+Louis Vuitton Series 3 Exhibition London | Yellowtrace

 

I’m well aware we don’t typically discuss fashion around here, but this post is so much more than that. In fact, forget that this exhibition has anything to do with a high-profile luxury brand. The Louis Vuitton Series 3 exhibition we saw in London during LDF15 was a true spectacle and a powerful communication tool.

A modern and unexpected reinterpretation of a fashion show, #LVSeries 3 invited visitors to discover Nicolas Ghesquière’s inspirations for his third ready-to-wear show as the brand’s Artistic Director for women’s collections. In simple terms, this was a showcase of Ghesquière’s creative process and influences – and the means by which he arrived at a completed collection. But, this was far from your usual “mood board”. No sir! Imagine stepping into The Matrix or TRON, for an insight into the inner working of a brilliant and incredibly intense creative mind, and the way in which his vision is translated into reality from the making through to advertising campaigns.

 

Louis Vuitton Series 3 Exhibition London, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
This optical illusion greeted visitors at the entrance foyer in which the classic LV symbol evolved and transformed in a projected animation that could only be seen on the layered blades of polarised glass.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Louis Vuitton Series 3 Exhibition London, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceLouis Vuitton Series 3 Exhibition London, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

The vast atrium with a suspended geodesic dome reflecting onto the mirrored ceiling is a conceptual interpretation of Nicholas Ghesquere’s brain of sorts. And it’s super cool! Tunnel on the right leads to the next room.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Louis Vuitton Series 3 Exhibition London, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Louis Vuitton Series 3 Exhibition London, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
A dizzying experience inside a designer’s mind: logos, patterns, models and memories spin around floor to ceiling, with LV’s celebrated heritage trunk at the centre of the room. The ground starts to feel unstable after a few minutes spent in this room.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Louis Vuitton Series 3 Exhibition London, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Louis Vuitton Series 3 Exhibition London, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Louis Vuitton Series 3 Exhibition London, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Louis Vuitton Series 3 Exhibition London, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceLouis Vuitton Series 3 Exhibition London, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Another trippy room where we are given the chance to “time travel” while the tables showcase the making of LV items in real time.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Louis Vuitton Series 3 Exhibition London, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
The room of the infinite fashion show with models marching towards the spectators, in what is a recreation of the AW15 show in Paris.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Louis Vuitton Series 3 Exhibition London, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceLouis Vuitton Series 3 Exhibition London, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Left: Watching the craftsman from Paris bringing LV items to life in front of our eyes, one piece at a time. Right: ‘Digital laser room shows a blade of laser that animates pattern-cutting of leather goods from the current collection. 
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Louis Vuitton Series 3 Exhibition London, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceLouis Vuitton Series 3 Exhibition London, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

In the all white gallery space, accessories from the current collection are shown on mannequins sitting on pedestals, or coming out of walls. It takes a while for the eyes to adjust to the bright nature of the space, almost as though we’ve stepped into another dimension.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Louis Vuitton Series 3 Exhibition London, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Louis Vuitton Series 3 Exhibition London, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceLouis Vuitton Series 3 Exhibition London, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Walk-in wardrobe made of glass. Who would’ve thought…
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Louis Vuitton Series 3 Exhibition London, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceLouis Vuitton Series 3 Exhibition London, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Louis Vuitton Series 3 Exhibition London, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
The all important poster room.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

The exhibition took place within the shell of Frederick Gibberd’s Brutalist 180 Strand building in London, conceived in collaboration with set designer . Ghesquière first approached Devlin in 2014 to design the show for his third collection, which was held at Frank Gehry’s yet-to-be-unveiled Fondation Louis Vuitton building. Working closely with Ghesquière from the start of each collection, she has designed each show since, and translated those sets and the stories behind the collections into the touring Series exhibitions.

Beginning with a reimagining of the geodesic dome show space, the exhibition immediately lead into the mind of Ghesquière, and – as you might imagine – it’s a fairly overwhelming experience. Here, the room spins while models, bags, images and interviews emanate from a large central trunk onto the curved walls. In the next room the visitors are invited to experience a direct view of an artisan’s desk while time and space whizz past you – a seriously fairly trippy experience to say the least (thank goodness I wan’t hungover that day!). Another room replicates the interior of the catwalk, where the life-size models shown on digital screens kept marching towards us over and over again. The laser rooms showcased how leather is laser-cut for the accessories, while in the room that followed we watched two craftsmen from Paris assemble LV’s luxury articles in front of our eyes. There was an all white accessory room, a glass walk in robe that made me consider selling a limb in exchange for just one tiny corner of it, culminating in a large industrial lounge overlooking the Thames and boasting a wall of Vuitton stickers the crowds when nuts for (because they were free – and we all know things are always way better when they are free, no?)

So what we can learn from all this? That Louis Vuitton spent a truckload of money – yes – but more importantly – Series 3 forms part of a wider trend of luxury houses showcasing their brands in exhibitions (remember Chanel’s Little Black Jacket, for example?) By staging a show in an independent space outside of their store, Louis Vuitton have once again positioned themselves at the intersection of art of design, giving their the brand the powerful ability to inspire, rather than just sell. In doing so, they also engaged with people who might not otherwise ever step foot in a Louis Vuitton store. And that, my friends, is the nugget I hope we can all take away from this – major cleverness on multiple levels.

Over and out.

 

Related Post: #YellowtraceTravels: London Design Festival 2015.

 

This post is proudly brought to you in partnership with Cathay Pacific, who currently  five times each day. Cathay’s great connections from Australia allow getting from Sydney to London in under 24 hours, including transit times. For more information visit 
 


[All images © Nick Hughes / Yellowtrace.]

 


About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor

Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

3 Responses

  1. Avatar
    kennethmason1kapm

    Throwing together a variety of different looks and styles can create some really usfull artictic tension. Or it can lead to nausea and disorientation. It is difficult to appreciate fine quaily products when feeling uncomfortable.

    Entrance with optical illusion was wonderful beginging. I would hope that as much work went into the “back” of the illusion as the front.

    A tunnel with gradually increasing or decreasing sized logos and letters would have been much more dramatic and could have been used to help ‘frame’ the size of the next room.

    Glass display cases and white mannequins . More white mannequins and real color accessories. Full sized clothing from glass cases could be presented as a shirt, a tie, a pair of pants, pair of socks, pair of shoes, and then a fully dressed mannequin.

    Design tables (?)

    Real life, real time leather worker–priceless. The human element that is often missing in presentations like this. Jazzed up with several well trained models wearing the clothing line ??
    Show finished product in the show. Watch the finally 10 or 15 min of work, watch the item being carried to appropriate mannequin in the show and displayed.

    much of fine art and fine design is a journey of sorts. Most shows like this work best with a beginning, middle and an end…

    not a designer or craftsperson, but I do have ideas and feelings. Some of them could just be junk. But thanks for letting me post.

    kapm