Buro 24/7 Middle East visits Louis Vuitton's Series 2 as it makes its debut in Rome
Join us on a journey of creation...
Louis Vuitton's Series 2 exhibition is culminating in Rome, from today, inviting visitors to discover Nicolas Ghesquière's inspirations for his third ready-to-wear show for Spring/Summer 15. Buro 24/7 Middle East attended the exclusive preview in Rome last night, and we can tell you that visitors are in for a treat...
The unique exhibition in the historic city of Rome is laid out like a journey of discovery through the creative mind of Nicolas Ghesquière, allowing visitors to explore the designer's process and find out how he reinterprets stylistic codes.
The inspiring journey begins with the 'Abstract Title' section, looking at the iconic Louis Vuitton logo, which is represented in a rather impressive neon light artwork – which appears to transcend time, just like the heritage maison.
One of the most iconic logos in luxury fashion, the LV logo was first used as the stamp for the houses' founder Louis Vuitton, who started his business as a trunk maker in 1854. In 1908 his grandson officially patented the logo and over 100 years later, when Ghesquière arrived at Louis Vuitton he began to extensively research the history of the logo, scouring through the archives and breathing new life into the world-famous emblem. In Series 2, this LV symbol shown as a light installation represents how the icon has travelled centuries, but is still relevant today and in the future.
Talking Faces at Series 2, Rome
After snapping a selfie with the red masterpiece, the exhibition continues through more areas of discovery such as 'Talking Faces'. Some visitors may remember these from the Spring/Summer 15 runway show, which made its bow in October 2014 and was the first official event to be hosted at the Frank Gehry-designed Fondation Louis Vuitton (more on that later). Just like the faces at the show, these robotic figures deliver an arresting monologue of futuristic language, for example: "It's a very delicate time, day zero in the heart of the project – code named 'Gehry'." The faces all speak in unison and it is quite a unique experience to discover, and among one of the highlights.
Next comes an experience which doesn't talk, but does wow with its incredible spectacle. The marriage of future and past, technology and luxury fashion, the 'Magic Trunk' is certainly just that and a must-see.
Paying homage to the genius 'spirit of travel' heritage of Louis Vuitton, the show within the show starts with a light beam projection of the iconic Louis Vuitton trunk – where it all started. The trunk opens up to reveal captivating archival footage of the Vuitton family, past campaigns, the brand's icons present and past (such as Jane Birkin and co pictured above), runway shows, the evolution of the LV logo, Ghesquière's influence, and even a miniature version of Frank Gehry's architectural masterpiece – the Fondation Louis Vuitton pops out of the trunk. Experience a fraction of how incredible it is via our Instagram post from the evening below.
The 'Infinite Show' then presents a 360° projection room, inviting visitors to immerse themselves completely in Louis Vuitton's Spring/Summer 15 runway show – the first ever event hosted at the Fondation Louis Vuitton.
Not only does this space allow visitors to re-discover the 48 looks of the collection, guests can also get an insight in the behind-the-scenes goings-on. Recordings from backstage at the show play out in the room, allowing visitors to hear how models are called for final checks, seating issues are ironed out, and experience the intensity of the pre-show ambiance. 48 models, 25 make-up artists under Pat McGrath's direction, 25 hairdressers under Paul Hanlon's direction, 40 studio staff, 40 dressers, and one designer: Nicolas Ghesquière. This is a rare insight.
A poster room follows, and makes for one of the best picture opportunities of the whole exhibit – a small room covered wall-to-ceiling in Louis Vuitton imagery. We could have spent hours in here looking at all of the archival snaps. Limited-edition posters for the Series 2 showcase (which will end forever following this Rome showcase, making room for Series 3 in September), can also be picked up here. A sticker corridor is another treat and serves as an opportunity to take home a memento from this epic showcase – the Louis Vuitton salt and pepper pots were a particular favourite of Buro 24/7 Middle East's, so be on the look out for those should you be lucky enough to visit.
Never one to miss the opportunity to showcase its impressive skilled craftsmanship, visitors to the Series 2 exhibit will also have the rare opportunity to see two of the maison's craftsmen at work. Watch in awe as the houses' finest leathers are hand-sewn to create coveted accessories, see how all of the iconic details – such as the logo and fixtures and fastenings come together.
And that concludes the inspiring Series 2 journey. This will be the exhibit's last ever stop, and like they say: When in Rome...
The Louis Vuitton Series 2 exhibition is presented at Palazzo Ruspoli in Rome from May 22 — June 7