A Louis Vuitton x Supreme skateboard, a leopard-skin handbag designed in collaboration with Azzedine Alaïa, a wardrobe trunk dating back to 1925 and silhouettes by Virgil Abloh for Louis Vuitton men’s are some of the pieces shown at the Louis Vuitton Time Capsule exhibition in Milan.
Running until October 20, the travelling exhibition is housed in a white cube at the foot of the Duomo on the Piazetta Reale. This impressive location was meant to celebrate the long-lasting relationship between the fashion house and the Italian city: Milan is where the first Louis Vuitton store in Italy was opened in 1984.
At the entrance of the exhibition, an artisan from the Louis Vuitton atelier in Asnières was patiently put together a Petite Malle handbag, explaining to onlookers that each artisan oversees the entire creation of a piece, from punching in the studs to fitting in the clasp.
There are over 250,000 pieces in the Louis Vuitton archive, spanning the luxury house’s history from 1854 to present day. The exhibition cleverly puts forward how the current creative directors of the brand use its signature codes on modern day items: Details on a beaten-up leather trunk in Trianon canvas from 1870 were spotted on a denim jacket from Virgil Abloh’s fall 2018 collection, which mirrored the criss-crossing pattern of cushioning found inside the lid of Louis Vuitton trunks.
In addition to the usual sections present in the itinerant exhibition – a room presenting the house’s key invention, another celebrating the art of travelling, a last one showcasing the brand’s different artistic collaborations – the exhibition chose to pay homage to Milan’s design background by showing a selection of pieces from the house’s Objets Nomades furniture line, including a totem-like plant holder in leather, brass and porcelain designed by Damien Langlois-Meurinne in 2019. An interactive “Magic Malle” immersive video installation rounded up the offering.
Milan is the 17th city to welcome the itinerant exhibition. “Time Capsule” made its debut in Hong Kong in 2017, and has touched down in such cities as Los Angeles, Shanghai, Dubai, Singapore and Mexico City.