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Retracing the past,
shaping the future

A closer look into the
Louis Vuitton Series 3 exhibition in london

Forget that this exhibition has anything to do with a high-profile luxury brand, or in fact, anything to do with the nitty-gritty details of exchanging hard-earned anything for something pretty. The Louis Vuitton Series 3 exhibition is a communication tool, a portal, or uplink/downlink to the depths of a dreaming designer, a reminiscing historian, and into the hearts of those that create with their hands. Think Minority Report, TRON…or even Being John Malkovich, and imagine the odd yet enticing notion of seeing the inner workings of someone’s head, the strong electrical current of emotion, and a digital realm that seems so fickle yet real at the same time. Most importantly, Series 3 is not about the destination, but the journey. And this is where we make the connection with Louis Vuitton as a brand, with a ‘malle’ (trunk) at the core of it all.

The day my team and I arrived to shoot the exhibition, 180 Strand was still a construction site – the air was thick with dust, cables strewn across the concrete floors that still bore the footprints of the workers. In the four hours that took to shoot this story, the exhibition came to life around us: the screens fizzed with activity, lasers re-calibrated and spotlights trained on the artisans. I must say it was hugely humbling to have experienced that part of its journey, the intimate, fragmented moments before it becomes one entity, so I’d like to thank the LV team for the invitation to shoot this story. Finally, here it is, my little tour of #LVSeries3, with hopes that you will be able to taste a bit of the experience before deciding to pay a visit, which I strongly recommend – admission is free, just book online for a slot. The exhibition will run until October 18.

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The Entrance
Abstract

This optical illusion greets me at the foyer, first of many – the classic LV signet evolves into the modern twist lock in an animation that peeks through only through the layered blades of polarized glass…

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Cerebrial Journey
Atrium

A vast atrium where a geodesic dome is suspended mid-air swallows me into Nicholas Ghesquere’s brain. It’s a journey towards creative enlightenment: I lose myself in the moments of tranquility, meditation and sweeping illumination.

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Birth of concept
Magic Malle

A dizzying experience inside what seems to be a LV designer’s mind: muses, memories and new shapes form around, with the heritage trunk at the core of it all. Beware, the ground may feel unstable after a while.

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travel with
Artisan Desks

A tale of an artisan – be the hands behind a Petit Malle and see space and time whizz past you.

The buzz
Infinite Show

This room takes me straight back to Paris, to the AW15 show in March. I re-live the excitement of a new collection and buzz of the spectacle.

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Power of Digital
Laser room

The lights are off, all but a single blade of laser that animates pattern-cutting of some of the familiar designs from AW15. The room alone explains the importance of the brand’s intimate relationship between man and machine.

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The hands
Savoir Faire Lab

One of my favourite rooms – watch live, the craftsman from Paris, bringing a thousand meticulous movements to create one special piece.

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Invisible Avatar
Accessories Gallery

Experience an overwhelming blow to your ocular and vestibular senses as you step into what seems like a new dimension, and let your eyes settle on familiar colours and shapes of accessories from both the archives and the AW15 collection.

a dream
Walk-in Wardrobe

Press your nose against the jewel casing and count the stitchings – this glass structure (that looks like a figment of imagination) is in reference to elements from the Palm Springs Resort ’16 set-design.

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Stickers at the
The Lounge

A rest-stop, but also where I ease back to real life, after an experience that almost feels like an intrinsic dream. At the far wall I re-connect with my 9-year old self and picking out all the stickers I can fit in my pocket. Stickers of bags, shoes and the alphabet.

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New Faces…
Poster Room

Like a teenager’s poster-clad room, new faces of the campaign blanket the walls in the last chamber. Pick up a poster for yourself. Move aside Leo Di’Caprio, we’ve got ourselves a new obsession…

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art direction, photography, cinemagraphs PARK & CUBE in collaboration with LOUIS VUITTON

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Shoes – Adidas Energy Boost

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A Skinny Latte at monmouth Coffee
27 Monmouth Street, WC2H 9EU

Coffee-connoisseurs the world around swear by Monmouth coffee – witness how proper lattes are done and don’t forget to take home your own bag of coffee beans to sniff when sad.

Trench coat – Burberry. Bag – Saint Laurent ‘Lulu’. Top – ASOS. Jeans – 7 For All Mankind. Shoes – Adidas Energy Boost

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oysters at
the delaunay
55 Aldwych, WC2B 4BB

Sure, they’re known for wieners. Lots of different type of wieners. In fact, go for wieners, but the mittel European vibe at the Delaunay is not complete without oysters on ice to start.

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Burgers at Shake Shack
24, Market Building, The Piazza, WC2E 8RD
Dress – StyleNanda. Denim Jacket – Pinko (Similar). Bracelet – Monica Vinader. Shoes – Adidas Energy Boost

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Your search for the best burger is over. The cheeseburger topped with Niman Ranch all-natural applewood smoked bacon, chopped cherry pepper and ShackSauce goes famously with a side of crinkle-cut fries and a pint of Oreo shake is match made in heaven. And, as one Sheldon Cooper would say, the burgers come with a satisfying meat-to-bun-to-condiment ratio. (Avoid peak hours unless queuing is a hobby)

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2A THE MARKET BUILDING WC2E 8RF

Burberry’s first stand-alone beauty store, with looks straight off the catwalk. Try the radio-frequency identification-enabled platform that matches your skin tone to a colour, preeeetty fascinating.

