Louis Vuitton celebrates its heritage and expertise by opening its second private museum in the northwestern suburbs of Paris. The Louis Vuitton “Galerie” in Asnières renders the experience of feeling the beating heart of the ateliers that continue to make the most exceptional trunks and pieces of Louis Vuitton leather goods collections.
— Vanessa Friedman (@VVFriedman) July 5, 2015
The French Maison’s Family House Garden Party marked the opening of the “Galerie” which was attended by Michelle Williams, Patrick-Louis Vuitton along with other celebrities as well as Judith Clark, the curator of the debut exhibit.Michelle wore a Louis Vuitton Resort 2016 dress with leather detailing, paired with leather sandals and minimalist makeup.The luxury fashion house has opened its first museum, the Frank Gehry-designed Louis Vuitton Foundation in the Bois de Boulogne, just a year ago. However its new creative, playful and timeless space, located at the historic former home of the Louis Vuitton family in France, has a more intimate feel.WWD states that the 6,500-square-foot exhibition space is located on the historic Louis Vuitton grounds which also houses the workshops where the luxury brand still produces its most exclusive made-to-order items.Spread over two floors are around 400 objects and documents from the house’s archive of 26,000 objects and 165,000 documents. They range from couturier Paul Poiret’s trunk to items from the Vuitton family’s personal collection, including a pair of 17th-century Venetian women’s platform shoes. The ground floor houses a selection of trunks and toiletry kits, alongside period product brochures, Vuitton correspondence and more modern designs, like a bag designed last year by artist Cindy Sherman.Under the poplar wooden ceiling of first floor, visitors can experience a sense of drama that is reflected in unexpected juxtapositions, such as a Keepall bag from 1930 that belonged to Gaston-Louis Vuitton displayed next to a Bowling Vanity Tuffetage bag from creative director Nicolas Ghesquière’s fall 2014 show.
While Clark’s favorite piece from the show is a page of playful monogram designs from around 1910, the opening event was dotted with clothing designs from the label’s current and past creative directors like Ghesquière, Kim Jones and Marc Jacobs. It also featured vintage items from the likes of Jeanne Lanvin, Christian Dior and Madeleine Vionnet, designed to represent different eras.
The Louis Vuitton Foundation is referenced in a small-scale model, held up by a mannequin dressed in Ghesquière’s designs, and film footage projected on a back wall. The exhibit also showcases the house’s history of collaborating with artists including Richard Prince and Daniel Buren.
At the invitation-only exhibit, Judith Clark said, “We wanted it to be perceived very much as a gallery intervention. It’s like an installation reflecting on the idea of exhibiting the Vuitton archive. It’s intended to be kind of slightly disruptive in that way.” She emphasized, “It’s about fashion as fashion, it’s fashion as collaboration, and it’s fashion as the muses and owners and wearers associated with the luggage, so at a certain point, you’re kind of personifying it.”