Louis Vuitton puts on an impressive display of a heritage that dates back some 160 years
THE LIFESTYLE of travellers and explorers over the last 160 years is being narrated in a new exhibition showing at Parc Paragon in downtown Bangkok.
“Time Capsule Bangkok” digs deep into the archives of Louis Vuitton for this showcase of rare and celebrated objects dating back to its establishment in 1854 while demonstrating the ways in which Louis Vuitton has anticipated the needs and desires of a changing world over the decades.
Running through September 25, “Time Capsule” has also brought French artisans to Bangkok to demonstrate traditional leatherwork skills that remain as relevant today as they were in the past century. The exhibition follows a visual timeline of landmark moments in the Louis Vuitton story and focuses on five key aspects of that journey: The Codes of the House, Journeys around the World, Elegance and Beauty in motion, Icons of the House, and A Celebration of Louis Vuitton’s Past and Present Links with Thailand.
Highlighting the ongoing technical innovations that Louis Vuitton has employed in responding to the needs of its customers, the exhibition blends antique creations with more contemporary pieces, all the time highlighting the brand’s determination to create and reinvent objects that anticipate the evolution of lifestyle needs and desires.
Her Royal Highness Princess Sirivannavari Nariratana made a private visit to the exhibition on the opening day and was warmly welcomed by Louis Vuitton executives Anthony Ledru, Christopher Kilaniotis and Laurent Barrere.
Several distinguished guests and celebrities also turned out for the opening, among them Chadatip Chutrakul, Supaluck Umpujh, ML Piyapas Bhirombhakdi, Nualphan Lamsam, MR Srikhumrung Yukol, Noppadol Baholyodhin, Thananya Thanakitamnuay and Kongpat Jiramaneekul. Celebrities spotted in the crowd included Urassaya Sperbund, Natapohn Tameeruks, Mario Maurer, Pachara Chirathivat, Guun Svasti and Naphat Siangsomboon.
Despite growing into a global concern, the brand has remained faithful to the spirit of its founder, Louis Vuitton and his “Art of Travel”. This is evidenced as much by the craftsmen who do so much of the work by hand as a section of the exhibition devoted to the innovative trunks and the hardware that went their marking. This includes the wood used for the hard-sided luggage, the metal components that protect the corners of each trunk, the multi-tumbler lock, and the metal straps reinforcing the frame. Also on show are the durable coated canvas and refined leathers unique to Louis Vuitton and the inimitable patterns that decorated them such as the Grey Traianon, the beige and red stripes, the Damier and the Monogram, as well as the Malletage.
The Journeys section, meanwhile, displays the evolution of travel modes through a rail travel trunk, car trunk, roof trunk, and the Driver’s bag as well as the Steamer Bag, and the Cabin Trunk for air travel.
“Elegance in Motion” presents the brand’s expertise in the art of packing and crafted custom-made items to hold bottles of whiskey, perfume, board games, make-up, jewellery, and grooming tools.
Louis Vuitton’s collaboration with noted artists including Stephen Sprouse, Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince, Yayoi Kusama and Jeff Koons is also showcased, as are its past and present links with Thailand including the special order “Boite Flacon” in Yellow Epi produced in 2006 to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s accession to the Throne and the special order Watch Trunks designed by HRH Princess Sirivannavari in collaboration with Louis Vuitton to raise fund for the Chaipattana Foundation in 2008.
The last room is reserved for the Magic Malle, an immersive environment that takes the visitor on a visual journey from the first trunk produced through the invention and evolution of the coated canvas to the opening of the Foundation Louis Vuitton.
But no matter in which room the visitor chooses to linger, all the carefully created products pay testament to Louis Vuitton’s commitment to fine craftsmanship and explain why it remains a favourite haunt of travellers worldwide.
n Find out more about the Louis Vuitton Time Capsule exhibition in Bangkok at http://eu.louisvuitton.com/eng-e1/articles/time-capsule-exhibition-in-bangkok and eu.louisvuitton.com