L’eau de Voyage

Because no voyage is complete unless accompanied by fond memories.
And nothing evokes fond memories faster than an exquisite fragrance in an elegant glass bottle.
As delicate as our very existence. As enduring as the spirit of a true traveller.


Louis Vuitton perfume bottles designed by Camille Cless-Brothier in early 1920s.

L’Arbre pleureur, enameled crystal perfume bottle; design by Camille Cless-Brothier, 1922.


at the American Stock Exchange Building, through January 7th, 2018.

Admission is free

November 12th, 2017

LVoyage – Voyage

In the nineteenth century, the evolution of transportation reduced distances. Steam vessels were put into service in the 1830s, linking Europe to the Americas. Railways in 1848, the invention of the automobile in the 1890s, and the advent of commercial airlines in the 1900s ushered the world towards new habits and life experiences.

Travelling by train meant that one could relax in their sleeping car, socialize over a cocktail in the restaurant, daydream, work, test the latest fashion trends on their fellow passengers. And, more importantly, one did not have to travel light. Desk trunks, library trunks, whole wardrobe trunks, designed to make travelers feel at home away from home, were considered an integral part of an experienced, sophisticated traveler’s baggage. Portable chest (hasami-bako) in black lacquered wood with gold lacquer patterned using the hiramaki-e technique, Edo period, late 18th and 19th century

Ideale Library trunk in monogram canvas, 1927

Desk trunk in natural cowhide, once belonging to Frank J. Gould, 1928

Jenner & Knewstub Berry’s fitted travel bag in leather, ca. 1864

Client records. For each client the house creates a record detailing special orders and customization requests, 19th to 20th century

Milo Anderson, silk satin nightdress worn by Lauren Bacall in ”Young man with a horn”, 1950

Brettes hat/shoe trunk, vanity case in monogram canvas
Alzer suitcase and Stratos case, all once belonging to Lauren Bacall

Satellite suitcases, vanity case, Deauville bag in monogram canvas once belonging to Elizabeth Taylor

Jeanne Lanvin hostess dress, worn by Mary Pickford, Winter 1948-49


at the American Stock Exchange Building, through January 7th, 2018.

Admission is free

November 12th, 2017

LVolez – The art of traveling light

In the early twentieth century, Louis Vuitton closely followed innovators who, from the airship to the airplane, blazed new trails in the air. To equip aviators and then passengers, the Aéro trunk could hold ”2 pieces of clothing, 1 overcoat, 10 shirts, 3 nightgowns, 3 pairs of underwear, 3 waistcoats, 6 pairs of socks, 12 handkerchiefs, 1 pair of shoes, 18 detachable collars, gloves, ties and hats” all weighing less than 57 pounds. Its dimensions were identical to the Aviette, a more feminine version. 

The dimensions of the Aéro trunk were:
H12.99in x W32.28in x D18.11in
H33 cm x W82 cm x D46 cm

All things considering, an early twentieth century Aéro trunk would still be every airline’s darling, even in today’s ever restrictive rules and shrinking space.

Louis Vuitton by Marc Jacobs long dress and cropped jacket with long skirt, S/S 2013
Marceau travel bag in cotton canvas, attributed to Dora Maar, c. 1950
Champs-Élysées travel bag in cotton canvas, once belonging to Madame Henry-Louis Vuitton, ca. 1950

Louis Vuitton by Sofia Coppola, SC Bag in monogram canvas, 2009

Boris Lipnitzki
Outfits by Paul Caret, next to a Nieuport airplane equipped with a Delage motor, Le Bourget (Seine-Saint-Denis), 1929

Model of the Blériot XI airplane, 20th century

Heures d’absence perfume, 1927


at the American Stock Exchange Building, through January 7th, 2018.

Admission is free

November 12th, 2017

LVoyagez – A Roadtrip

Organized between 1924 and 1925 by André Citroën, the Croisière Noire was primarily an ambitions anthropological and technological mission. Traveling through Algeria, Mali and the Congo aboard vehicles (such as the Gold Scarab and Silver Crescent half-track) developed especially for this excursion, the crossing was marked by physical and technical achievements, as well as scientific, ethnographic and geographic accomplishments. The House of Louis Vuitton accompanied the expedition at the request of Mr. Citroën. Special orders [for photos, see first post of this series] were made so as to offer trunks that were suited to climate, modes of transport and the practicalities of daily life for the explorers (tea sets, toiletry kits, etc.). The second expedition organized by André Citroën, the Croisière Jaune, took place a few weeks before the official opening of the Colonial Exposition of 1931, with the objective of crossing the legendary Silk Road through Asia. 

