The now-shuttered La Belle Jardinière division retailer, a stone’s throw from Paris’ Pont Neuf, was the primary of its variety – combining a workshop and gross sales ground, it supplied the historic equal of latest ‘ready-to-wear’ from its founding in 1824 (previous to that time, clothes was made bespoke to its wearer or bought second-hand).
As of this month, that house – which closed its doorways as a division retailer in 1974 – comprises an array of distinctive vogue objects of a special variety, every drawn from the intensive archives of Louis Vuitton and the spoils of the home’s intensive historical past of collaboration. A report field, in the home’s recognisable monogram, created by Helmut Lang in 1996 (famously, Grandmaster Flash appeared within the accompanying marketing campaign); a portrait of the home’s eponymous founder by American artist Alex Katz; the eerily prescient masked nurse outfits from Marc Jacobs’ S/S 2008 Louis Vuitton present, a part of a collaboration with Richard Prince.
Louis Vuitton’s ‘LV Dream’ exhibition and café in Paris
These items are a part of a brand new exhibition titled ‘LV Dream’, an immersive exploration of Louis Vuitton’s varied collaborations with internationally famend artists, designers and cultural luminaries (the ensuing objects span clothes, equipment, homeware, artworks and extra). These names are quite a few and traverse continents and disciplines, amongst them Yayoi Kusama, Takashi Murakami, Jeff Koons, Stephen Sprouse, Rei Kawakubo, Azzedine Alaïa, and Nigo.
Different objects within the exhibition date again additional, suggesting a longer-running dialogue between Louis Vuitton and the broader inventive group – an early room comprises an 1890 bespoke carry case for image-maker Paul Nadar to carry his photographic tools (its design options Nadar’s signature) and a desk created by the home for British conductor Leopold Stokowski which folds away right into a trunk for simple transportation. Elsewhere, a set of embellished fragrance bottles vary from the home’s first foray into perfume in 1922, etched with a playful female determine, to modern iterations designed by Frank Gehry and Alex Israel.
These hyperlinks between Louis Vuitton’s heritage and its varied interpretations by ensuing generations of creatives gives the impetus behind ‘LV Dream’, which unfolds over 9 rooms purpose-built throughout the in any other case cavernous house (certainly, a lot of Vuitton’s vogue output is outlined by such imaginative leaps between eras – significantly that of womenswear creative director Nicolas Ghesquière whose collections would possibly embody an 18th-century brocade frock coat and futuristic sneakers in a single look). Every room is thematic – ‘Louis Vuitton: As Seen By’, ‘Artwork on Silk’, ’Reinterpreting Icons’ are a few of the titles – and contains work of the home’s former and present inventive administrators, amongst them Ghesquière, Virgil Abloh, Marc Jacobs and Kim Jones, alongside their varied collaborators.
Immersive parts are interspersed all through: one room invitations you to ’get inside’ an enormous model of Rei Kawakubo’s ’Luggage With Holes’, first made in 2014 as a part of the home’s ‘Celebrating Monogram Assortment’ (because the identify suggests, a number of of those rarely-seen baggage function iconic Louis Vuitton designs sliced with cut-outs). In one other, you might be completely surrounded by Stephen Sprouse’s painted ‘Louis Vuitton’ print which adorned purses and baggage in Jacobs’ S/S 2001 assortment. The ultimate room comprises an interactive digital wall – spanning 10m – on which designs from Nico, Grace Coddington, Christopher Nemeth and Daniel Buren reply to motion (‘with stunning impact’, says the home).
Befitting its description as a brand new ‘cultural location’, ‘LV Dream’ additionally comes full with a second stage comprising an expansive emporium of Louis Vuitton merchandise and ephemera – a lot of it completely distinctive to ‘LV Dream’, spanning books, collectible figurines, sporting tools and extra – in addition to a chocolate store and café helmed by Cheval Blanc’s award-winning pastry chef Maxime Frédéric (collectively, they’re titled ‘Maxime Frédéric at Louis Vuitton’). The café itself sees the commercial house reworked with lush tropical vegetation, marble tables and curvilinear cubicles, from which Frédéric’s varied creations – amongst them, blocks of chocolate with Louis Vuitton’s Damier motif, monogram bonbons and a chocolate marshmallow Vivienne – could be loved within the tranquil surrounds.
‘LV Dream’ runs from 12 December 2022 – 15 November 2023 at 2 rue du Pont Neuf – Paris 1er (former Belle Jardinière division retailer), free admission upon registration on the Louis Vuitton web site. Entry to Maxime Frédéric at Louis Vuitton and present retailer is free, without having for reservation.
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