When Louis Vuitton met Pompidou

One of our absolute highlights from the FW19 fashion month was Louis Vuitton, who asserted itself as the Parisian brand with a remarkable presentation. The historic French label, specializing in a travel-infused luxury range of clothing and accessories, have in recent years, under the creative direction of Nicolas Ghesquière, developed a rather extraordinary habit of destination resort shows in some of the world’s most beautiful architecturally-drawn museums – such as the Miho Museum in Japan and The Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum in Rio de Janeiro. But for this season, Ghesquière cast his eyes on Paris’ very own architectural wunder-institution: the Centre Pompidou.

When the contemporary art museum in the city’s Beaubourg area was first unveiled in 1977, its high-tech and playful aesthetic caused a real scandal among the city’s political elite, who found it hard to embrace this clunky, colorful box in the middle of the city. “The Centre Pompidou is a prototype,” said the building’s architect, Renzo Piano: “It’s an artisanal piece. People may laugh, but it’s all handmade! Industrial production starts with a craftsman’s gesture. The great advantage you have when you create an industrial product is that, with the artisanal piece you make, you have the time and the opportunity to make it and remake it time and again.” Over the last 40 years the museum has developed to be one of the most important in the world, boasting an extraordinary collection of avant-garde and contemporary art, and staging important art historical exhibitions (currently, for example, enjoy the first authoritative retrospective of the Russian artist Victor Vasarely, or the first exhibition of Brazilian artist Erika Verzutti). For many, Pompidou has become as much a landmark as the Eiffel Tower, and this was underlined by LV’s show which took place within the building’s bold construction. The collection reiterated the past futurism of the museum’s design, what the brand itself called “an homage to the clash of old and now … in which debate is deliberately lively, like a reverberation of the museum’s inauguration.”