The Magic Mountain. This season sees the Vuitton traveller, always journeying both literally and metaphorically, venture to the magical mountains of the Himalayas, particularly to the Kingdom of Bhutan.
“A collection is often an actual journey for us; it comprises what you take with you and what you bring back both physically and mentally from the experience,” explains Kim Jones, Louis Vuitton’s Men’s Studio and Style Director, working under the Artistic Direction of Marc Jacobs. “This season involved travelling to the Himalayas for research and it was the mountain Kingdom of Bhutan that still had that mystery surrounding it; it was almost a fantasy idea as well as a real place. Backpacking has not ruined Bhutan – you have to be invited there – and it feels so exotic, almost from another time. It is the only place in the world where snow leopards and tigers cross paths and that is one of the reasons why the snow leopard became a chief motif in the collection.”
The snow leopard pattern and motif reoccurs throughout the collection, making its initial appearance in a subtle and new needle punched jacquard technique incorporating naturally coloured mink and cashmere. It transforms a traditional double-breasted overcoat and a café racer blouson and later morphs into a laser cut mink coat. The figure of the snow leopard (a design commissioned by Louis Vuitton to the Chapman Brothers) also appears on neckties and pocket squares and is given full expression in an intarsia knit sweater.
There is a confluence of past and present in the collection, particularly of mountaineering tech and tradition. The silhouette is suitably layered and on the whole mixes tailoring with traditional yet technically advanced and luxurious outerwear. The shoulder is often built broadly to emphasise the masculine and heroic point of these garments.
This season sees Jones commissioned the artists Jake and Dinos Chapman to supply key motifs in the collection.
“I sat down with Jake Chapman and we talked through the idea of a ‘garden in hell’,” says Jones. “This was the phrase Diana Vreeland famously used to describe her apartment. It was something we both responded to, that and all of the unusual animals to be found in the Himalayas.”
The designs commissioned to the Chapman Brothers appear in silk and cashmere prints and jacquards in red and navy respectively. These anthropomorphic animals and creatures also feature on accessories, charms and motifs throughout. They appear almost like the Chapman’s own spin on the Buddhist idea of ‘wrathful deities’, fearsome talismanic protectors from evil and a bridge between the natural and supernatural world this season. They are a linking narrative thread throughout, building to the tour de force ‘Garden in Hell’ eveningwear finale at the end of the show. Here traditional tailoring shapes and materials of the fifties contribute a literal, masculine heavyweight feel as a counterpoint to the extreme opulence of the ‘Garden in Hell’ motif.
The bags this season play very much on the traditional notion of maroquinerie. The large grained taurillon leather also makes a new appearance this season. The Lockit bag here makes its debut for men suitably oversized and also finds its counterpart in giant totes. Backpack shapes are frequently utilized and run throughout, even featuring in a cross fertilization with a Vuitton trunk to be carried on the back. Here the recognizable Monogram is eschewed, instead reverting to the traditional trunk material, leather. Branding is subtle this season in the bags, most frequently appearing as a shaved ‘V’ in the shearling pieces.
Shoes feature study soles and a flash of subtle metal work in the collection. Boots and derby shoes come in beautiful grained leather that contrasts with its more decadent counterpart, crocodile, in the same styles that appear in a palette of navy, moss green and earth brown. For evening the height of luxury can also be found in what appear to be velvet dancing slippers – in actual fact they are shaved mink. They are an appropriate opulent counterpoint to the ‘Garden in Hell’ theme of the collection.
See all the photos below:
Photos courtesy of Matthieu Dortomb / Louis Vuitton
After summering it with Poppy Delevigne outside of Tulum for last season’s collection, we find the house of Vuitton in another hot locale, this time in the Tunisian retreat of Sidi Bou Saïd where Italian princess Luisa Orsini and Antonine Peduzzi’s stunning beauty are no mirage. Shot by Please magazine’s Olivia Da Costa, the beguiling duo appear to be on holiday in the Mediterranean, taking a side-trip to a sublimely off-the-beaten-path location.
