Rodeo Drive gallery pop up, Louis Vuitton X, unveils the collaborations as art objects behind glass
The sun is setting over Beverly Hills as I arrive at 468 North Rodeo Drive. The $250,000,000 double-lot-turned-pop-up-gallery’s tall windows reflect the dying light, a wash of pastels seemingly intensified by Louis Vuitton X’s matching color scheme, selected as if to complement this very sunset. The colors, a more beautiful version of Instagram’s logo palette, are printed on a few 10-plus foot tall banners that hang from the building’s second story.
Upon entering, I am immediately taken by the exhibit’s use of space. Somehow it feels both expansive and intimate, both intuitive and labyrinthine in its arrangement. Each room has its own distinct feel, thematically disparate from yet somehow contributing to the others around it. One is dimly lit, lined with a disorienting number of mirrors; another is lit with the force of a thousand fluorescent suns, playing Weezer’s “Beverly Hills” rather loudly; and yet another is completely dark but for the Blade-Runner-esque video displays of Louis Vuitton’s celebrated history on repeat.
The exhibit features a number of pieces from the brand’s archives including a collection of art deco perfume bottles; monogram bags designed by Karl Lagerfield, Rei Kawakubo, Cindy Sherman, and Frank Gehry; and a few never-before-seen items. It culminates with the reveal of the Artycapucines collection—an artistic collaboration based on Louis Vuitton’s Capucines bag, named for the street on which he opened his first store. Alex Israel, Urs Fischer, Tschabala Self, Nicholas Hlobo, Jonas Wood, and Sam Falls all contributed unique designs to the collection. The six bags are displayed side by side, each behind glass that was very likely of museum-grade thickness. Each bag will reportedly retail for $8,600.
Louis Vuitton X will be open to the public from June 28 through September 15, 2019. Admission is free.