“In this digital era, fashion shows are diffused online and immediately accessible for the public, but it takes more than that to feel the ambience and share the intense creativity, energy and emotion around one show. This is what we would like to share with a large public worldwide. The exhibition is conceived as a total, physical and interactive immersion inside Louis Vuitton’s (AW15) fashion show.” – Vuitton’s artistic director of women’s collections Nicolas Ghesquière.
With its latest exhibition, Louis Vuitton invites you to step inside the mind of creative director Nicolas Ghesquière. Louis Vuitton Series 3: Past, Present, Future – which opened in London – is series of intimate and immersive, multi-sensory installations that retrace Ghesquière’s AW15 collection for the French fashion house. Spanning three floors and thirteen rooms, it displays the craftsmanship, inspiration and creative process that went in to the collection like a running stream of consciousness, as visitors weave through high-speed videos, laser beams and 3D mannequins, models of the designer’s muse Marte Mei Van Haaster.
The first room is an encounter with a structure that should be familiar to regulars at Ghesquière’s Vuitton shows: a geodesic dome. Here, lifted from a show set, it hangs suspended below a mirrored ceiling. A white tunnel made of sail cloth continues this theme of journey, as does the next room it leads to, where intentionally disorienting videos are projected on walls surrounding an oversized white Vuitton trunk. Inside it, images are shown of iconic Vuitton muses like Catherine Deneuve and Charlotte Gainsbourg, alternated with digital 3D renderings of bags and shots of the interior and exterior of Louis Vuitton’s Frank Gehry-designed Foundation.
Throughout the exhibition, much emphasis is put on the ‘hands’, the craftsmen and women who devote themselves to producing the pieces. You can catch them here in real life, brought over from Vuitton’s Asnières atelier, creating ‘La Petite Malle’ bags. In another, mirrored room, footage of the ‘hands’ at work is shown at desks similar to the artisans’, in order to experience what it must feel like to work meticulously on these bags.
Walking through the 13 rooms of ‘Series 3’, it’s clear that all facets of creation are paramount to Louis Vuitton. Devlin explains, ‘every stage of the process is a conversation, a dialectic between heritage and future, experiment and emotion, present and past.’ We’re invited to take (a) part of it, literally.
#LVSeries3 is going to take over your Instagram feed for this month. The exhibition is made for selfies, with mirrored walls with catwalk projections, huge LV trunks suspended from the ceiling and a resident Vuitton craftsman answering all questions about how they create their handbags.