The sun-drenched colours of the Mediterranean were the inspiration for Louis Vuitton’s Summer 2013 collection. The infinite blue of a cloudless sky, the domed roof of a Greek island chapel. The immaculate white of a painted wall, against which the deep pink of a trailing bougainvillea appears still more dazzling. Blue, white, pink – an evocative combination, fresh and frank, to accompany the long, hot days of summer in the city or by the sea.
Two celebrated shapes – the Noé and the Neverfull – dominate the collection’s leather goods. The twist is that, just for the season, these two icons become one. The result is the extraordinary Noéfull: pull its drawstring, and it looks for all the world like the bucket-shaped Noé; release it, and it morphs into the Neverfull, ready to hold your beach essentials or accompany you on a shopping spree. In Monogram denim or the season’s star Ikat flower-print canvas in blue, old rose or vivid pink, the stylish, versatile Noéfull captures the carefree, easy elegance of summer.
Not to be outdone, the original Neverfull in Monogram canvas – which, in its largest size, has established a reputation as the chicest bag on the beach – is for the first time reinterpreted with colourful leather trim. Bright pink or blue replace the familiar natural cowhide – a transformation completed by the matching Ikat floral lining and vintage-style décor vaunting Louis Vuitton’s articles de voyage.
Extravagantly, exuberantly, the season’s Ikat flowers spill over from leather goods – they also cover Monogram Vernis – to accessories. They blossom on airy silk scarves, cool cotton pareos, soft beach towels and even on the feminine pump, a highlight of the shoe collection, which also spotlights relaxed flat sandals or rope-heeled wedges trimmed with pink or blue Monogram Denim. Balancing the collection’s lavish print, Summer 2013 ready-to-wear features simple yet essential shapes in immaculately plain silk, crepe or cotton in pink, white and blue. Dresses, in particular, reprise iconic Louis Vuitton styles – notably the coiffeuse dress from Marc Jacobs’ Spring/Summer 2003 alongside the kind of crisp shifts forever associated with Jackie O., whose legendary elegance was an inspiration for this collection.
The collection is set to hit the stores and online in May 2013
Shot by Steven Meisel in a New York studio, the ad reflects exactly the fashion show mood, as Athena Wilson, Janice Alida, Ji Hye Park, Magdalena Jasek, Nastya Kusakina, Ruby Jean Wilson, and Tian Yi got reunited as twin for the ad.
“The message of repetition and the repetition of patterns.” Marc Jacobs noted that his collection was inspired by one of Buren’s most famous works,the striped columns of different heights in Palais Royal, known as Les Deux Plateaux, and played with Vuitton’s famous Damier check.
Buren has also been tapped to do window displays for select Vuitton boutiques, timed for the arrival of the ready-to-wear collection in March.
According to Louis Vuitton the next BIG thing is “MINI” and after you watch their very cute video you’ll agree! Decked out in the Cruise 2013 collection, the luxury house tapped Hanneli Mustaparta, Miroslava Duma and Elin Kling to showcase miniature versions of the iconic Alma and Monceau bags.
“Louis Vuitton’s mini icons dare you to ditch everything you don’t need, but welcome all you do – keys, smartphone, wallet, lipstick – and still leave room for more! A concentrate of the Art Deco elegance of the 1934 original, the Alma BB is a lightweight and ladylike companion from day to night.”
Beside the Alma BB and Monceau BB, Louis Vuitton also introduces its new offerring – the Marie-Lou wallet – with its fabulous, first-time-ever combo of Monogram canvas and colorful Epi leather.
What do you get when you cross an ominously beautiful man in hot pursuit of a world class runway model, who seems to spend her time running around Paris’ Louvre museum looking to find a hidden note and then makes a grandiose escape? If you guessed the sequel to the Da Vinci code you’d be wrong, but if you guessed the latest Louis Vuitton ad campaign, then you deserve on the back, Monsieur Watson.
Shot by our favorite fashion photog pair Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin, this latest campaign will hit select television airwaves and movie screens starting on November 11.
