Posts tagged ‘Daniel Buren’

October 3, 2012

louis vuitton spring/summer 2013

Louis Vuitton Women's Spring Summer 2013 Show 01

A series of columns, descending on the elegant angle of an escalator, traversing the horizontal of the catwalk and ascending again, formed the fundamental structure of the Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2013 presentation. Each look was a strict rectangle when considered from the perspective of an architect’s elevation, interrupted on the horizontal at three levels, with the sleeve heads offering the only deviation from the straight and narrow. This strict template was inspired in part by the conceptual artist Daniel Buren and his work Les Deux Plateaux, a series of 260 columns of three different heights arranged in a grid within the great courtyard of the Palais Royal in Paris. This was the first ever Louis Vuitton collection where the monogram was nowhere to be seen; instead, the damier pattern provided the house’s signature. Squares in differing colours and textures and at varying scales gave the clothes and accessories a starkly graphic quality.

Louis Vuitton Women's Spring Summer 2013 Show 02

For all its crisp, clean lines and bold blankness, the collection still included the labour-intensive embellishments for which Louis Vuitton is famous. The tiniest sequins ever produced were arranged by the thousand to create fluid metallic surfaces, while slightly larger paillettes were stacked four-deep and stitched in precise grids to create geometric relief textures. ‘Tuffetage’, a technique taken from carpet-making, was embroidered on cloth and leather to create a flock-like effect. Surfaces were decorated with goose feathers, applied with painstaking care to produce a perfectly even texture and trimmed to create crisp-edged squares.

 

Louis Vuitton Women's Spring Summer 2013 Show, Marc Jacobs, Shiori Kutsuna, Sun Li

Making such extreme simplicity work requires extreme precision. When every seam and every line is so conspicuous, every detail so architectural in its rigour, dimensions have to be exact to a fraction of a millimetre. Checks had to be matched uniformly on the seams, and allowances made for the way embellishments slightly altered the surface area of the fabrics they covered to ensure a perfectly regular grid. Woven leather underwent a special pressing process to ensure a completely flat, even surface. A fundamental duality underpinned the collection: between the two colours of each grid; between shiny and matt textures; between presence and absence, in the case of the dresses with the cut-out squares. The collection was presented on models in pairs to reinforce these oppositions. Artistic director Marc Jacobs had the image of two very different French icons of the 1960s, Françoise Hardy and Jane Birkin, in mind when creating the collection: Hardy always very covered up, Birkin always revealing plenty of flesh, but both always in long, simple clothes.

The rectilinear discipline extended to the bags and shoes. The Envelope and the Flat already had the requisite right angles, while the Speedy was re-engineered in square and cubic forms. The shoes were long and straight, the bow on the upper forming a bold geometric, while the heel was a precise metal triangle. The show was presented on a site-specific installation created by Daniel Buren in collaboration with Louis Vuitton. A catwalk of vast squares of glass in yellow and white, with four escalators and the roof of the tent perforated with a random scattering of circles. It was only fitting that a collection inspired by one of Buren’s installations should be presented on a set designed by him.

Connect with Louis Vuitton: Website www.louisvuitton.com, Twitter www.twitter.com/LouisVuitton, Facebook www.facebook.com/LouisVuitton and now find Louis Vuitton on Instagram. All images courtesy of Louis Vuitton.

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