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Louis Vuitton “The Art Of Fashion” Curated by Katie Grand

Wednesday September 21, 2011 – La Triennale di Milano

On the occasion of the Montenapoleone store opening, Louis Vuitton pays tribute to the savoir-faire of its ready-to-wear collections and to the creativity of Marc Jacobs, Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton, with an exhibition curated by Katie Grand. Entitled: “Louis Vuitton: The Art of Fashion”, this exhibition will run from September 22nd to October 9th 2011 at La Triennale di Milano – the iconic Italian design museum.

In the Nineties, Louis Vuitton decided to extend its savoir-faire in travelling accessories and bags to ready-to-wear. In 1996, Louis Vuitton celebrated the centenary of the Monogram by inviting seven fashion designers (Azzedine Alaïa, Helmut Lang, Sybilla, Manolo Blahnik, Isaac Mizrahi, Romeo Gigli and Vivienne Westwood) to reinterpret the famous Monogram canvas by giving it their own personal touch. “This was the first step of Louis Vuitton into the world of fashion”, comments Yves Carcelle, Chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton. “The results showed us how inspiring the brand’s heritage could be for designers, and we also realized that with the right artistic direction, this experiment was worth continuing. It was a risk for Louis Vuitton. The House was doing very well, but every great story requires some risk. Louis Vuitton has always pushed the limits. This is when we realized that moving into ready-to-wear was our next challenge”.

Launched in 1998 by Marc Jacobs, the first Louis Vuitton ready-to-wear collection made a splash in the international fashion scene. The key to success was Marc Jacob’s unique vision – a daring juxtaposition of elements: defiance and elegance; style and functionality; masculinity and femininity… All of this was brought together by a relentless pursuit of perfection when executing every single piece of the collection. The timelessness of the Louis Vuitton collections is underlined by the craftsmanship and excellence quality of fabrics used.

“Marc Jacobs’ real strength is his understanding of the brand and its history; he respects its traditions while bringing a breath of fresh air and a touch of fantasy, modernity and creativity”, states Pietro Beccari, Louis Vuitton Executive Vice President. Each collection is innovative and modern, whilst respecting the tradition inherent to the brand. In their creative process, Marc Jacobs and his team draw their inspiration from the House’s heritage with which they combine new ideas taken from stimuli and suggestions from every corner of the world.

Constantly in pursuit of the most exceptional results, Louis Vuitton has decided to take its innovation and savoir-faire to a higher level with a series of numbered pieces called “Les Extraordinaires” which are part of each collection. These exceptional pieces are sold in limited editions and in just a few selected stores around the world, including Milan’s Montenapoleone store. The Montenapoleone store will also disclose the new Louis Vuitton Fall-Winter 2011-2012 ready-to-wear collection for women, which explored the mysterious allure of fashion and fetish.

First unveiled in May 2010 at the opening of the Louis Vuitton New Bond Street Maison in London, “Louis Vuitton: The Art of Fashion” reveals a unique point of view on the communicating universes of fashion and art which mingle in Marc Jacobs’ creations for Louis Vuitton. Katie Grand’s edit of various seasons allows visitors to re-discover Louis Vuitton’s constant quest for excellence, craftsmanship as well as its modern approach to fashion.

For Katie Grand, who has worked closely with Marc Jacobs since 2003 on the fashion shows’ styling, Louis Vuitton opened the doors of its historical archive, thus giving her free access to dresses, bags and accessories of the Louis Vuitton collections: from the first 1998-1999 Fall-Winter season up to the most recent 2011-2012 Fall -Winter season. The result is 30 symbolic outfits from the

most significant pieces of the various collections, from “coiffeuse” dresses to coats and large skirts, which Katie Grand skillfully mixed to highlight a timeless nature and modernity.

“The Louis Vuitton archive is phenomenal; it holds pretty much everything they’ve ever done, as well as pieces that never made it through the final edit to the presentation. We thought it would be fun to mix all these amazing pieces and presenting them on the mannequins” says Katie Grand, curator of the exhibition.

In the exhibition visitors may admire the cashmere mesh jumper of the 2000-2001 Fall-Winter season combined with a tulle skirt from the 2004-2005 Fall-Winter season, and the gloves of the 2001 Spring-Summer season made in collaboration with Stephen Sprouse, as well as boots and an oversized hood from the 2006-2007 Fall-Winter season. The “coiffeuse” dress in silk satin, and the Speedy Multicolor created in collaboration with Takashi Murakami from the 2003 Spring-Summer season are proposed with the cuffs of the last 2011-2012 Fall-Winter collection. Also, the cotton cap created in collaboration with Philip Treacy from the 2001 Spring-Summer collection will be visible among other creations exhibited on mannequins especially conceived for the exhibition.

24 of these mannequins carry reproductions of Louis Vuitton’s famous speedy bags instead of heads. 6 other mannequins are made of wood and covered with Louis Vuitton graffiti designed by Stephen Sprouse in orange and pink fluo colors. An intimate cinema space adjacent to the permanent exhibition tells visitors, through the use of videos, the story of Louis Vuitton’s ready-to-wear collections and reveals how Katie Grand worked on the selection of the outfits for this exhibition.

“Louis Vuitton: The Art of Fashion” will run from September 22nd to October 9th 2011 at La Triennale di Milano.

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