Simple, bold, lyrical. About special things that inspire. By Sarah Tolzman
Simple, bold, lyrical. About special things that inspire. By Sarah Tolzman
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.
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…
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.
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.
A tale of an artisan – be the hands behind a Petit Malle and see space and time whizz past you.
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.
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.
One of my favourite rooms – watch live, the craftsman from Paris, bringing a thousand meticulous movements to create one special piece.
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.
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.
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.
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…
Current location: Seoul, South Korea. Time-zone: Galaxy far far away, corner of Asgard and one stop before Uranus. My body does not comprehend the blue tint of dusk creeping through the blinds at the wee hours of the morning and sends out confusing bodily signals including but not limited to: hunger, a need-to-pee, PMS, utter exhaustion and insomnia (at the same time), and demands that I do something about it. In return, I do what I usually do when faced with jetlag: eat something questionable out of my Airbnb host’s fridge, entangle self within a duvet and find a TV shopping channel sufficiently entertaining enough to sap the last of energy. The effect is sublime – I arrived on Thursday and woke up on Monday morning ,feeling brand spankin’ new.
Problem is, I still don’t know what time it is. Imma go pee.
Every six months my parents ask me via Whatsapp, “so… what exactly is it that you do now?” And every six months, I struggle to explain what exactly it is that I do now. If they asked this morning, I would add ‘5-minute spaghetti chef’ to the list, alongside photographer, web designer and blogger, and my mother would show me the true spelling of ‘tsk tsk’. (It’s true, I am this close to a Michelin star tyre) There is no doubt that I do lead a bit of a double life, if not triple – just like any ambitious (read: charged with the crazies) individual today. Plus, it comes with the territory when working in the visual industry.
For this reason I don’t have a uniform, there is no one cape that I can wear to all three jobs, unless stained Pyjamas count (thank the heavens for Skype conference calls). Truth is, I rely heavily on versatile, multi-purpose pieces that can minimize the stress of having to face an important client in the morning and then go on a physically demanding photoshoot in the afternoon. On this collaboration with Fay, I thought I’d show you exactly how I live this double, triple life quite comfortably with just one coat called Virginia.*
Don’t forget to check the Double Life feature over at Fay.com with the full scope of the campaign and rest of the Double Life babez.
* I don’t really change three times a day (unless I spill curry twice a day, which has happened in the past, mind.), this is simply to illustrate the multiple scenarios of styling a coat.
** Apologies if my third-grader handwriting offended anyone’s eyeballs this morning. I blame the rise of the machines…
There’s something inexplicably frustrating about city life that promises infinite freedom yet binds us with such firm tempo that one foot out the line can seem deadly. I should know, my off-tempo singing in the shower have caused many a neighbour to abandon the building. It takes a certain kind of bravery to wake up one morning and deciding, instead of going down to fetch coffee and the newspaper, to pack a decent-sized bag and leaving everything familiar, to escape.
Now, I personally cannot pride in being one of those ultra-brave-hearts, my own little departure ripened over some weeks of first, flirting with the idea, then some scattered hours here and there to mold a general plan in place. All it would need is a breath of life. Mostly, I was dying to shoot a travel piece, and wanted to work with a brand that I love and equally treasured Travel as part of their DNA. Coincidentally, Louis Vuitton had just launched a shoe-only boutique in Harrods Shoe Heaven, and it was the perfect starting point.
The Art of Escape is all about finding an enabler, whether it be an object or person. Mine was a good friend, Brian Leavy of Born Explorers, who knew the wheel and the road; and Louis Vuitton, a small selection of handsomely-crafted shoes that I believed appropriate to escape in.
It’s my hope that this story will encourage you to find your own enabler, and experience your own little escape.
There is no better feeling than gliding down an open road with the muffled sounds of the outside lapping against the windshield. It’s a bit like being back in the womb actually. Only if it had an umbilical hose for breakfast…
While I don’t trust myself with a full cup of coffee even when stationary, you must agree that breakfast always tastes better reading/watching something. In this case, the scenery between London and Oxford, it’s got a good plot…
Call in advance and book, if possible, but a table tends to free up quite quickly if you don’t mind having a wander around the grounds. Brian claims that the ½ Woolley Park farm chicken with lemon mayonnaise is life-altering. My beef sirloin is satisfying on a similar level.
City of academia, and dream to many aspirational tweens and Asian mothers alike. Also known for filming ground for Hogwarts, school of witchcraft and wizardry.
Walking aimlessly can actually be a decent tour strategy in this city. Make sure to see Christchurch, Bodlian Library, Radcliffe Camera, and tea on the roof of the Ashmolean museum.
Sure, it’s a disappointing notion, but make it something that’s as important as the journey out. Take an exit from the motorway and explore the country roads a little, park by a bit of land and turn off the engine for a while.
I’m not immune to the idea that this escape will not last for very long in my mind once I re-join the ranks in the city, but for now, I savour these few days – or weeks, hopefully – of calmer seas.
All Louis Vuitton shoes are available at Harrods Shoe Heaven