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go for a run on victoria embankment
victoria embankment, WC2R

One of the best running routes the city has to offer, the riverside embankment. Opt for an early morning jog when the streets are bare from tourists. Up one bank and back the other, follow signage, or not. I usually follow the smell of breakfast. Beats views from any gym treadmill.

All clothing – Adidas

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In collaboration with Adidas UK; Photography – KrisAtomic. Layout & Art Direction – Park & Cube

Réjane Clutch, a personal favourite

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Moynat, journey to London

Réjane

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Cabotin, insipred by the Moynat English trunk

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Suitcase designed to fit exactly on top of the roof of an automobile.

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Quattro

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Virage coin wallet

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Moynat, 112 Mount Street, W1

Two things I love and respect: craftsmanship and history. And Mexican food. Three things. What’s certain is that you put those things together and something fantastic comes out of it – heck, add the Mexican food in as well, one should never say no to a fiesta. We live in an age so catered to fast-consumerism, landfills, and butt-grazingly short concentration span – I should know, I spent nine hours writing this copy because I’m apparently giving equal attention to 19 other tabs (hold on while I check out this cat taking a bath) – somewhere in the middle, true quality is lost. This is where brands like Moynat come in – founded in 1849 by Pauline Moynat who designed and built made-to-measure trunks for horse carriages and many of the first automobiles. The brand is all about craftsmanship and finest levels of quality, the handbags are made by skilled artisans in an atelier stone-throw away from the Paris Rue Saint-Honoré flagship, and each bag takes about 20 hours to complete. The bags are flawless in construction with a design detail very characteristic to Moynat: the curve of the classic trunk. All models hint on a sense of travel, an adventure, which I found rather romantic given such attention to structure and form. I visited the beautiful new boutique on Mount Street two days before it opened, (and 20 minutes after Pharrell had visited, apparently) (curse you, traffic), which was my first encounter with Moynat, but for some reason I don’t think it’ll be my last. 

Many thanks to Guillaume Davin (Director of Moynat) for the tour and Starworks Group for introductions.

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The 2013 London Tweed Run

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Photo by Yu Fujiwara of Tokyobike

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Time for tea!

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Tweed blazer - Vintage Gerry Weber, Skirt – ASOS. Floral shirt – Zara. Shoes – Topshop. Bag – Warehouse. Bike – Tokyobike. Thank you Kit for the shots of moi!

One does not simply partake in the Tweed Run among 499 others and not come home with 49,999 photos of tweeded butts, as Boromir might say.

We spilled out into the streets, ushered by the marshals – in no particular order but close enough to each other to hold hands. Mobile boomboxes in bike baskets sang the 50’s, conversations budded up here and there while turning corners. Girls rode in heels, hands-free for some boys, and we bloggers cycled with our elbows while trying to capture every moment… At times it felt like learning to cycle all over again – half scooting, half balancing with momentum – except here when you topple over sideways you take about twenty people down with you. Every single head turned on the streets, traffic stopped, and windows opened in cheer – how exhilarating! So this is what it feels like to be a politician, or blonde. We rode through Marylebone, Oxford Circus, Saville Row, Piccadilly, Whitehall, Westminster… all the postcards of London, then ended up in Lincoln’s Inn Fields just behind Holborn for afternoon tea; then up to King’s Cross to finish the day at a pub, at which point England did what England does best and rained on a parade. Only literally, though.

Many thanks to Tokyobike once again for this wonderful experience! Check out part 1 for more tweed, less buttz.

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The 2013 London Tweed Run, with Tokyobike

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Yu Fujiwara, manager at Tokyobike UK and photographer at 8 and 2 blog

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My ride for the day!

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…then to UCL to meet the rest of the gang and fuel up

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feasting on Vintage Rascal models

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Our good marshalls

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One can not decline a last minute invitation to join a biker gang, now can one.

The Tweed Run is one of those few elusive, fantastic events in London that you only hear about after its all happened, or worse, one you see happening one random Saturday when, just the other day you’d reminded yourself to find out when it’s taking place. So yes, being in a (flash mob) biker gang is pure awesome, but to be in time for it is a small miracle. The bigger miracle of course, is actually having tickets for it as they’re allocated through an auction (ours of which were provided by Yu Fujiwara [Tokyobike UK manager]). At 8am we convened at the Tokyobike shop in Shoreditch, where we were presented our rides for the day – mine, a mushroom-coloured beauty – and had our numbers pinned onto our sleeves. Then we joined the rest of the gang at the UCL courtyard, where the 500-strong mob filed in, dressed in some form of tweed, bumping fists and fueling for the six-hour tour through Central London. Promptly at 11am we were shepherded out by the marshalls and a day of grins-on-wheels (and bum-bruising) would begin.

Stay tuned for part two, the fellowship of the Tweeds, and a journey across middle-London.