The Louis Vuitton SEE LV travelling exhibition lands in Sydney

Trunks, suitcases and a deck chair from Louis Vuitton's archives with a modern piece of furniture and futuristic clothes behind it. Photo: Louis Vuitton

If you love history, fashion history, that is, the world of luxury, and exhibitions which allow you to see unique pieces that make up a brand, look no further than SEE LV, Louis Vuitton’s travelling exhibition.

I was lucky enough to get a firsthand look at the exhibition at its latest stop in Sydney, Australia.

The exhibition space with a digital background. Photo: Louis VuittonThe exhibition space with a digital background. Photo: Louis VuittonLouis Vuitton is one of the top luxury brands in the world and known for its craftsmanship, innovation and style.

The brand has a long history of showcasing unique pieces since 1854, moving from trunks and luggage to clothes, accessories and home decor.

It made its first stop in Wuhan, China with a worldwide inauguration in 2020, before moving on to Hangzhou, Dubai and Tokyo.

Sydney, known for its landmarks like the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Bondi Beach, is the largest capital city in Australia, a melting pot of cultures and the perfect stop for 2022.

For the SEE LV exhibition, the venue itself was amazing – at First Fleet Park, The Rocks – overlooking the Sydney Opera House and held in a specially designed space that looks like a long box.

In shades of blue, it had a digital looking background with the name Louis Vuitton in the middle and SEE LV at the top and sides. The doorway was hidden, so you really had to know where it was to get in.

Using immersive and interactive digital experiences (hence the pattern of the venue), there was a mix of archival objects from the Maison’s heritage collection along with the most recent creations divided into five universes.

Upon entering the exhibition, you will be greeted by Australia’s famous animal, the kangaroo along with a baby in its pouch made of LV monogram bags!

Photo: Louis VuittonPhoto: Louis Vuitton

Designed by artist Billie Achilleos, it was really something else as the kangaroo looked realistic despite being made of bags.

The first stop is with the brand’s founder, Monsieur Louis Vuitton himself. Called “Finding Louis”, it features a portrait of him as a 20-year-old using artificial intelligence created by artist Refik Anadol. No one knows what he looked like at that age so this unusual portrait was a nice visual touch.

Photo: Louis VuittonPhoto: Louis Vuitton

Moving on to the second universe, this section would be a favourite of fashion enthusiasts as it features a reverse-chronology selection of men’s and women’s ready-to-wear pieces.

This is where you see how the designers, starting from Marc Jacobs, Nicolas Ghesquiere, Kim Jones to its late creative director, Virgil Abloh, interpreted the Maison’s heritage and craftsmanship into their collections.

Photo: Louis VuittonPhoto: Louis Vuitton

The Louis Vuitton fashion department was established in 1995, though its roots go way back to 1854 when Louis began packing his clients’ haute couture garments like the beautiful 19th century archival gown on display next to a historical 1906 trunk.

And it wouldn’t be Louis Vuitton without its iconic bags which are shown against a backdrop featuring images of celebrity friends like Miranda Kerr, Jennifer Connelly, Samara Weaving, Kendall Jenner and Hugh Jackman.

If you are a bag lover, the third universe would be your favourite part. Bags have been part of the brand’s DNA since the late 1890s where it was initially created in leather to accompany small pieces or folded in hard sided luggage.

The wall features how the shapes of the bags continue to inspire through time. You can see both old and new bags grouped by family and in chronological order.

One piece is a flat trunk from 1906 with the patented 5-way unpickable lock in Monogram canvas.

Others include icons and artistic collaborations in the recognisable shapes – Keepall, Speedy, Steamer and Alma amongst others.

Photo: Louis VuittonPhoto: Louis Vuitton

Here you will find the Steamer with signature chain details designed by Virgil Abloh for the Louis Vuitton Spring Summer 2019 collection, where he made his debut.

Then there is a collaboration with Atelier Fornasetti for the Petite Boite Chapeau from the Autumn/Winter 2021 women’s collection. The Archittetura leather design combines the Monogram with Palladian architectural motifs.

Let’s not forget the famous Keepalls which always had a fun element to it with artistic collaborations with Stephen Sprouse, Takashi Murakami and Yayoi Kusama.

Another piece is the hybrid leather goods design inspired by trunk conventions, on the border between hard and soft. Called a Soft Trunk, it was created by Abloh for his very first collection.

The Capucines, a symbol of timeless elegance and artisanal excellence was named after rue Neuve-des-Capucines in Paris where Louis Vuitton opened his first store in 1854.

You will be able to see two Capucines designed by artists Vik Muniz and Zeng Fanzhi as part of the Louis Vuitton Artycapucines collection.

If you thought the brand was only about clothes and shoes, think again as it has lifestyle objects and home furnishings as well.

In the fourth universe called the Evolution Gallery, there are a selection of items like skateboard designed in collaboration with Stephen Sprouse (2009) and the Lounge Chair by Marcel Wanders Studio (2016).

Photo: Louis VuittonPhoto: Louis Vuitton

The history of Louis Vuitton is wrapped up in the art of travel and the brand has been there at the beginning from steamer ships to the skateboard and automobiles to new urban mobilities.

A Marc Jacobs outfit from the Spring/Summer 2011 collection displayed within a 1925 Wardrobe trunk. Photo: Louis VuittonA Marc Jacobs outfit from the Spring/Summer 2011 collection displayed within a 1925 Wardrobe trunk. Photo: Louis VuittonJourney across the centuries and see how the Maison’s elegant and ingenious solutions have evolved in the transportation area, from boat, rail, automotive, plane and more.

In this section you will find some of the most unique inventions like the Transformable raincoat-tent from Abloh’s Louis Vuitton 2054 collection, an exploration inspired look from Nicolas Ghesquiere’s Spring/Summer 2021 collection and an outfit from Marc Jacobs’ Spring/Summer 2011 collection displayed within a 1925 Wardrobe trunk.

The last universe is the Around Monogram Library. The Monogram was invented in 1896 by Georges Vuitton as an homage to his father, Louis.

It features an interactive digital Monogram wall that moves and changes along with the person viewing it.

The Monogram interactive wall which changes and also moves when someone is in front of it. Photo: Louis VuittonThe Monogram interactive wall which changes and also moves when someone is in front of it. Photo: Louis Vuitton

And as we know today, the Monogram continues to be the most recognisable icon of Maison Louis Vuitton and is reinterpreted constantly by the brand’s artistic directors.

Finally there is a gift shop where you can buy various books from the travel guides to books on the brand’s heritage and craftsmanship, and adorable items like the Vivienne musical box.

The SEE LV SYDNEY exhibition is located at First Fleet Park, The Rocks, NSW 2000.

The exhibition will run until Dec 11, 2022.

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louis vuitton , See LV , fashion , bags , accessories , Sydney


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