Friday, 23 September 2011

Louis Vuitton's new Montenapoleone Milan Store and 'Art of Fashion' Exhibition

On September 21st 2011, Louis Vuitton hosted a cocktail party in the new Montenapoleone Milan store followed by the opening of the exhibition "Louis Vuitton: The Art of Fashion" curated by Katie Grand, at laTriennale di Milano. See below celebrities in attendance.

Marc Jacobs Louis Vuitton Artistic Director 
and Katie Grand
who curated the exhibition 'The Art of Fashion'

The incredible and gorgeous Carine Rotfeld
get hold of her book 'Irreverent' immediately

Elisa Sednaoui

Giovanna Battaglia

Marc Jacobs & Yves Carcell of Louis Vuitton

Franca Sozzani Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Italia since 1988
 & Marc Jacobs


Margherita Missoni

Designed by architect Peter Marino and inspired by what he refers to as a “residential” style,
therefore the new store in Milan is an intimate but sophisticated environment rather like Louis Vuitton Maison in Bond Street London, and fully reflects the Savoir-faire and the Art du voyage that the Maison stands for.
In the words of Yves Carcelle, President and CEO of Louis Vuitton: “Milan is one of the world’s most important cities when it comes to fashion, culture and design. And its soul is firmly rooted in both respect for traditional craftsmanship, as well as passion for creation - values we share and embrace at Louis Vuitton. This reopening is a milestone in Louis Vuitton’s Italian journey.”

 Montenapoleone will be the first Louis Vuitton store to offer two exclusive personalization services.

"Made to Order Shoes" service will enable gentlemen to choose among a wide variety of leathers and colour combinations to create a pair of shoes that will suit their taste and personality. For Women Haute Maroquinerie, personalization of Louis Vuitton iconic shapes to design a unique handbag made from the finest leathers.




At the occasion of the Montenapoleone store opening, Louis Vuitton pays tribute to the savoir-faire of its ready-to-wear collections and to the creativity of Marc Jacobs, Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton, with an exhibition curated by Katie Grand. 

Entitled: “Louis Vuitton: The Art of Fashion”, this exhibition will run from September 22nd to October 9th 2011 at La Triennale di Milano — the iconic Italian design museum.


In the Nineties, Louis Vuitton decided to extend its savoir-faire in travelling accessories and bags to ready-to-wear. In 1996, Louis Vuitton decided to celebrate the centenary of the Monogram by inviting seven fashion designers (Azzedine Alaïa, Helmut Lang, Sybilla, Manolo Blahnik, Isaac Mizrahi, Romeo Gigli and Vivienne Westwood) to reinterpret the famous Monogram canvas by giving it their own personal touch. “This was the first step of Louis Vuitton into the world of fashion”, comments Yves Carcelle, Chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton. “The results showed us how inspiring the brand's heritage could be for designers, and we also realized that with the right artistic direction, this experiment was worth continuing. It was a risk for Louis Vuitton. The House was doing very well, but every great story requires some risk. Louis Vuitton has always pushed the limits. This is when we realized that moving into ready-to-wear was our next challenge.”

Launched in 1998 by Marc Jacobs, the first Louis Vuitton ready-to-wear collection made a splash in the international fashion scene. The key to success was Marc Jacob’s unique vision — a daring juxtaposition of elements: defiance and elegance; style and functionality; masculinity and femininity… All of this was brought together by a relentless pursuit of perfection when executing every single piece of the collection. The timelessness of the Louis Vuitton collections is underlined by the craftsmanship and excellence quality of fabrics used.

“Marc Jacobs' real strength is his understanding of the brand and its history; he respects its traditions while bringing a breath of fresh air and a touch of fantasy, modernity and creativity”, states Pietro Beccari, Louis Vuitton Executive Vice President. Each collection is innovative and modern, whilst respecting the tradition inherent to the brand. In their creative process, Marc Jacobs and his team draw their inspiration from the House’s heritage with which they combine new ideas taken from stimuli and suggestions from every corner of the world.

Constantly in pursuit of the most exceptional results, Louis Vuitton has decided to take its innovation and savoir-faire to a higher level with a series of numbered pieces called “Les Extraordinaires” which are part of each collection. These exceptional pieces are sold in limited editions and in just a few selected stores around the world, including Milan’s Montenapoleone store. The Montenapoleone store will also disclose the new Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2011-2012 ready-to-wear collection for women, which explored the mysterious allure of fashion and fetish.


First unveiled in May 2010 at the opening of the Louis Vuitton New Bond Street Maison in London, “Louis Vuitton: The Art of Fashion” reveals a unique point of view on the communicating universes of fashion and art which mingle in Marc Jacobs’ creations for Louis Vuitton. Katie Grand's edit of various seasons allows visitors to re-discover Louis Vuitton's constant quest for excellence, craftsmanship as well as its modern approach to fashion.

