Last month, as part of Paris Fashion Week, the Louvre’s Musee Des Arts Decoratifs hosted a photocall in honor of the opening of its Louis Vuitton-Marc Jacobs exhibition running from March 9 through September 16. The exhibition relates the 143 year history of the fashion house through the lens of two men, Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs.
I have to say, I find the roll call at the photocall almost as interesting as the show itself (it’s fairly sacrilegious to suggest the guests were as or more interesting, but they certainly were close). To some extent the list is, not surprisingly, directory of the rich and famous: socialites, fashion designers, celebrities, models, fashion editors, fashion moguls, artists. But I think on another level, it’s breadth says a lot about the place of the design house as a bridge between haute couture, museum art, applied arts and popular culture.
Takashi Murakami and Kristen Stewart in the same place — and it makes surprisingly perfect sense. You know, I’ve never really been sure what to do with Kristen Stewart. Her central role in the Twilight movie franchise solidifies her position as pop culture celebrity par excellence. A few months ago I saw just about the most brilliant comedic impersonation I have ever witnessed, mocking Stewart’s vapidness and stupidity. But, confession, I LOVED the Twilight books (okay, and the movies), and Kristen Stewart has flexed impressive acting chops in other roles (noting in particular her portrayal of Joan Jett). And as two movie versions of the Snow White story opening this spring/summer — Mirror, Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman — Stewart stars in what appears to be the grittier and more substantial of the two. In collaborations with artists like Stephen Sprouse and Takashi Murakami, Louis Vuitton has literally applied art to its products. Yet the artists of choice are ones whose work itself challenges the boundaries between high art and low art, the world of the museum and popular culture, and refuses to be contained within simple and discreet media. There is a vitality and excitement in the stark contrast between the early Louis Vuitton designs, and the fabulous bags and coats by Murakami and Stephen Sprouse. (Truth be told, I’m not sure there’s anything I covet more than a Murakami for Louis Vuitton bag — absolutely fabulous!)
photocall pictures via metro.co.uk