museum review - Les Arts Décoratifs museum
Written by Oryx
Separated by a century but sharing a creative vision, the work of Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs is celebrated at Les Arts Décoratifs museum in Paris until September 16.
On display at Les Arts Décoratifs museum, Louis Vuitton Marc Jacobs portrays 158 years of history behind the French brand, comparing the two most important figures during that time: founder Louis Vuitton, and Marc Jacobs, the artistic director of the brand since 1997. The exhibition space was designed by Samantha Gainsbury and Joseph Bennett, who were also responsible for Alexander McQueen’s exhibition, Savage Beauty, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
The exhibition is a journey through the creations of the two men, and tells the story of how two great innovators have contributed to the history of the fashion industry, from the industrial period of the mid-19th century to the globalisation of the LV label at the beginning of the 21st century.
Louis Vuitton started his career as an apprentice packer, box- and trunk-maker, and the exhibition shows the number of garments necessary for one day in the life of an affluent lady. Skirts could contain up to seven metres of material, hence the need for a professional packer.
After 17 years honing his knowledge of the profession, he started out on his own, and on the first floor visitors can see the famous luggage items he designed. The exhibition reveals Vuitton as an innovator whose entrepreneurial instincts contributed largely to the birth of deluxe products catering for the demands of the affluent bourgeoisie of the time.
After Vuitton’s death in 1892, his son Georges played an important role in managing the business. In 1896 he created the LV monogram and stamped it into the canvas of the trunks and travel bags. From then on, this logo would become the brand’s most recognisable symbol.
The second floor is devoted to Marc Jacob’s most memorable creations for Louis Vuitton, showing a visual timeline for the designer’s work during the last 15 years.
When Marc Jacobs was named artistic director of the 143-year-old company, his job was to introduce, for the first time in Vuitton’s revered history, ready-to-wear collections for men and women, as well as a line of fashion accessories, including shoes and bags. It was a turning point for Vuitton, radically changing the brand’s image and its influence on the fashion world.
Examples of his artistic collaborations with people such as Stephen Sprouse, Takashi Murakami, and Richard Prince can be seen at the exhibition, and these associations between art and fashion have become textbook examples for the industry.
Until August 19, 800 metres of the Seine will be turned into Paris Plage, a beach complete with white sand and sun loungers. Take your bucket and spade and head to the right bank, from the Pont Neuf (1st arrondissement) to the square of the town hall at Sully (4th arrondissement). Activities on offer include ballroom dancing, tai chi, table football, and boules. A second stretch, along Bassin de la Villette, also draws crowds with yet more outdoor games and sand, plus concerts, canoeing, pedalos, and more.