Louis Vuitton's Spring Summer 2014 Icônes collection coincides with the creation of a previously unrealised beach house by Perriand during this year's Design Miami exhibition.
Perriand's investigations into standardisation and modular furniture led Louis Vuitton's designers to create garments that can be matched with each other in various combinations.
Returning from Japan in the 1940s, the French architect wrote: "A new way of living awaited me there: work, leisure, discovery, representation. I had made up my wardrobe with interchangeable 'modules,' as in my investigations of standardisation: four skirts, long or short, for the lower body and sweaters, blouses and bustiers for the top, all of which combined to give me at least 16 possibilities."
This idea also informed adaptable garments including a reversible yellow jacket with removable sleeves. The bold colours and geometric shapes of Perriand's designs influenced the tones and prints used throughout the collection.
Complimentary colours such as blue and orange are used together to create high contrast, while gingham checks and earthy tones add to the 1940s aesthetic. Expandable bags are designed to be easily changed for different occasions.
Charlotte Perriand is best known for her work with fellow Modernist designers Le Corbusier and Jean Prouvé during the mid-twentieth century. Since her death in 1999, she has become more widely recognised as a designer in her own right as the result of exhibitions that featured her work, including MoMA's Designing Modern Women.
Here's some more information from Louis Vuitton:
Icônes Collection - Louis Vuitton Spring Summer 2014
Some women leave behind an aura of radiance wherever they go. Time is their ally, the world their domain. Charlotte Perriand was one. A generous, multi-talented personality, this architect, designer, urban planner and photographer broke away from outmoded conventions, free to invent a new concept of timeless elegance. Fascinated with the "apparent simplicity" sought by the great creators, she envisioned a world in which beauty and function merge, holding forth the promise of a life infused with harmony. Pinpointing the indispensable, eradicating the superfluous, she traced the outlines of a fundamental modernity that foreshadowed the classicism of the future. Paralleling this quest, Louis Vuitton, dream-maker and inventor of a movable chic born of technical and aesthetic sophistication, offers a collection of iconic garments, pioneering a spare, timeless, dependable fashion vocabulary that adapts to every desire.
Like Charlotte Perriand's colourful modular creations, each piece in the collection can be transformed to adapt to the wearer's needs and moods. Combining elements, juxtaposing contrasts, each ensemble offers endless possibilities, resulting in a unique, modern wardrobe unfazed by fleeting trends. Delineating the silhouette of the woman whose look is "always similar but never the same," rejecting standardisation, capturing the spirit of the times and freely developing its distinctive style, Louis Vuitton perpetuates its own legend while adding to that of one of the most inspiring women of the 20th century.
Fresh as a breeze from the mountaintops, graphic as the stroke of an architect's pen, the Icônes collection for summer 2014 invents a timeless feminine elegance, uniting fantasy with precision, lightness with respect for craftsmanship, and freedom with functionality.
All of the pieces were conceived to adapt to each woman's imagination. Red gingham trousers paired with a matching blouse, delicately highlighted with a thin black lavallière, evoke the pleasures of a stroll in the sun. In a subtle allusion to Charlotte Perriand, whose creations inspired the collection, the prints and colours suggest the formal virtuosity of her designs. A common thread in the legends of Louis Vuitton and the architect, the theme of travel permeates the story behind these icons. The sun-coloured reversible jacket with removable sleeves is ready for any weather, anywhere in the world. A leather motorcycle jacket structures the fluidity of a silk dress in exotic earth tones, while muted shades reminiscent of Japan gracefully adorn the Milaris bag.
From trench coat to swimsuit, from shorts to evening gown, each icon in the collection recounts the story of a House inspired by a creative femininity imbued with light and an adventuresome spirit.
To break free from everyday routine, taking off toward new horizons, with open eyes and an open mind, and then return to create the elegance of tomorrow. From Louis Vuitton to Charlotte Perriand, travel, a bridge across time and space, a dialogue of cultures, has traced the outlines of an enduring art of living.
From the dazzling brilliance of the poles to the steamy mists of tropical climes, colours, textures and materials embody the fulfilment of a shared dream. Silk lends a dress the lightness of a cloud, while leather links a trench coat to the House's traditional craft. The exotic hide defining the ample forms of a Milaris, like the lightweight canvas of a flat expandable bag, conjures up visions of wanderings in the farthest reaches of the imaginary world. Piece by piece, this collection makes up a singular wardrobe that transforms the everyday into a journey with a unique style, a merging of beauty and function.
According to Charlotte Perriand, "There is art in everything: in a movement, a vase... a jewel, a way of being," and in "useful forms." At Louis Vuitton, since the House's founding, each creation has drawn its essence from the reality of the times, its inventive nature turning every moment into an art of living infused with harmony.
Like a joint manifesto, Icônes asserts the eminent functionality of each piece in the collection. Just like Charlotte Perriand's colourful modular creations, each garment can be transformed to adapt to the wearer's needs and moods. A trench coat for rain, shorts for sunny weather, a leather skirt for long, busy days, a silk gown for special occasions... But this functional chronology can be disrupted according to the whim of a moment: the modularity of each piece opens the range of possibilities that enables a personal style.
Their grace, intelligence and refinement give these icons that little something extra that transforms a piece of clothing into a symbol of elegance.
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