Louis Vuitton Series 3 – London
2015 for me has been the year of the luxury brands in London, starting with the Hermes “Wonderland” exhibition earlier this year which I previously featured on the blog, the Chanel Mademoiselle exhibition and by far my favourite the Louis Vuitton Series 3 exhibition.
Now travelling around the world, this unique insight into the world of Louis Vuitton is one not to miss if it comes to a neighbourhood near you. With brands under scrutiny of where they get things made, quality control and consumers being way more savvy then they have previously brands can’t simply rely on their heritage any more, they have to have it all to edge themselves past the competition. “Series 3” is a exhibition show-casing a designer and his creative process, influences, visions of new shapes, and how they are cut and crafted meticulously by expert craftsmanship. The exhibition retraces Nicolas Ghesquiere’s Autumn- Winter 2015/ 2016 collection for Louis Vuitton, summarising his experimental journey of fusing the new with the old and what his influences were for this collection and it is extremely photogenic and perfect to put onto social media.
The exhibition starts by propelling you into the structural shapes and influences Nicolas was looking at while designing this collection. The double high ceiling in the space was perfect for this mirrored / angular installation which looked impressive.
You walked through this weird perspective tunnel leading to a room filled with projections with a curious old looking Louis Vuitton trunk in the middle of the room.
The classic trunk held all the ideas for the new collection, projecting the runway outfits, key imagery, and old familiar symbols.
The room was circular and the way that the imagery moved around the room made you feel like you were on a moving walkway, it was extremely impressive. With the shiny ceiling and floor the whole room was dominated by the moving images on the walls, and I couldn’t help but stand there and watch noticing different pieces every time the film looped.
The next room was simply a long mirrored rooms with desks set up like you were in a lecture theatre or at school. Each table had a large tv inset in it which showed in real time two items of the accessories collection being made from start to finish, you are literally in the hands of the artist. The whole process takes up to 4 hours, which you could possibly sit there for if you had nothing to do for the rest of the day.
I found it extremely interesting how the items were made so meticulously and how much special machinery is used to make the items. To be honest I am actually surprised how quickly the artisans worked and how extremely accurate they are.
I loved how they filmed the whole process from the eye of the person who was making it, following the item from specialist machine to specialist machine. I almost thought that I could make the item they were making it look so easy, although if I was making it I would probably take way more then 4 hours to make a handbag worthy of the label Louis Vuitton.
This room had a lot of people captivated as they wanted to stay as long as they possibly could to see the whole process from start to finish, who could blame them? You honestly never know how much work goes into something you buy off the shelf, only through the price you pay for it.
After learning how items are made you are plunged into a room with large screens with the current LV Autumn/ Winter 2015/2016 runway show playing with blasting music and decoration reflecting the collection and the setting of the runway show held at the Louis Vuitton Foundation.
48 Looks, 30 make-up artists, 25 hairdressers, and 45 model dressers all helped one designer Nicolas Ghesquiere bring his vision to life. I loved the way that the perspective of the room and the collection changed as you weaved yourself from platform to platform and from step to step. The room seemed infinite with mirrored walls and shiny surfaces, the show just seemed to go on and on.
After a room with so much to see you are plunged into darkness, with a projector showing you how a designer’s visions are made into reality with the use of new technology such as laser precision to cut out the pieces used in the accessories, shoes and clothes. Enabling wastage from leather skins, fabrics and exotic fabrics at a minimum and each piece cut to precision every time.
Complicated pieces such as the petite malle can be produced perfect every single time. It also shows how many pieces goes into this little bag and how each piece goes together to make the finished product.
From seeing this process virtually you are then able to see it in reality with Louis Vuitton artisans making the petit Malle bag before your very eyes. You are able to ask them questions about working for the company, the training and how to make the bag. Of course they speak french, but if you don’t speak it there are very helpful Louis Vuitton staff to help translate.
Each individual piece that Louis Vuitton produce the artisan has to have training on how to make it. They can train for up to 40 hours to learn how to produce these items with the precision that Louis Vuitton demands. It is incredible to see the finished product, and all the bits and pieces which goes into making it and seeing how much pride they have in making such a beautiful product.
Accessories become the focus of the next room, where still white figures emerge from the walls and the floor holding the new collection handbags.
“For me accessories never stand alone, there has to be a common thread between them. They’re an integral part of each outfit, either clashing or complementing it.” – Nicolas Ghesquiere.
In this room the accessories stand on their own against the white backdrop and are shown in different ways. You can get up close and personal to the accessories and see the workmanship and design which goes into each piece.
Before leaving the exhibition Louis Vuitton makes sure that you take a piece of this experience home with you. A wall adorned with stickers where you chose 2 to take home with you, including letters where you can make this experience more personal.
Finally take a walk through a corridor covered with layered iconic images of Louis Vuitton with iconic models, actresses and pieces from the collection. Lovely Louis Vuitton staff hand you a poster of a snippet of these iconic imagery to take home with you to put on your own walls at home.
Personally this exhibition was by far my favourite brand influenced exhibition in London so far. Apart from a unique location which wasn’t in a gallery, the set up where you go online and book your time slot without needing to queue was great since the exhibition was free, and the impressive set ups which help you engulf yourself into the world of Louis Vuitton. I could have spent all day in the exhibition watching all the interesting videos especially the one which showed the artisans making the pieces in real time and watching the artisans making the pieces in front of you. I just found it extremely impressive how much work, skill and passion goes into each piece, I now know why Louis Vuitton items are so expensive with such training and craftsmanship love your accessories and keep them for a lifetime.
This festive season if you are going to treat yourself to a present maybe consider splashing out on a Louis Vuitton item, at least you know how they are made right? I would love to get my hands on a Petite Malle after this exhibition, hmm I might have to save up for a while to get my hands on one.
What did you think of the exhibition? Did you manage to go and which brand exhibition did you enjoy the most?
For more information about Louis Vuitton check out their website and remember if the exhibition comes anywhere near you definitely take a couple of hours and go and get immersed into the world o fLouis Vuitton.