Sunday, April 22, 2007

louis vuitton in space

you find such great design in nyc. some of it is perhaps not intended . . . so, the reflection of the buildings across the street from the Louis Vuitton store, where, inside, you are not allowed to take pictures . . . i had so wanted to capture images of the "archives" . . . a collection of steamer trunks and small vanities, surely from LV's early years . . . they were stationed well above the floor on nearly unseen shelving units, so that they appeared to levitate above you. it was beautiful. but so i'm thinking that they so fear knockoffs that you can't take pictures. funny thing is that LV knockoffs are, especially in nyc, so ubiquitous (some are very good) that who needs an image? . . . maybe it's about preserving the aura of authenticity (Benjamin) because, well, LV bags reached cult status ages ago, art status among certain networks of shoppers, fashion people . . . many of the Murakami bags were pretty fabulous (i ran into Patty Hearst at the Sundance Film Festival a couple of years ago as she was coming out of the bathroom carrying her black Murakami LV . . . i commented on *the bag* but not on her celebrity, and i like to think that we had a little moment). i searched like a freak for the Murakami LV cherry & brown bag (can't recall the name . . . it had a bow and a lock, a lovely juxtaposition) . . . i searched on ebay for weeks. knockoffs were easy, but the real LVs ranged from, at the lowest end, maybe $1000.00 and then started their climb. it was exhilarating in an addictive and curiously pleasurable way . . . although i never got one and now it's pretty much over but will surely continue to resonate as retro-chic for some time to come (Marc Jacobs, responsible for the collaboration w/ Murakami, has fairly mastered retro-chic, except for his more recent granny-chic "mistakes" that veered too close to frumpy and wandered away from clever).

. . . but so the buildings across the street, how they situate LV in a space, which is ironic because this image shows me that LV dominates the region in ways that do the situating. what are those buildings? who knows? cares? it's LV that provides the shiny, reflective surface, enabling their visibility (from this scene). we even see discrete windows, which indicate discrete office units and the spectre of the individual who ordinarily occupies the space (i think here of Fassbinder's Despair, which i loved, an affect you won't find in Phillip Lopate's less than favorable but--as always--entertaining--review essay). but so this imagined individual . . . merely a hint of a suggestion, really, because Louis Vuitton is the only individual we see. they could be very important buildings, those reflections, but from this stance, nothing else exits (even the sky is diminished) but the iconic image of a name. and, despite feeling that i should probably be horrified by this image, i find it incredibly beautiful.

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