With all its cinematic affects, from the chase scenes with Arizona Muse bolting down the Louvres frescoed corridors with her oh-so-covetable Monogram Empreinte Speedy, to her determination at opening the LV trunk with her golden LV floral key to get to the secret letter, to a hot-air balloon finale that reveals an overly romantic sunset view of Paris and its environs, this 60 seconds commercial has all the elements to warrant an Oscar for best fashion film of the year (is that even a category or has Inez and Vinoodh just made it one?)
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention that this is one trend we hope catches on with other luxury houses. If new lines are introduced with this much intrigue, effort, passion, and bravado, we can only surmise that a wider audience, not just fashion aficionados, will be tuning in more to what brands have to offer.
Loulou arrived for this inauguration astride Dumba, star elephant and spare-time actor, who, with the help of his trunk, launched the festivities: the illumination of the Galeries Lafayette facade and unveiling of the 12 Boulevard Haussmann window displays, where pandas, bears, flamingos and marionettes dressed in Louis Vuitton gathered together to stage a magnificent animated show: the Ball of the Century.
Every season Louis Vuitton delivers a new take on its basic ready to wear pieces, “the Icones”. Designed by Julie de Libran, these clothes are made for the real world with an utilitarian character.
These humbler pieces, often derived from work wear, military uniform or sports gear, formulate Louis Vuitton’s luxurious Icons collection. The trench, jeans, leather dress, mesh tee and perfecto preserve their functional essence, while being endowed with exquisite cuts, fine fabrics and sophisticated detailing. The results are timeless pieces that never lose their covetable luster, their impeccable elegance, and unrivaled comfort.
A strict perpendicular block interrupted at three levels forms the basis of every silhouette in this collection. The only deviation from the straight and narrow comes in the curve of the sleeve head. This disciplined approach is inspired in part by Les Deux Plateaux, a work by the conceptual artist Daniel Buren, which consists of 260 columns of three different heights arranged in a grid.
This is the first ever Louis Vuitton collection not to make use of the Monogram. Instead, the Damier pattern provides the house’s signature. Squares are arranged in mathematical grids in differing colours and textures and at varying scales, creating a boldly graphic quality. Abstracted flower shapes offer an organic contrast to these rectilinear structures.
The fresh simplicity of the forms belies the intensity of the processes that created them. The embellishments for which Louis Vuitton is renowned are deployed in ways that are not immediately obvious. The smallest sequins ever produced are arranged by the thousand to create fluid metallic surfaces. ‘Tuffetage’, a technique taken from carpet-making, is embroidered on cloth and leather to create a flock-like effect.
The collection is presented on a site-specific installation created by Daniel Buren in collaboration with Louis Vuitton. This presentation is dedicated to Yves Carcelle, for his years of dedication to Louis Vuitton.
Yayoi Kusama’s love for the word infinity has no limit, and Louis Vuitton just confirmed it by dropping the second and the most anticipated line of products made of Monogram Canvas inspired by Yayoi Kusama’s artwork.
Available since August 23 in Paris at the Printemps and at Selfridges in London, the collection counts the house’s iconic pieces such as the Speedy, Keepall or the papillon. Both pop up stores carried the Monogram collection before every other Louis Vuitton stores in the world. These limited edition pieces will begin to be available everywhere in the world starting today. The Printemps pop up store and the Selfridges pop up store remains open until October.
Check out all the cool pieces below!
Louis Vuitton x Kusama NYC launch video
See all the photos below:
Models: Anais Pouliot, Romee Strijd
Lookbook photos by Angelo Pennetta for Louis Vuitton
From Monogram to Monogram Empreinte, from canvas to leather… The journey made by Louis Vuitton’s celebrated Speedy bag is short but significant. The Speedy 25 Bandoulière, the smallest version of the Speedy with its recently added shoulder strap, is now available in Monogram Empreinte – the first icon to join this subtly sophisticated calf leather line, whose embossed Monogram pattern is the symbolic imprint of Louis Vuitton’s heritage and craftsmanship.
