Paris Fashion Week was probably one of the greatest experiences of my life, from the shows to the people I was lucky enough to meet, it was truly a week of growth and beauty. The week’s adventures will be taking over the blog for the next few posts in a feature I will be calling, “Paris Dairies”. Here I will be talking shows, street-style, fashion week activities, and even a little bit of food because I had some life changing donuts and baguettes.
For my first Paris Fashion Week I didn’t quite make it on the invite list for the Louis Vuitton show. I have grown particular admiration for Louis Vuitton over the past few years, as the company has put I focus on the connection between visual art and the art of fashion design. Since I was in the birthplace of Louis Vuitton and I could not go to the show I decided to explore the brand at the Foundation Louis Vuitton, going only hours after the show was presented in order to get a sneak peak at the space.
The Foundation Louis Vuitton is described as a, “space for art and culture”. The iconic building, that is truly a masterpiece from the inside out, was constructed by innovative architect Frank Gehry. The space holds galleries, terraces over looking all of Paris, a restaurant, as well as offices, which are not open to the public of course but that I fully peeked in to.
I walked through the park to the Foundation on my last day in Paris. Turning a corner, a crystal modern palace seems to appear from the green out of nowhere. I could have just walked around it and been mesmerized but luckily they do let you inside without a shiny invite.
At first I am not sure if I was in awe of the building or simply just confused by all the staircases and levels, but sure enough I got lost. Finding an elevator I went to the top terrace, easier to start from the top-down. From this height one would be able to see all of Paris, however this is not a lookout, it's a piece of art. The view was blocked in part by the buildings edges and shards. With this the building is able to control what the viewer sees and allows even the view of the Eiffel Tower to be included in the artwork of the Foundation.
Once I had my bearings I was able to explore the exhibitions of the gallery. The current exhibition at the foundation is Des Artistes Chinois a La Fondation Louis Vuitton (Chinese Artists and the Foundation Louis Vuitton). From one of Ai Wei Wei’s Trees to multiple video gallery rooms, the building was filled with China’s current great artists.
I, personally, am an avid art gallery lover. Every city I go to I try to visit the galleries. While I am no art critic, I appreciate when a gallery or museum is well planned out. No room too crowed or having to double back on oneself in order to see all the works. The Foundation Louis Vuitton was honestly one of the best-planned and curated galleries I have ever been too. Walking into each room every work stood out while also complimenting the other works, if any, in the room. The composition of sculptures and paintings allowed the viewer to be swept up in the works in the gallery room without being overwhelmed. The video galleries stimulated all the senses and allowed you to sit and watch the whole way through the presentation. It is a difficult thing to get people to stay and watch the whole of a video in a gallery rather than passing through, as if it was a digital painting, however at the foundation I watched as people sat and stood watching the videos as if they were Scorsese films.
I had to catch a flight after my gallery visit, as shown by the airport outfit I was wearing, but I did not want to leave the foundation even after seeing every work. Louis Vuitton shines an important light on art in fashion. Even though there was no direct link between the exhibit and clothing or the Louis Vuitton brand, having the exhibit in the Foundation showed how each art form can inspire and compliment one another.