Last week I went to Paris and one of the first things on my list to do was visit the Louis Vuitton Marc Jacobs exhibition at Les Arts Decoratifs museum. The exhibition was opened on March 9th and it tells the story of two innovators, Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs. Who both revolutionized and entire industry in their respective centuries and have helped to mould the house of Louis Vuitton into what it is today.
The exhibition is spread over two floors, the first for Louis Vuitton and the second for Marc Jacobs. The exhibition starts with the creation of the brand by Louis Vuitton in 1854 and the introduction of the famous flat bottom canvas trunks. Which were the first of their kind in the mid 1800s and revolutionized the industry, with their flat sides waterproof canvas and lightweight airtight design. In the above photo you can see the original canvas designs and how they changed over time, Damier Canvas (the checkered one) was actually created in 1888, years before the iconic Monogram canvas came to be.
Monogram Canvas was introduced in 1896 to combat counterfeiting ironically and the above photo shows the original canvas design from the late 1800s, it was later revamped in 1959 to the one we are more familiar with today.
Now I must say whilst the Louis Vuitton floor was fascinating in the history and creation of the brand, I couldn't wait to get upstairs and see the Marc Jacobs floor.
And it really was a feast for the eyes as depicted by this chocolate tray display, which shows Marc Jacobs bag designs as the eye candy they really are.
I love looking at the Marc Jacobs Vuitton archive, it is remarkable what he has done for the brand in such a short space of time. Marc Jacobs was only appointed as creative director of Louis Vuitton in 1997 and in the past 15 years he has transformed the brand, from a luggage and leather goods company, into one of the most famous and profitable fashion houses in the world.
Marc was introduced at Louis Vuitton to shake things up, with his youthful avant garde designs. One of the earliest signs of this was his 2001 collaboration with artist and fashion designer Stephen Sprouse.
The iconic graffiti design, which defaced the monogram with street art lettering, synonymous with Sprouse was the ultimate way to breathe new life into the tired establishment of Louis Vuitton. The design was applied to bags luggage and accessories and was phenomenally successful on it's release.
The graffiti collection is definitely one of my all time favourite collections from Louis Vuitton, I love the anarchist rebellion of it and it's gritty urban arty New York vibe. It was later reinterpreted in 2009 with neon colours and roses to commemorate the death of Stephen Sprouse in 2004.
Another landmark collection for Louis Vuitton and Marc was the 2003 Takashi Murakami collaboration. Which was initially meant to be limited edition but due to the popularity of the Multicolore Monogram Canvas, designed by the Japenese artist Takashi Murakami, the print is still available on bags and accessories today.
Overall I loved the exhibition, despite the staff having a strict no photos policy, I did manage to snap like a ninja and get a few
The exhibition is open until the 16th of September, so if you are in Paris I would definitely recommend checking it out.
(Photos copyright of Richie Nickel)