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Miu Lady bag by Miu Miu

A Palmful of Miu Miu Miniatures

Artist Phillip Nuveen crafts small-scale models from precious materials. Here, he's applied his seasoned technique to a series of Miu Miu bags (with sizeably charming results)

TextNatalie RiggPhotographic EditorHolly HayPhotographyAgnes Lloyd-Platt
Lead ImageMiu Lady bag by Miu Miu

Phillip Nuveen strives to “obtain the unobtainable” with his handcrafted miniature models – which require a steady hand, painstaking engineering and the patience of a saint. “I think there is something so captivating about how the human mind processes scale. We seem to enjoy things that are above and below the everyday metric that we are used to,” he says. Currently based in New York, Nuveen’s apartment is replete with palm-sized paper iterations of smart shopping bags, shoes and iconic shop fronts – creating a luxurious, Lilliputian world within his own. “A futuristic Chanel boutique sits on my coffee table, and my dream corporate high-rise headquarters greets me every morning on my nightstand!”

Nuveen’s fondness for models stems from a longstanding appreciation for authentic craftsmanship. Which is precisely why luxury goods – fashioned via skilful, highly specific artistry – have remained a focal point in his practice. “I have an addiction to beautiful things,” he explains. Who better, then, to whip up a series of miniature Miu Miu bags, articulated as perfectly as their life-sized doppelgangers? “I really enjoy the playful whimsy of Miu Miu,” he muses. “I feel that the brand always pushes the envelope, always daring with colour, texture and design.”

Looking at the clean lines, admirably precise folds and elaborate minutiae – including jewelled clasps, appliqué panels and handstitched top-handles – one would imagine that he must spend hours perfecting each model. Yet, Nuveen insists that his process is really much quicker than it might appear. “First, I study the bag to see how it’s constructed, then I start crafting the miniature version. Handbags are really just squares of leather stitched together,” he explains. “Once the bag shape is formed, I start on the adorning details, and this is where it gets time-consuming, but I just love it,” he adds. We’ll take two, please. #MiniMiuMiu