Volez, Voguez, Voyagez - Louis Vuitton - Grand Palais

           

Cop21 is the worst- it's like The Jerry Springer Show of sustainability- and I didn't want to eat there so I headed to Square Jean Perrin for the new Louis Vuitton exhibition Volez, Voguez, Voyagez. Amidst Callot Soeurs dresses, Stradivarius violins, and purchase orders from Matisse and Dior, there are Louis Vuitton automobile parts, picnic sets, and hairbrushes- stuff I didn't even know they made, all non-disposable and perfectly useable today. Knit bonnets by Sonia Delaunay and Robert Piguet gingham gowns still look timeless next to coats by Marc Jacobs and dresses by Nicolas Ghesquière. Best of all, the exhibition features a glittering replica train car and Wes Anderson's famous luggage from The Darjeeling Limited, in all their hand-painted palm tree and giraffe-festooned glory.

The visit begins with classic Louis Vuitton designs from 1854 onward, followed by several travel sections and a collection of lithographs, fine papers, and books. One section features walls padded in monogram plush, not unlike Daria Morgendorffer's bedroom. Vintage luggage tags, ledgers, and leather bound wooden trunks are exhibited beautifully with period-appropriate loans from Palais Galliera. I would wear most of the vintage clothing displayed, which comes as no surprise, since I have the fashion sense of a 107-year-old woman. 

By the way, Louis Vuitton was a stone cold fox, judging from his portrait by Yan Pei-ming. Born in the Franche-Comté forest, he traveled from Jura to Paris on foot at age 14. There he parlayed woodworking skills into box-making, assembling sweetly scented, ergonomically designed trunks for European royalty. An early proponent of minimalism, he focused on creating increasingly lightweight, ingenious containers to protect and store his clients' entire wardrobes. Fun fact: Vuitton's grandsons, twins Jean and Pierre, invented helicopter prototypes.

"Volez, Voguez, Voyagez" runs until February 21, 2016. General tour tickets are sold out, but you can still reserve an entree simple or go without, which means you just enter through a separate line. I also highly recommend visiting the Vuitton family home, workshop, and gallery in Asnières-sur-Seine. Vuitton himself built the home in 1859 because Paris was dirty, smelly, and overrun with slums, and he wanted his family out of there. The gardens are beautiful and the house is full of richly handcrafted furniture. The backyard accommodates a workshop with over 200 artisans. Today you can take a tour and visit the small museum there, by appointment only.
Paris to Go

8 comments:

  1. Entire wardrobe in a trunk, that would be a dream of mine. I used to think their monogram was tacky and hence all the bags they tout. But their heritage is very interesting. I read a book called 'deluxe' which has a history of the brand and interesting accounts of them serving the nazis to keep their business going while Balenciaga shut down refusing to serve. They are incredible inventors nevertheless. Reading this post increased my respect for the brand. I would love to go on a tour one day.

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    1. I go back and forth on the monogram. I will read that book! Actually in the Elegance book I keep yapping about she writes of Balenciaga shuttering its doors on principle. But so many Paris- and European- institutions supported the Nazis in ways you hardly ever speak about today. Being German, my husband was raised with a clear sense of guilt at the atrocities from a very young age, but I'm told you don't see that happening in France, despite the French police ripping Jewish children from their homes (the Nazis said they only wanted the parents) and herding them to the Eiffel Tower to await death camps.

      I went off on a tangent there but you would just love the Louis Vuitton house, it is really lovely and you see how the entire family really worked hard and made advancements in other fields.

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  2. Looks like you were all alone in the exhibit. Thank you for sharing! Is that your new Dior dress I spy in the mirror?

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    1. Hi Sandra! Yes it is :) Looking rough haha. I was practically alone, which is weird because tons of people were visiting! There were only security guards and Louis Vuitton employees when I entered each room though. Very private!

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  3. Stone cold fox; this made me giggle and I have no idea why. Thank you for sharing. (I am not sure Cop21? Restaurant?)

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    1. Lol! Thanks :) Cop21 is the climate change conference that was held here in Paris... there was so much waste and I felt like a lot of people were just trying to sell stuff though, sigh!

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  4. Well, now I feel silly haha, I should have been able to figure that out as I knew the conference was happening. :o)

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    1. No don't feel silly! Actually, there were people there who, when I said, Cop 21, didn't know what I was talking about. And it was more than a few! I guess I should just refer to it as "climate change conference," the other name is not very descriptive!

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