A Love for Louis
I had very high expectations when I decided to take the trip downtown to 86 Trinity Place to see the "Volez, Voguez, Voyagez--Louis Vuitton Exhibition." I heard that there was a line around the block (even in the freezing cold!) every single day so people could enter and see vintage Vuitton trunks, bags, and dresses. Not to mention, there is a multitude of Instagram posts in front of the artsy, graphic walls that reside in the museum. I have to say, seeing the exhibition firsthand definitely met my expectations.
There were many magical moments inside of the Louis Vuitton exhibit, one of them being the first thing you see as you enter. There is a giant projection screen that makes you feel like you are boarding a subway to the wondrous world of Louis Vuitton. Except, this is not your average subway—it is made out of a luxurious silver fabric with the Vuitton logo repeated throughout and contains many neon graphic designs plastered on it, including peace signs, fabric swatches, and the letters “LV.” On the opposite side of the screen, there is even a sign for the imaginary subway stop that says “Louis Vuitton.” The line to take a picture in front of those words was almost as long as the line to get into the exhibition itself!
Once I entered the exhibit, I saw that there were numerous vintage trunks with the same Vuitton logo that we are familiar with today. There were shoe trunks displayed from as early as 1912, made out of coated canvas, wood, lazine, brass, leather, light felt, horsehair (!), and metal. Trunks didn’t only serve for a shoe’s purpose back then; Louis Vuitton also catered to people’s needs to store their clothing, steamers, and even tea sets!
After glancing at the beautiful trunk cases from the 20th Century, I entered a room that was crafted so visitors would feel like they were walking down a highway. The windows that encircled the space contained even more trunks, as well as fashionable looks that set the mood of the room. However, something that I noticed is that many of the clothing that I saw towards the beginning of the exhibit were not Louis Vuitton designs, and were simply there to set the mood and take the room’s allure to the next level. I wish that this would not have been the case, as Vuitton’s genuine fashions are the ones that visitors are most interested in viewing.
After “walking down the highway,” I was shocked to see that there was a large airplane on the wall of the next room that had Vuitton trunks and bags on its wings. Placed up against a light blue wall painted to look like the sky, this made for a gorgeous, Instagram-worthy spot. This room also included one of my favorite Vuitton designs from the entire exhibit: a brown and white checkerboard cropped jacket by Louis Vuitton/Marc Jacobs with a matching long skirt from Spring/Summer 2013. The tailoring and shape of the look immediately drew me in, as both were absolutely exquisite.
Then, I entered what was considered the modern room in the exhibit, with the more recent Vuitton trunks, bags, and clothing on display. I loved the Louis Vuitton by Kim Jones leather jacket, with a square “V” design on the back in red, white, and blue. In terms of the trunks, there was one that really caught my eye, and was my favorite item in the entire exhibition: a giant trunk case on a turntable with rainbow drawers--I felt like I was witnessing the magic of design firsthand. Some of Louis Vuitton’s newest partnerships were also on display, including the company's skateboard and case in collaboration with Supreme and elephant boxes with Jake and Dinos Chapman.
The final room was the one that contained the walls that I had seen repeatedly tagged on Instagram: the wall was black and had “Louis Vuitton Paris” repeatedly written in hot pink throughout it. I wish that the room’s lighting was better so that I could have gotten better pics! However, the stunning, modern Louis Vuitton dresses on display made up for it. They featured some of the red carpet looks that Vuitton is famous for, including Taylor Swift’s sequin embroidered organza dress worn at the Met Gala in 2016 and Sophie Turner’s embroidered evening dress worn at the Met Gala in 2017.
Overall, the Louis Vuitton exhibit did not disappoint; it contained many gorgeous, Instagrammable spots and allowed me to develop a greater appreciation for the brand’s history and evolution of designs. However, in addition to removing any non-Louis Vuitton clothing, I wish that there would have been more artsy, graphic walls for snapping pictures, as there were only three or four. Regardless, Louis Vuitton still remains one of my favorite brands and will continue to develop new innovations that will leave customers captivated for years to come.