Have you ever wondered how a Louis Vuitton bag goes from designer’s imagination to fabricated item to catwalk? The new month-long Louis Vuitton Series 3 exhibition, which opened to the public this week, takes the viewer on a journey into the world of LV designer Nicolas Ghesquière through a series of 13 installations on three floors in a modern office building that use the latest technology for a totally immersive experience. A showcase for the designer’s “creative process and influences,” it’s like a mood board in 3D.
The first room recreates one of the geodesic domes in Paris where Louis Vuitton held its fall 2015 show (below). As the room slowly revolves, a recording of a storm and a text written by photographer Juergen Teller plays in the background, introducing the visitor to the show’s motif of a girl on a journey.
In another room, images of Vuitton muses like Catherine Deneuve and 3D renderings of bags are projected from an oversized Vuitton trunk in the center of the room. Deeper into the exhibition, the focus switches from the conceptual to the process and the work of the craftspeople. In the “Artists’ Hands” room (below), which looks like a mirrored nightclub, visitors can sit at replica worktables which feature interactive screens that display a film of the artisans’ hand movements as they painstakingly create a Vuitton bag.
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Meanwhile two live artisans fabricate two of Louis Vuitton’s contemporary classic styles, the La Petit Malle mini-trunk (below) and the Dora, in real time, while yet another room explores how modern techniques like laser-cut leather are employed in the bags’ creation.
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Subsequent rooms take the journey through to display—one recreates the catwalk, projecting LED images of models appearing to sashay towards the viewer giving you the full FROW experience, while another entirely white room (below) puts the finished accessories on white mannequins to emphasize how handbags and shoes complete a look—and marketing.
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One of the last rooms is a recreation of a teenager’s bedroom, its walls covered in posters depicting images from the campaign shot by Teller and Bruce Weber, which you are free to take. If you want a more substantial takeaway, T-shirts imprinted with a graphic designed for the exhibition are on sale, as are the Petit Malle handbags. And if your budget won’t stretch quite far enough for the real thing, you can get a free sticker based on the line’s bags and shoes to give your wardrobe that Louis Vuitton touch.
The exhibition runs through Sunday, Oct. 18, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets are free and can be pre-booked at uk.louisvuitton.com.
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