For Katie Grand, who has worked closely with Marc Jacobs since 2003 on the fashion shows’ styling, Louis Vuitton opened the doors of its historical archive, thus giving her free access to dresses, bags and accessories of the Louis Vuitton collections: from the first 1998-1999 Fall/Winter season up to the most recent 2011-2012 Fall /Winter season. The result is 30 symbolic outfits from the most significant pieces of the various collections, from “coiffeuse” dresses to coats and large skirts, which Katie Grand skillfully mixed to highlight a timeless nature and modernity.

“The Louis Vuitton archive is phenomenal; it holds pretty much everything they’ve ever done, as well as pieces that never made it through the final edit to the presentation. We thought it would be fun to mix all these amazing pieces and presenting them on the mannequins” says Katie Grand, curator of the exhibition.

In the exhibition visitors may admire the cashmere mesh jumper of the 2000 Fall/Winter season combined with a tulle skirt from the 2004 Fall/Winter season, and the gloves of the 2001 Spring/Summer season made in collaboration with Stephen Sprouse, as well as boots and an oversized hood from the 2006 Fall/Winter season. The “coiffeuse” dress in silk satin, and the Speedy Multicolor created in collaboration with Takashi Murakami from the 2003 Spring/Summer season are proposed with the cuffs of the last 2011/2012 Fall/Winter collection. Also, the cotton cap created in collaboration with Philip Treacy from the 2001 Spring/Summer collection will be visible among other creations exhibited on mannequins especially conceived for the exhibition.

24 of these mannequins carry reproductions of Louis Vuitton’s famous speedy bags instead of heads. 6 other mannequins are made of wood and covered with Louis Vuitton graffiti designed by Stephen Sprouse in orange and pink fluo colors. An intimate cinema space adjacent to the permanent exhibition tells visitors, through the use of videos, the story of Louis Vuitton’s ready-to-wear collections and reveals how Katie Grand worked on the selection of the outfits for this exhibition.


Marc Jacobs was born in New York in 1963 and attended the High School of Art and Design and the Parsons School of Design, where he was the recipient of several prestigious awards, notably the Perry Ellis Gold Thimble Award, the Chester Weinberg Gold Thimble Award and the Design Student of the Year Award in 1984.  While still at Parsons, he designed and sold a collection of hand-knit sweaters, and formed his enduring business partnership with Robert Duffy, Jacobs Duffy Designs Inc.  He launched his own Marc Jacobs label in 1986, and the following year became the youngest designer ever to be honoured with The Perry Ellis Award for New Fashion Talent by the influential Council of Fashion Designers of America.  He subsequently joined Perry Ellis, which he abandoned after his "grunge" collection, which was to prove highly influential. In 1997, Marc Jacobs moved to Paris as Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton, presenting his first women's ready-to-wear collection in 1998, and his first men's collection in 2000 for Louis Vuitton.

Marc Jacobs is an informed collector of contemporary art and a personal friend of many leading artists.  His collection includes pieces by David Hockney, Andy Warhol, Rachel Feinstein, John Currin, Jeff Koons, Elizabeth Peyton, Richard Prince and Ed Ruscha.  Soon after his arrival at Louis Vuitton, he began to invite avant-garde artists to work with him on his collections and, in particular, to revisit the iconic Monogram canvas.  Notable collaborations have included Stephen Sprouse, Julie Verhoeven, Takashi Murakami and, most recently, Richard Prince. In 2010, Marc Jacobs has been decorated with the “Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres” medal by France’s Minister of Culture and Communications Frédéric Mitterrand. This distinction honours all Marc Jacobs’s work and career as creator.


In addition to her role as Editor-in-Chief of LOVE Magazine, the biannual Conde Nast style title she founded in February 2009, Katie Grand is a highly regarded stylist and creative consultant, working on some of the most style-defining shows and advertising campaigns of recent years.

Senior Contributing Fashion Editor of Interview, and regular contributor to: Arena Homme Plus, Vogue Russia, Vogue Nippon, and Industrie magazine, Grand recently styled Spring/Summer 2011 shows for: Giles, Jonathan Saunders, Loewe, Louis Vuitton, Topshop, and Ungaro.

In 2010, she curated Louis Vuitton's first ever exhibition to celebrate their ready-to-wear, which formed the centrepiece to the Louis Vuitton Maison on London's New Bond Street. This exhibition travelled to Moscow, Russia, later that year.

An early obsession with fashion led her to study at London's Central St Martins; during her year out in 1993 she launched Dazed & Confused with friends Jefferson Hack and Rankin. None of them realised just how important to their generation this fold-up, pamphlet-style fanzine – as it was back then – would become. With Katie Grand working as Fashion Director, the influence of Dazed grew as the magazine became a fully fledged contender in the style market. Then in September 1999 she moved to The Face, again as Fashion Director. The following year, the magazine’s publishers approached her about launching a new fashion/art title. This quickly materialized as POP magazine, heralding the arrival of the luxury superglossy women’s biannual as the most authoritative format in fashion publishing.  Eight years on and with 20 issues of POP under her belt, she was invited by Conde Nast to launch a new biannual, which became LOVE Magazine.

until next time J Xx ...

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