Louis Vuitton Fall Winter 2011 Collection

Wednesday March 9, 2011 – Cour Carree du Louvre

Fe-tish also fe-tish. In this season’s Louis Vuitton collection ‘Fetish’ and ‘Fashion’ are explored through their interchangeable meanings. At once neither is easy and neither is seen as necessarily negative, rather both are reconfigured as commitment, effort and discipline: what it takes to be truly devoted to their pursuit.

At the heart of this dialogue, as is often the case for both fetish and fashion, is a magical obiect the lockit handbag. The power of the handbag as a symbol in the fashion industry, particularly in the world of Louis Vuitton, cannot be underestimated. lt is the site of much meaning and much devotion as an object, sometimes seemingly irrational, sometimes not.

The craftsmanship that goes into making the lockit, and a Vuitton handbag in general, is part of the obiect magic. ln these circumstances, the artisanal devotion to craft is the apotheosis of fetish. This is further explored in the purposefully ‘high luxe’ approach to the lockit this season. The commitment of ownerond craftsman is both metaphorically and literally embodied in the handcuff that is frequently added, at time Cast in carat gold and sometimes diamond encrusted. ln this way the handbag is made into a supreme precious obiect, one that literally cannot be easily disassociated from its wearer or subject to seasonal disposability. A louis Vuitton handbag, it appears, is for life.

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