Longchamp doesn't want to be remembered as just French

NEW YORK — Longchamp doesn't want to be remembered as exclusively French.

Though artistic director Sophie Delafontaine is a proud Parisian, she said she wants the brand to embody an international spirit. And what better way to show that spirit than bringing a collection to New York inspired by the American artist Judy Chicago.

Delafontaine told The Associated Press she drew inspiration from the feminist artist known most widely for her art installation "The Dinner Party," currently located in the Brooklyn Museum. Chicago also played with smoke, photographing colorful billows in the desert and other locations.

It was those photos that spoke to Delafontaine.

"I start with an artist that is Judy Chicago and her color explosion in the desert and I really wanted to have this explosion in the city," she said.

Models in muted orange, petal pink, lavender and burgundy walked Saturday alongside a pool of water at Lincoln Center.

"I was really involved with this location that is super urban, very graphic," said Delafontaine of the pool with the Reclining Figure statue resting in the center. "And I wanted to mix this location with very feminine and fluid dresses with color."

While flowing skirts and dresses did make for fluid silhouettes, belts accentuating waistlines, leather mini-shorts, slits in skirts and transparent materials kept the looks modern and chic.

Skirts, dresses and shorts were paired with shoes that went to mid-calf, either a lacing gladiator sandal or sneaker boots adorned with the signature Longchamp horse.

And while the ready-to-wear collection certainly stood on its own, that doesn't mean that Longchamp forgot the product that started it all: Its handbags. From tiny coin purses clutched by the handle to shoulder bags with intricate designs and leather tassels, that original craft wasn't neglected.

"It's all about creativity," said Delafontaine. "It's true that doing the bags is a creative exercise, of course. Ready-to-wear is another world because it's on the body, but I think it's all about telling a story, playing with the color, with the material."

Walking in the show was model Kaia Gerber, daughter of Cindy Crawford. Kendall Jenner, Kate and Lila Moss, Julianne Moore and Linda Cardellini sat front row.

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