Tyler and I have known each other since our early 20’s, having met through mutual friends in Los Angeles, California. Until recently, we were focused on developing our independent projects. Two years ago Tyler established her eponymous collection of luxury handbags, Tyler Alexandra. I was incredibly inspired by her contemporary yet luxurious approach to design; and, her ability to challenge pre-established design codes as she pushed the boundaries of creation. We realized, after years of each elaborating our own projects, it would be great to combine our two unique design perspectives in one collaborative collection.
As we began our collaborative endeavors, Tyler encouraged me to push-the-envelope and conjure a collection as avant-garde as I liked. In this important effort with Tyler Alexandra, I wanted to create a collection of story-telling bags, as if each piece stood as a metaphor for a place and situation. The Louis-Marie + Tyler Alexandra bags personify very specific moods, and scenarios that are informed by our own personal experiences. By virtue of these very specific references, each piece has found its own strong personality.
This combined inspiration gave birth to the: French bag, Scuba bag, Mummy bag and the heated S&M bag. Taking from the basis of Tyler Alexandra collection, the collection is based upon a model of bag called the Winifred, which Tyler designed in honor of her grandfather. I felt the Winifred silhouette would be the most apropos canvas for this season’s collection.
This collaboration is a celebration of the grand women that were and that are and that will be!
~Louis-Marie de Castelbajac
a.k.a. Jeanne Moreau & Doisneau
Having grown up in Paris and going often to the Southwest (where my family originates from) I grew up in an environment informed by both the sophisticated and the artisanal works. In France, as it is widely known, the Beret is conditioned as a symbol of French tradition and culture. But, what I always found beautiful about this object is its universality. With a beret, one can be well-dressed in a simple of outfit and adding a beret imparts an extra style and flare that encapsulates the DNA, and timeless elegance of France. In working on this bag I was inspired by the unexpected clash of textures; the matte felt of the beret and the high- gloss of the crocodile combine for an exotic elegance. In many ways, it’s an homage to the Simone de Beauvoirs, who so gracefully allied style with intelligence and respect.
a.k.a. James Bond Femme Fatal.
I was inspired to do this bag because of the love for the feel and look of scuba materials. the tension between the sinuous, almost sexy feel of the neoprene foiled with the technical utility in the materials, combine to beautiful effect. We really wanted to convey what we thought the contemporary James Bond girl would don.
Stingray was the major catalyst for designing this bag because of its shiny yet ruggedly textured feel, is offset by electric bolts of the yellow bands throughout the body of the bag. It’s all a graphic play on a neoprene canvas that one can imagine tightly enveloping the body of Ursula Andress.
a.k.a. The Nil
I wanted to evoke the long lost days of Nefertitti. This piece is a somber homage to the grand empress of eternal beauty.
When creating this piece, it was vital that I find a way to realize a true rendition of mummy bands pulled in various directions across the body of the bag. The aim is to give the effect of waiting for thousands of years in the tombs, anticipating the day to rise again. I set out to, metaphorically, be as exacting as possible in the design, trying to imagine what animals roamed the heated and the beautiful sands of the glorious Egypt. Python was the answer.