HONG KONG — A year ago Louis Vuitton celebrated its second Maison opening here with a celebrity–studded event that featured a live performance by Kanye West. On Thursday, the French luxury brand took a different approach to partying in Hong Kong with an art opening on a grand scale.
Bernard Arnault, chairman and chief executive of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, welcomed some 700 guests to the Hong Kong Museum of Art, where the company has installed an exhibition of contemporary pieces called “Louis Vuitton: A Passion for Creation.” The show features works by artists with whom the brand has collaborated, as well as sketches and models of its new museum in Paris, and works by artists from Hong Kong and China.
“This exhibit is an example of the strong ties that Louis Vuitton has nurtured in Hong Kong,” said Arnault, noting the company opened its first store in the territory exactly 30 years ago.
Guests at the event included Frank Gehry, architect of the company’s under-construction museum, and his wife, Berta; local artist Adrian Wong; Raphaël le Masne de Chermont, executive chairman of Shanghai Tang; actor Russell Wong; the city’s Olympics organizer Timothy Fok; French Consul General Jean-Pierre Thébault; Antoine Arnault; Takashi Murakami, and Richard Prince, whose enlarged “After Dark” prints were used to “wrap” the entire museum. Gehry hit upon the theme of the night when he discussed the relationship between art and commerce: “Andy Warhol opened the door to a lot of what’s happening, and Murakami took it to the moon,” he said.
Vuitton’s creative director Marc Jacobs, wearing a red kilt, posed for countless photos with fans. “I’m trying to escape,” he said. “I don’t deal well with jet lag.”
Artist duo Gilbert & George, whose 1986 work “Class War, Militant, Gateway” has a prominent spot in the show, were on their first-ever trip to Hong Kong. “We’ve fallen in love with this city; we adore it. People are very appreciative here,” said George Passmore.
Indeed, from tycoon Stanley Ho and real estate magnate Allan Zeman to fashion designer Flora Cheung Leen and Hong Kong’s Chief Secretary Henry Tang, it seemed all of the city came out to appreciate the art on display and to have Polaroid photos of themselves snapped by models in the neon-graffiti-decorated Stephen Sprouse room.
The exhibition, which is part of the city’s annual Le French May arts festival, runs until Aug. 9.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion