This past February, a replica of Paris’ Louis Vuitton Foundation’s Museum and Cultural Center sat on the corner of Highland and Santa Monica boulevards in Los Angeles, California. The installation housed and contextualized the release of LV’s Spring 2015 women’s ready-to-wear collection, which was birthed by artistic director Nicolas Ghesquière. The collection, entitled Series 2 – Past, Present and Future, was presented in a multimedia fashion exhibition that might just revolutionize the way in which consumers will be engaged in the future by brands.
The avant-garde exhibition shared with Los Angeles’ fashion elite an ambitious, interactive, and stylistically-compelling ambiance that only a collision of legacy fashion, technology, and art could create.
The exhibition took attendees on an epic journey. High-end fashion artifacts were coupled with video tutorials and vignettes and created an Alice-in-Wonderland adventure that practically transported you back to the future, with the evolution of art being the portal, and fashion design and pop culture embodying the spaceship that you would escape on for an impromptu trip to the moon.
A Snapshot of Our Voyage
Upon entering the first room (“Abstract Title”), you were met immediately with the projection of a red laser hologram of interlocking LVs; a classically beautiful and vivid way that both set the tone and honored the world-famous brand’s seal. The next room (“Talking Faces”), made visitors feel like they were time traveling back to LV’s Spring/Summer 2015 runway presentation which took place at the LV Foundation Museum in Paris just days before its official opening on October 1, 2014. The next stop in the time portal was equally captivating. The seductive red three-dimensional LV laser seal was now a part of the Magic Trunk show that shared the history of Louis Vuitton, the company’s craft, and the women who they deemed their heroines.
The Heart of Cool experience was most intense in the Savoir-Faire theater where the real-time handcrafting of shoes and handbags was presented. Backstage depicted the inner workings and craziness that manifests during an LV fashion show.
The bright, neon-white Accessories Gallery, where LV mannequins exuded the perfect balance of a posh, vintage attitude while they modeled the latest LV fashions by striking various poses and the Infinite Showroom, where beautiful, poised models walked in the house of triangular mirror pools, rocking all 48 of the looks created for LV’s Series 2 collection, were creatively stimulating.
Every single moment felt fresh and new while unveiling a brand new way to experience fashion, art, and the culture of creativity it stimulates. We felt like we literally walked into LV’s magic trunk and got lost in the “repository of design stories and treasures both past and present” that the exhibit boasted to uphold – as was handwritten on the museum walls.
We explored the innovative process in which a collection is created and presented to the world through fashion show frames and scene changes. The historical journey on which this voyage took us expanded our minds and allowed us to embark upon a journey not only of fashion and style, but also of architecture and business.
Philanthropic Roots: The LV Foundation Museum is a non-profit organization sponsored by the French multinational luxury goods conglomerate, Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH) ran by CEO & multi-billionaire, Bernard Arnault.
Setting Business Trends: LVMH formed as a result of the 1987 merger of fashion house Louis Vuitton and Moet Hennessy (created after the 1971 merger between Champagne producer, Moet & Chandon and cognac manufacturer, Hennessy.
LVMH controls 60 subsidiaries that manage Hennessy and a small number of prestigious brands in the following industries:
Fashion & Leather Goods (Celine, Kenzo, Emilo Pucci)
Watches & Jewelry (Bulgari, Hublot, Chaumét)
Perfumes & Cosmetics (Fendi, Christian Dior, Givenchy)
Specialty Retailing (Sephora, DFS, Bon Marché)
The museum and cultural center officially opened in Paris, France, on October 28th, 2014, and cost $143M to build. Originally, it was a controversial art initiative and a judge ruled against its construction. The city repealed and the Assemblee Nationale said that the foundation was indeed not only in the national interest of France, but also a major work of art for the world. It is a promotional vehicle for LVMH that merges fashion, art and architecture.
The LV Foundation Museum is a riveting interplay between glass, water and white concrete that was designed by Frank Gehry, who has had a six-decade architectural career and who has also designed the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, and the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Frank is an anti-modernist, who uses his art form to retrieve some of the beauty lost in modernity by bringing the element of humanization to the world of architecture. Although his designs do not literally embody physical human characteristics, they do embrace society, civilization, and even the animal kingdom.
Love & Light, Cris