Skip to content

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and you will receive our stories in your inbox.

A peek inside the creative process at Luis Vuitton

Posted in Style & Travel

Luis Vuitton blue bagIt turns out that the iconic intertwined initials “LV” didn’t start out intertwined at all. The original logo that Monsieur Vuitton initially chose for his steam trunks were the two initials encased in a circle, an idea that Nicolas Ghesquiere, who has been designing for Vuitton since last year, decided to reprise once he found the original logo while skulking around the archives.

At one point or another in our life, most of us have either owned a real or fake Luis Vuitton bag, so enduring is the brand. It’s that enduring quality that drew me to an exhibition the Fondation Vuitton mounted here in L.A., Series 2, supposedly a walk inside the creative process Nicolas Ghesquiere followed to create the SS15 pret-a-porter collection.

A new version of the original logo
A new version of the original logo

The refracting mirrors, the disco lights and an Eddie Redmayne’s talking head informing me I was sitting in a space that didn’t yet exist, didn’t do much to enlighten me on how this particular creative spark came about but they succeeded in fostering a sense of disorientation and drunkenness at 10 in the morning. No matter. There was much more to discover once I made it into the glaringly white rooms that contained accessories new and old.

“I have always loved creating accessories. For me, they are always connected to the collection, they hold an integral place in the creation of an ensemble, either juxtaposing or completing an outfit. They take on the same intentions and have the same aim as the clothes. A silhouette is a complete look.” Nicolas Ghesquiere

My favourite bag of the new collections
My favourite bag of the new collections

Words that my mother instilled in me, maybe not so eloquently, very many moons ago: there is little point in wearing something fabulous if the shoes/handbag/belt or jewellery don’t complement it properly.

Luis Vuitton Malletier was founded in 1854 with the aim to make steam trunks, and their wild success sprang from the invention of the stackable trunk. Up until then, all trunks were rounded, mainly to prevent water from pooling but, once their bottoms and tops were flattened, voila, it made it all much easier to stack them and drag them around the world.

They were luxury items right from the start – here is the custom-made shoe trunk Greta Garbo had commissioned.

Ms Garbo's shoes travelled in style
Ms Garbo’s shoes travelled in style

And everything Luis Vuitton makes remains a luxury item: patterns on all leather/plastic goods are still cut by hand; trunks are made by hand and the haute couture is painstakingly cut, sewn and embroidered by expert hands.

Up close and personal - the very serious security guards did let us touch
Up close and personal – the very serious security guards did let us touch

The last room of the exhibition consisted of a mock-up backstage of a fashion show and that is where one could come up close and personal with some items from the new collection (albeit in sizes not really found in normal human bodies).

I also love this take on a peacoat
I also love this take on a pea coat

Most of the breezy and upbeat clothes were takes on shifts and tunics, which I happen to adore because they are so versatile. At 20 or 30 they can be worn as mini-dresses but now I can pair them with pencil skirts, skinny jeans or pants with the same success. Here is my favourite:

Jennifer Connolly models my pick
Jennifer Connolly models my pick

Among the cast of famous faces Nicolas Ghesquiere chose for the print campaign, I was glad to see French actress Catherine Deneuve, whose red dress with leather inserts (very short in the original collection) has been lengthened to suit her figure and her age.

Catherine Deneuve for Luis VuittonAt 71, only slightly retouched, she still retains her aura of sensuality and grace. And still a fashion icon. Here’s to hoping we age this gracefully.

All photos copyright C&S

Share on Facebook

6 Comments

  1. Thanks for the jaunt to this LA event! I love to shmooze in my pajamas.
    I have however never owned an item of LV, real or fake. Now I feel inferior…
    But I think it’s lost its allure a little, so ubiquitous it became. Do you think so?

    February 21, 2015
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      I do – there was a time when it was next to impossible to spot a real from a fake as, at the end of the day, most handbags were made of plastic. I think they have regained some of their shine with the colored leather and the trunks are still items from a luxury era of times gone by that I suppose lives more in our imagination than in the real world. About a year ago I found three original LV suitcases in the attic my husband was given a million years ago: the way they are made is a sight to behold but I would never put them through an airline conveyor belt so they are stacked in the guest bedroom as furniture. The clothes I saw were very pretty and wearable though.

      February 21, 2015
      |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      I should have followed her advice more often, I suppose. Today she told me my idea of going to the Congo to see gorillas just won’t do – I know she is right but I am still trying to find good reasons not to listen to her.

      February 21, 2015
      |Reply
  2. camparigirl
    camparigirl

    I can certainly try…

    February 20, 2015
    |Reply
  3. @winstonmoreton
    @winstonmoreton

    I know you would love to hear what I think but if I simply push the tweet button can’t you guess?

    February 20, 2015
    |Reply

Got some thoughts? We would love to hear what you think

%d bloggers like this: