Following stops in Wuhan and Hangzhou in China, Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and Tokyo, Japan, Louis Vuitton’s See LV travelling exhibition – inaugurated in 2020 – has arrived in Sydney for its only stop in the region.
Until Dec 11, those heading to Sydney can experience the free exhibition for themselves. Its blue and white set-up is hard to miss, fashioned like a giant QR code and sited next to the Museum of Contemporary Art along the city’s popular Circular Quay.
The space may be compact but the showcase offers an immersive crash course on Louis Vuitton. Organised through five universes, it takes visitors on a whirlwind trip through LV’s expansive history, dating back to the 19th century when it first began as a trunk maker.
Visitors will be first greeted to See LV with an AI-created portrait of Louis Vuitton by Turkish digital artist Refik Anadol.
Upon entering, visitors are greeted by a digital portrait of a young Louis Vuitton, created by Turkish digital artist Refik Anadol using artificial intelligence. The countenance of the 20-year-old founder of the house appears gradually, formed by one million images illustrating the Jura region of France, where he was born 200 years ago in 1821.
In the next room, In Fashion spotlights iconic looks from LV’s fashion universe. The brand’s fashion department was established in 1995, although its fashion roots are said to have started as early as 1854, when Vuitton began packing his clients’ haute couture garments in trunks. Special tribute is paid to the house’s creative talents through the years, showcasing the first and last looks from past and present artistic directors Nicolas Ghesquiere, the late Virgil Abloh, and Kim Jones and Marc Jacobs before them.
Then comes the bag wall – a highlight for anyone who loves his or her luxury purses. A study of the brand’s most recognisable silhouettes, Bag Stories also offers a taste of LV’s penchant for collaborating with cultural icons through the years – from Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama to Italian design atelier Fornasetti.
The wall of dreams at See LV for any bag collector.
One bag of note is the Steamer Bag, a one-handled contraption originally created for use on cruise-liners as a spare bag to store dirty linen for weeks-long voyages. Over the years, form preceded functionality and it morphed into a key shape for the house.
The theme of travel flows into the Evolution Gallery, where past and present are juxtaposed to show LV’s omnipresence throughout every transport revolution. Here, an unexpected assemblage of objects includes different types of trunks used on steamer ships and automobiles, as well as skateboards (designed in collaboration with the late fashion designer and artist Stephen Sprouse and American lifestyle brand Supreme) – which represent new forms of urban mobilities.
The Evolution Gallery is designed to look like a skate ramp.
Skate and street culture, in particular, has notably left its mark on the heritage house. The room itself is designed to look like a skate ramp, while multiple pieces from streetwear icon Abloh show his influential hand in modernising the house for a new generation of collectors.
Finally, get grooving at the interactive monogram wall, which honours the iconic Louis Vuitton monogram – invented in 1896 by Georges Vuitton as a homage to his father, Louis, and popularised globally to become one of the house’s most famous codes today.
Ahead more highlights from the show.
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