The Louis Vuitton Volez, Voguez, Voyagez Exhibition exceeded my expectations. I exited the frigid temperatures of New York City and entered into the museum featuring the world of Louis Vuitton. The exhibit shared a candid story about the growth, history and success of the luxury brand. There were options for a private tour, group tour or self-guided tour. Since I wanted to see the exhibit at my own pace, I opted for the later.
Firstly, I walked into the Louis Vuitton railway station. There were artwork images of various trains decorated with Louis Vuitton symbols. The subway was a projection that created an illusion of decorative trains that rapidly arrived and left the platform. This exhibit was a prelude to what was to come.
The main level featured the Trunk of 1906! How fascinating to see one of the very first creations that became the pillar of success for Louis Vuitton. It was huge, luxurious and appeared to be heavy as it rotated behind a velvet rope that acted as a barricade. Materials used to create the trunk such as locks, wood, canvas motifs, ribbon tufting and much more were also featured throughout this exhibit. In addition to the Trunk of 1906 (in the photo above), Vuitton created car trunks, flat trunks, cabin trunks, trunks, curio trunks, painting trunks and writing trunks; just to name a few. There was a trunk for every purpose, and they were all beautiful!
The growth of the Travel Industry paralleled the expansion of this fashion house. For example, when Anthropologist Andre Citroen went on an exhibition across Africa, trunks were created that were suitable for the climate and the trip. The custom order included trunks ideal for toiletry kits and tea sets. Separately, as the yachting became popular the steamer bag was not only designed to fit inside of a wardrobe trunk, but it was large enough to hold several outfits. In 1910, it was the norm to change clothes three times a day while out at sea.
Similarly, car trunks made out of monogram canvas or Vuittonite were created to hold a wardrobe and hats for people travelling by automobile. Additional luxury items included the picnic trunk, briefcases and footrests. For the Aviation Industry, Vuitton created the Aero trunk. It weighed less than 57 pounds and was large enough to hold a modest amount of clothing and travel essentials. Lastly, for passengers travelling by Railways, cabin trunks were designed to fit comfortably under the seat. After seeing the exhibits on the Main Floor, I proceeded to the Mezzanine Level.
This level was a combination of exhibits that featured trunks formerly owned by celebrities, the evolution of Louis Vuitton perfume, custom order cases made for musicians and collaborations with various fashion icons such as Marc Jacobs.
Overall, if you love the Louis Vuitton brand then visiting this museum is a must. At the conclusion of my tour, I had a greater appreciation for Louis Vuitton. However, if the evolution of this fashion house is not your cup of tea, then visit the Louis Vuitton Volez, Voguez, Voyagez Exhibition with an open mind!
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