For Autumn 2011, Longchamp was inspired by the idea of a modern Amazon, the contemporary incarnation of those mythological heroines who were celebrated for their warrior spirit and equestrian skills. To all strong, self-willed women who stride through life with flair and fortitude, Longchamp dedicates the season's star Balzane bag. Named after the white markings often found on horses' legs, this thoroughbred design elegantly reinterprets the codes of the equestrian universe.
The signature of the Balzane is its trompe-l'oeil saddle-cum-flap, which is secured by a bridle-style strap with a chunky metal buckle. Specially chosen for its luxuriously thick, supple quality, young bull leather gives the Balzane an authentic equestrian feel, which is further enhanced by the design's meticulous detailing, including rivets and saddle-stitching. Available as a hand-held tote (in two sizes) and a hobo bag, the Balzane is sure to be riding high in the season's deep, rich colours: Red, Fir and Havana, in addition to timeless Black.
The Balzane Nubuck, meanwhile, contrasts the characteristically soft, velvety finish of this lightly buffed, full-hide leather with smooth calfskin trim. The elegance of this interpretation is complemented by two subtle shades: Mink and Cognac. Like the finest saddles, the Balzane Nubuck will acquire a beautiful, slightly darker patina over time.
The Balzane collection also encapsulates two exuberant variations: the Balzane Ecossais and the Balzane Gaucho. For the former, Longchamp heads north to the Scottish Highlands, creating for the Balzane Ecossais tote a tartan-inspired print in misty hues on a wool-blend fabric. Khaki kudu leather trim adds to the authentic beauty of this preppy-chic twist on the season's star theme. For the latter, Longchamp nods to the traditional cattle-herders of South America with an eye-catching design evocative of richly decorated Spanish saddles. Intricate silver screen-printed motifs are combined with colourful embroideries on the flap of the Balzane Gaucho, interpreted for the occasion in dark mocha cowhide.