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Between fashion and art, with Louis Vuitton the cross-pollinations that celebrate the Maison’s first 160 years

The meeting point is 468 North Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, which in a very short time has become the iconic California headquarters of Louis Vuitton

The “wooden” castle in perfect California-style, purchased last September for about 250 million dollars, is the protagonist of an unprecedented exhibition – Louis Vuitton X – dedicated to the history of the Maison on the occasion of its 160th anniversary.

The two floors of the scenographic building – the doors and windows of which, painted orange and fuchsia, are the salient elements of the façade – have been set up with an interactive exhibition that will allow visitors to experience a full immersion into the history of the brand.

Over 180 creations from the archives of Louis Vuitton and some of the most valuable works in the majestic collection of trunks from the early twentieth century, custom-made. There are also perfume bottles and Art Deco display cases commissioned and conceived by Gaston-Louis Vuitton, grandson of the Maison’s founder. And naturally the iconic Monogram bags revisited by famous artists and designer such as Karl Lagerfeld, Rei Kawakubo, Cindy Sherman or Frank Gehry. Also on exhibit are bag styles developed in collaboration with artists such as Yayoi Kusama, Richard Prince and Zaha Hadid.

© Louis Vuitton

The works are organized on the basis of a thematic itinerary: “Louis Vuitton as seen by…”, “Origins, traditions of modernity”, “Reinterpreting icons”, “The monogram as a white canvas”, “Art on silk”, “Art meets fashion”, “Lights, camera, action”, “Louis Vuitton on the red carpet” and “Magic Malle: the past is present”, are the titles selected for the various sections of the exhibition. Visitors are greeted by a portrait of Louis Vuitton by American painter Alex Katz, commissioned as part of the project developed by the brand, which consists of a series of portraits made by artists from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

There are many outfits worn by stars and celebrities including the white dress with the high neckline and bold sleeves worn by Lady Gaga at the Oscar-nominees luncheon early this year.

Then there is the silk dress with sequins worn by Academy Award-winner Alicia Vikander for the 22nd Sag Awards; the long dress with sequins and studs chosen by Academy Award-nominee Michelle Williams for the 2018 Met Gala; the “artwork”-dress for Sophie Turner embroidered with silk and sequins and inspired by the Centre Pompidou and worn at this year’s Met Gala.

The exhibition was also conceived to allow visitors to post their photos on Instagram: little by little as they move through the brightly-coloured spaces, dominated by orange and fuchsia, they can use three special effects inspired by Louis Vuitton and developed specifically for the exhibition. By scanning a bar code with a smartphone, a series of exclusive technicolour filters become available to use for posts on Instagram.

artycapucines © Louis Vuitton

The Louis Vuitton X exhibition culminates with “artycapucines: six visions of a contemporary classic” to celebrate the Maison’s latest project with six important contemporary artists: Sam Falls, Urs Fischer, Nicholas Hlobo, Alex Israel, Tschabalala Self and Jonas Legna have reinterpreted the Capucine bag. Israel designed a wave of light that includes eccentric details such as a comb and a mirror; Fischer chose six amulets of hyper-realistic detachable silicone fruit and vegetables; Hlobo presents a stitched-leather motif.


translation by Olga Barmine

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