Over the past month, the SEE LV Exhibition has held court at The Rocks, on the shores of Sydney Harbour. The exclusive event showcased 20th century trunks, luxury leather goods, artistic collaborations, clothing and more from the French firm’s impressive archives.
A series of dazzling rooms transported viewers to Paris, where artisan Louis Vuitton cut his teeth as a trunk maker and personal packer to the Empress of the French, before launching his eponymous Maison.
Now, the Louis Vuitton name is a symbol of enduring luxury and a firm favorite among the style set.
You missed the opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of Louis Vuitton in its latest global traveling exhibition: pas de problèm. We’ve taken it upon ourselves to round up our highlights from the show, from designer collaborations to archival pieces.
Forget photo walls. Inside the SEE LV exhibition, a statement-making “Bag Stories” wall features the fashion house’s most iconic bags throughout its 168-year history. Created by Louis Vuitton in 1901, the Steamer bag was first designed as a spare bag to be folded into a trunk. The practical bag quickly became a wardrobe essential, carrying Gaston-Louis Vuitton’s tricolor V that would later become one of the house’s signatures.
For the Maison’s spring-summer 2001 collection, New York designer and artist Stephen Sprouse graffitied Louis Vuitton bags, marking the classic monogram with his signature scribble. It was a risky move that turned out to be successful; creating some of the most memorable bags in the history of the luxury brand and paving the way for other artists to rework the sacrosanct monogram.
There’s no mixing with this iconic fire red backpack, first presented at the Fall-Winter 2004-2005 Men’s Fashion Show. A youth icon of Louis Vuitton’s leather goods, the Christopher backpack was redesigned by English designer Kim Jones in 2017 in collaboration with skatewear brand Supreme. “The strength of [the Supreme] graphic versus the strength of the Louis Vuitton graphic with that kind of pop art feel—it works perfectly,” says Jones.
This beautiful hat box is proof that Louis Vuitton has conceived the art of travel. Inspired by British suitcases of the time, the Bessac is a hand-carried combination of a hat box and a suitcase. Best of all, it was equipped with a ribbon frame that allowed women to fit small hats in the trunk, ensuring essential accessories were always close at hand when traveling by plane or train.
ALMA PANTHERE BAG
In 1996, Louis Vuitton celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Monogram canvas originally created by Georges Vuitton. For the occasion, seven fashion designers were invited to work around the emblematic canvas, imagining new bags for travel and the city. Iconoclastic designer Azzedine Alaïa chose to reimagine the beloved Alma bag she wore with her signature motif: a panther print fabric.
Brought to you by Louis Vuitton.