The Art of Travel




Designs through the ages. 

From 1854 to the present day, Louis Vuitton, his son and grandson, and now LVMH, have ensured the success of this iconic company who have based their  principals on French style and the importance that the beauty of an object be equal to its functionality and mobility.  The trunks above represent 4 generations of the LV style.  The LV monogram was created as a way to pay tribute to Louis Vuitton in 1896, four years after his death. 




I made a point to see the Louis Vuitton exhibit Volez Voguez Voyágez, meaning fly, sail, travel.  It does not disappoint!  It is the recreation of the exhibit I had read so much about at the Grand Palais in Paris.  The collection is vast, with many a rare piece.  The set design is spectacular thanks to Robert Carsen, who brings to life the feeling of being in a beautiful train car or being enveloped in rich, deep suede.  The exhibition is curated by Olivier Saillard.  The retrospective takes you on a beautiful journey through time.  Historic pieces combined with modern styles tell a complete story of the house of  Vuitton.

Wood was very important to the integrity of a trunk, and it all began with trunks.  The trunks had to be sturdy and light weight.  The contents must be protected from moisture.  Very dry wood, rubber linings, zinc and copper plates, and an oiled canvas exterior with their patented locking system ensured practicality as well as elegance.  A variety of woods was and is still used in the creation of each trunk.



 There are trunks for hats, trunks for shoes, trunks for linens, a writing trunk, a traveling bar trunk. You name it ~ there is a trunk for it, or there can be.  From their humble beginnings, there was a canvas clad vessel for almost anything!

Shoe Trunk


Linen trunk with ironing board

The advent of travel whether by plane, train, ship or automobile really allowed the company to flourish, manufacturing any, and I mean any, luggage necessary to carry accoutrements around the corner or around the world.  Special or custom orders still hold a special place in the Vuitton program.

Chauffeur's  Kit Case

The fold out bed trunk belonging to Gaston-Louis, the grandson, demonstrates almost anything is possible and portable.

Assorted Monogramed Trunks and Suitcases, 1 holds a bed.

The fashionable woman held a Morocco leather bag in her arms.  This was the prelude to the soft handbag . It often carried lotions, potions, gloves and a hankerchief.




Picnic Trunk





Tea Trunk





Traveling by rail was a more formal proposition.  The inclusion of clothing which came later helped give the exhibition a complete picture of the house of Louis Vuitton.








A Bottles Case


Cane and Shoe Shine Trunks. The monogramed suitcase was owned by Christian Dior


This clothing trunk was made for Paul Poiret.

Top Hat Case






Typewriter and Book Trunk


Each piece of luggage or trunk was made to exacting measurements depending on what it was to hold.

Make up and Hair Care Case





The company prided themselves on their customization program.  Celebrities, royalty and the very wealthy all had their trunks customized.  A file was created for everyone from Audrey Hepburn to Queen Noor.








Lauren Bacall owned


Elizabeth Taylor owned



Traveling with musical instruments?  No problem, there's a case for that.







If you haven't been to the exhibit it is worth the trip, but you had better hurry as it closes January 7th.  It can be an interactive experience if you download the app.  Included are filters for your camera and an audio.
 
And we know the trunks are still highly prized today but I doubt the Vuitton's imagined they would become hot in the home decor world.





                "STRIVE NOT TO BE SUCCESSFUL BUT RATHER TO BE OF VALUE"

                                                                                                  ~ Louis Vuitton Malletier



                      I think you would be proud of your legacy Mr. Vuitton



















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