Chauffeur’s kit in vuittonite canvas, 1910

Dornac, 100 à l’heure travelling coat in Scottish wool twill, ca. 1923

Ladies’ flat hand bags in Morocco leather, ca. 1910

Driving googles, ca. 1900

Louis Vuitton by Marc Jacobs coated cotton coat, F/W 1998-99

Special car trunk for motobloc vehicles in vuittonite canvas, ca. 1908


at the American Stock Exchange Building, through January 7th, 2018.

Admission is free

November 12th, 2017

Louis Vuitton – In the beginning

Yan Pei-Ming
Louis Vuitton as a young man, 2015

In 1906, a reference catalogue precisely inventoried items and luggage from Louis Vuitton. The trunks that would make the House a success were already there. 

Louis, Georges and Gaston-Louis Vuitton posing with craftsmen in the courtyard of the Asnières-sur-Seine workshops, ca. 1888

Collage workshop at Asnières-sur-Seine, ca. 1903

Ideale trunk in natural cowhide, ca. 1903 with accessories from the 1900s

Paris suitcase in natural cowhide leather, 1914

Restrictive trunk in monogram canvas, once belonging to Gaston-Louis Vuitton, ca. 1925

Shoe trunk for thirty pairs of shoes in monogram canvas, once belonging to Yvonne Printemps, 1926


at the American Stock Exchange Building, through January 7th, 2018.

Admission is free

November 12th, 2017

Next stop, Louis Vuitton

After Paris, Tokyo and Seoul, it had to make a stop in New York City.

Curated by Olivier Saillard and designed by artistic director and set designer Robert Carsen, the exhibition ”retraces the adventure of the House of Louis Vuitton from 1854 to the present” in ten chapters (previously they were nine but for New York a tenth one has been added, entirely devoted to America and the City).

So, let’s pack our bags and Fly, Sail, Travel for a few days, together with LV. Adventure and grand style guaranteed. What say you? We’ll start with a cruise…

Bed trunk in damier canvas once belonging to Gaston-Louis Vuitton, 1892
Speed bag in monogram miroir vinyl, F/W ’06-’07
Sylvie Fleury Vuitton bag, 2001
Azzedine Alaïa, Panthère Alma bag, 1996
Alzer suitcase in nomade natural leather, created for Wes Anderson’s film ”The Darjeeling Limited”, 2006

Back to front:
Steamer trunk in zinc once belonging to the Count de Pimodan, 1895
Special trunk in zinc, 1899
Suitcase in coated canvas, custom-made for the Yellow Journey, 1930
Louis Vuitton by Nicolas Ghesquière, Boîte Promenade Croisière in canvas, F/W ’15-’16
Jean Luce for the Manufacture de Sèvres china tea set bearing the Croissant d’Argent Imprint, emblem of Louis Audoin-Dubreuil, ca. 1920-1930
It sits on a Yellow Journey bed trunk in duralumin, 1930

Special car trunk in coated canvas, custom-made for the Black Journey, 1924
Special photographer’s trunk in vuittonite canvas once belonging to Albert Kahn, 1929
Special trunk in vuittonite canvas, 1906

Steamer  bag in cotton canvas once belonging to Gaston-Louis Vuitton, ca. 1901
Louis Vuitton by Nicolas Ghesquière City Steamer bag in leather, Cruise 2016
Steamer trunk in vuittonite canvas once belonging to Lili Damita, 1928
Lucien Lelong evening gown, 1937

Tennis shorts once-piece, ca. 1930
Beach shorts once-piece, ca. 1930
Old England coat with belt, ca. 1930
Summer dress with belt, ca. 1930-32
Steamer bag in leather, 1938

Ensemble in crêpe de chine with a black and ivory pattern, ca. 1935
Steamer bags in cotton canvas, 1901
Callot Soeurs evening gown in rust-coloured silk velvet, ca. 1935


at the American Stock Exchange Building, through January 7th, 2018.

Admission is free

November 12th, 2017

The creepiest, most mysterious building in the City is a concrete monolith

A marvel of Brutalism by some, a monstrosity by others. An awesome building, in a brutal sort of way, by me. Vertical. Massive. Minimal. Windowless. It looks the same from every angle. It looks like a CGI fortress.

Not surprisingly, it was featured in Mr. Robot Season 2 plot. Even less surprisingly, it became the subject of an investigation by The Intercept, where the idea that parts of the building may used as an NSA surveillance hub was explored. Sounds plausible but we will probably never know for sure. 

What we do know is that it was built for the AT&T Long Lines to house switching equipment. Although AT&T has now moved some of it to another building nearby, the monolith is still in use for telephone switching, but also as a highly secured data centre facility.

What I would like to know, is how does it feel to spend one’s working days in a windowless, fortified environment among cables and servers, with zero access to natural light? It takes a certain type of person, doesn’t it?

Adding to the layers of mystery, the AT&T building has also been the subject of a short film by Field of Vision, “Project X“. Interestingly, it was narrated by Rami Malek (of Mr. Robot) and Michelle Williams.

January 29th, 2017