafted in the shape of a snake head. The smaller version (above) comes with a chain strap and can be worn slung across the body or as a wristlet, while the larger model is designed more like a clutch.
The collection will launch online and at selected Bvlgari stores worldwide on April 15 but is available for pre-orders from March 21. If past collaborations are anything to go by, you’ll want to place your order fast.
Peruse the collection below.