After spending the last few weeks in New York, I made it back to London on last day on the four week exhibition, brought to us in London by the House of Louis Vuitton. Named, Series 3 Past, Present, Future, is meant to be an insight into the conceptual and practical creative processes involved in fashion design. Its principal focus is Vuitton’s Autumn/Winter 2015 show staged back in March and the complexities of organising a collection, just for a twelve-minute slot at Paris Fashion Week to editors, buyers and other brand lovers. We are taken through every stage of planning, from creative director Nicolas Ghesquière’s initial inspiration from the Eden Project to the finished collection that features a metallic, futuristic aesthetic the collection holds today.
The bold space establishes the perfect balance between the past and the modern, blending a reflection upon the brand’s nineteenth century origins with its role in the current fashion industry today. The exhibition forms a narrative, inviting us to witness Louis Vuitton’s expansion as a story of progress, noting along the way changes in technology and production. The exhibition’s skillful appreciation of the past also allows us to appreciate the sanctity and luxury of Louis Vuitton’s products in 2015.
A particular highlight sees a Parisian artisan working on a small trunk, one of the brand’s most popular pieces, featuring its distinctive brown iconography. We learn that her work involves the same details as the artisans of nineteenth century Louis Vuitton working on the same trunk. Each item takes around thirty hours to create and each stage of production requires specialist knowledge, whether it is attaching one of the gold locks or gluing each piece of leather. In our familiar world of mass production, this relic of the past is testament to the sheer refinement of Louis Vuitton as a fashion house today. Three screens above the artisan illuminate a closer view of the different angles of her desk, demonstrating her work as a performance for us all to see.
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