Monday, December 6, 2010
Voyage En Capitale Kate Becker
The Louis Vuitton exhibition now featured at the Musee Carnavalet provides the artistic and functional history of the company’s luggage, and the exhibit includes heritage pieces as well as loans from other museums. The inspiration for the brand's development and designs from when it was first created by Louis Vuitton in 1854 is also clearly explained. The famous emblems of the quatrefoil flowers and the LV monogram that are seen on Louis Vuiton’s products today are exactly the same as when they were created for the brand in the early 1900’s by Georges Vuitton. The design was inspired by Notre Dame and gothic art as well as the simplicity of Japanese prints that had grown into popularity around that time. The original Louis Vuitton trunks that were first fashioned in 1854 did not possess the famous logo though, and the leather was just simply coated with a grey colored canvas. The hardware of iron strips and metal brackets, however, were still identical to trunks manufactured today.
In addition to creating a unique and sophisticated design, Louis Vutitton ensured that the luggage was the most functional for various forms of travel. The luggage was constructed differently whether it was designed for travelers on ships, planes, or cars. Famous figures and celebrities have also been avid consumers of the brand since its early days, and the exhibit at the Carnavalet shows many specially designed pieces requested by particular clients. The functions of the different luggage models vary greatly, from ones that are equipped with vanity sets to a trunk that forms into a bed when opened.
As an admirer of the brand, I enjoyed learning about its origins and the stimulation for the logo. I was not aware that the brand began by strictly manufacturing luggage or that there is such a variety of models tailored to suit any purpose for traveling. Learning the origins of the company also made it clear to me why the old adds often feature classic automobiles pictured with the luggage. After seeing several fashion exhibits in Europe I have also learned that French designers tend to be the most classic, and I like that the simplicity of Louis Vuitton is still as popular today as ever.