The invention of travelling: Louis Vuitton at le Grand Palais
Did you ever travel before Louis Vuitton? This is far from being certain.
The Louis Vuitton exhibition at le Grand Palais is about to end. To be seen as soon as possible or to be explored here.
This extra exhibition about the trunk-maker, is in some ways a reminder of the Voyage en Capitale exhibition, which was held at the Musée Carnavalet. In particular for its focus on trunks. And on travelling, of course. This new exhibition highlights the extremely rich patrimony of the House, from 1854 till today.
The exhibition principle is set from the start: there is no chronological guideline. Heritage and current events are mixed and centered around themes giving the Journey its rhythm.
First room, first theme: wood.
I can see the same tools and I am reminded of the same smell as in my grandfather’s workshop, with emotion.
With this know-how Louis Vuitton’s Adventure begins.
Then comes the classic trunks room. A quote from Georges Vuitton, reported in “Historiques de la Maison Louis Vuitton”, around 1895, allows us to note that the ideas of heritage and patrimony and the quest for what will become the DNA of the House had already emerged.
Then, the invention of travelling.
On a boat. On cruise liners. Praise of slowness. And of contemplation.
By car. Going for a picnic. The idea of women’s liberation dawning.
By plane. With all the audacity of the inventors of the time.
And by train. The Orient Express charm is not far away…
Escapism. Writing, reading. Boudoir-like trunks.
Highlighting artistic collaborations with painters like Matisse for example.
There are also all the showpieces collected by the House, very old pieces, bearing testimony of History.
Fashion in beauty
Be it for / Whether it is for / men or women.
And finally music.
While exploring these themes, our eye can be caught by allusions, funny things or atypical objects such as the key register, endlessly droning out numbers.
Or the notebook collecting press articles about bodies found in trunks.
Or advertisements of the past.
The original and modern part of the exhibition: the app for smartphone that allows going on with the visit and bringing the visitor an experiential dimension.
Finally, the exhibition ends with a room dedicated to living know-how, with two employees explaining their leather working craft. All this is displayed in the manner of Les Journées Particulières.
What comes out from the exhibition is a fever, a frenzy of inventions, innovations, and audacious attempts. The visitor can feel the birth of the industry, the emerging of a new way of travelling and living.
The brand patrimony is made alive. The exhibition explores every aspect of it. It seems obvious that, as with its trunks, the brand has known how to adapt to changes through times, to particular demands, with great attention to detail and service. Without knowing it maybe, the brand appears to have been guided by the sociology concern before that of fashion.
Considering the care dedicated to each piece and this ultra-locked marketing, it is a profound reflection on the brand that does not give up anything.
Photos : SB
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