The arrival of the Speedy, the original and quintessential city bag, represents the consecration of Monogram Empreinte, a collection at once classic and contemporary, young in spirit yet chic at any age. While retaining its iconic shape, the Speedy 25 Bandoulière has acquired new details that are typically Monogram Empreinte, notably outsize zipper pulls and bold brass rivets. Diminutive yet deceptively spacious, as versatile as it is stylish, the Speedy 25 Bandoulière can be worn in different ways: casually slung across the body or draped gracefully over the shoulder on its adjustable, detachable shoulder strap, or else carried in the hand or hooked over the arm by its emblematic Toron handles.
To the four existing colours of Monogram Empreinte – Infini, a deep midnight blue; Orient, a burnt orange; Aube, a dark violet; Aurore, a rich raspberry – the Speedy 25 Bandoulière adds a fifth: Terre, a warm chocolate brown that is another discreet yet distinctive reminder of the history of Louis Vuitton.
Impossible though it may be now to imagine, this icon among icons was not always called the Speedy. Born in the 1930s, the little sister of the legendary Keepall was originally christened the “Express”, in reference to that era’s passion for new and faster means of transportation. It even, for a time, bore the name “Vernet”, after a street near Louis Vuitton’s home in Paris. Neither suited it quite so well as “Speedy”, the name by which it is now affectionately known at the four corners of the globe.
If diamonds are a girl’s best friend, then handbags are her other, closest friends. And like friends, one can never have too many favorite bags; a philosophy that Louis Vuitton has enjoyed with its wide range of universally recognizable and timeless handbags.
The house has been celebrating its iconic pieces for the past few seasons, this time focusing attention on its Neverfull, Speedy, Noe, Saumur and Alma lines. And since one can never have too many friends, it was decided that model Katlin Aas would be shot with not one, not two, but five bags. While we may not be able to walk out of a Vuitton boutique with an armful of everything, at least we can live out our dream with this Icones photoshoot.
On a quiet and cool evening along the Bund promenade, residents were astonished to see the ultra modern district of Lujiazui skyline overtaken by a giant, digital groom, waving to the crowd. After a few seconds, passerby’s puzzlement turned to smiles: the Louis Vuitton train had pulled into town.
From the Cour Carrée of the Louvre to shores of Shanghai, Louis Vuitton celebrated its spirit of travel (literally) by bringing the same Louis Vuitton Express train, models, makeup artists, and hairstylists that participated in its Fall 2012 show.
“For me, it’s like a present, in a diplomatic traditional way. We give a present to show our respect” said Marc Jacobs.
At 9pm, the LV Express made a stop on the Bund, its passengers disembarking just as they did on March 5th in Paris. Elegant models are alight descending from refined carriages, clad in elongated A-line silhouettes of richly layered and jewel-embellished clothing, each accompanied by exquisite suitcases, portmanteaux and handbags in a celebration of the House’s history, of elegance, creativity and of the Art of Travel.
Post-show, the after party moved attendees aboard the train, with a sizzlingly sensual performance by Lana Del Rey.
But this wasn’t the first stop on the Vuitton-China tour: the fashion powerhouse feted the opening of its 16th Maison the evening prior at Shanghai’s famous Plaza 66. For the occasion Christopher Zanardi-Landi, Executive Vice President of Louis Vuitton and Philippe Fortunato, President of Louis Vuitton China, hosted French, Chinese and international celebrities such as Alexa Chung, Alain Delon, Fan Bing Bing, Gong Li, Laetitia Casta and many more.
Guests were also invited to see the exhibition “Louis Vuitton Express” mounted inside the Plaza 66 shopping centre, which runs from July 18th to August 12th. It features 19th century travel-related articles and an exceptional collection of heritage pieces drawn from the extensive Vuitton archives.
Each Maison acts as an international celebration of Louis Vuitton style and elegance, bringing together all of the house’s expertise under one roof. Conceived as a travel destination in its own right, this new four-level Maison has been designed by architect and close friend to MJ, Peter Marino, who has brought new design elements and custom-made furniture together to create unique and innovative Louis Vuitton experience filled with surprising discoveries.
The Shanghai Maison is only the second of its kind in the world, after the London Maison, and features an apartment showcasing the house’s exceptional collections of ‘Haute Maroquinerie’ in a 4th-floor apartment, designed for total privacy.