Louis Vuitton & Marc Jacobs Exhibit

On my recent trip to Paris, I was lucky enough to catch a special exhibit at Les Arts Decoratifs. Starting with a peek at the brand’s humble beginnings in 19th century Paris, the exhibit takes you on a journey through the eyes of its founder, Louis Vuitton Malletir, uncovering the history and evolution of the brand, right up until today, where you are immersed in the world of Artistic Director, Marc Jacobs and his vivid imagination.

Upon entry, portraits of the two visionaries stared back at me, representing one brand that spans two centuries. The first floor of the exhibit showcases LV’s beginnings as a steamer trunk manufacturer, in an era when upper-class Parisian women wore voluminous gowns and undergarments, changing outfits multiple times per day. Voyages required a fleet of these hand-crafted trunks in order to transport their wardrobe. Magnifying mirrors throughout the exhibit call out the level of craftsmanship and detail that has become synonymous with the Louis Vuitton brand.

After exploring the history of the brand, a staircase transported me to the more recent past, a high-energy (almost chaotic) world of current Artistic Director Marc Jacobs enveloped me with a multimedia installation depicting Jacobs’ many influences and muses. Since 1997, Jacobs has held the reigns at the House of Louis Vuitton, paying homage to the brand’s rich heritage while making it relevant for today’s global, fashionable audience.

Packed with energy, installations blurred the line between art, fashion and wit – for me, the pièce de résistance was a long wall of handbags, simply displayed in white “candy liners”. Metaphorically likening this wall to a box of chocolates was nothing short of creative genius, I can’t think of a more satisfying fix for a fashion craving.

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