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LVMH opens 56 Maisons to public in latest heritage push

Fendi will be opening its Rome HQ, Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana, to the public
Fendi will be opening its Rome HQ, Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana, to the public

For three days in October, LVMH will be opening 56 of its Maisons to the public as part of the fourth iteration of Les Journées Particulières.

The program, which will span across four continents and 14 countries, aims to showcase the expertise and creativity of its many artisans, as well as reinforce the cultural heritage of the houses under the luxury group. In order to showcase their unique identities, Houses will host events such as workshops, tours and designer and artisan meet-and-greets.

“Les Journées Particulières was designed to embody our Houses’ hospitality and energy, and echoes the vital role that the act of transmitting plays for the LVMH Group: our aim is to share our diverse heritage, extensive savoir-faire and concrete innovations,” says Antoine Arnault, CEO of Berluti, chairman of Loro Piana and founder of Les Journées Particulières. “This unmatched event has stepped up to the mark; each edition involves a growing number of Houses, talents and visitors, making this 4th edition a global celebration of the world of art, and craftmanship.”

From October 12-14, visitors will be able to partake in distinctive experiences across venues in countries such as Germany, the US, Argentina, New Zealand and Australia. By visiting a microsite, participants will be able to choose from a selection of 77 venues, many of which have never been open to public before. This includes all categories across the LVMH portfolio, from fashion and beauty to wine and luggage.

Brands participating for the very first time include Benefit Cosmetics in San Francisco, Les Tanneries Roux in Romans-sur-Isère, Rimowa in Cologne and the T Fondaco Dei Tedeschi by DFS in Venice. Moreover, brands that have participated in previous editions will be offering new experiences, such as the chance to visit the Louis Vuitton prototype workshop in Paris and an exclusive tour of La Colle Noire, which was Christian Dior’s last residence, in Montaroux, in the south of France.

LVMH 'Les Journées Particulières'
LVMH ‘Les Journées Particulières’

The program is heavily supported by a digital campaign that will help promote the luxury group’s desire to share its history and artistry with a wider audience. An interactive campaign will be launching ahead of the open days in September, and will include “Confidences Particulières”, a series of podcast episodes introducing the creative talents behind the Houses.

“Every day at LVMH, our Houses’ talents make a difference as they embody the core values behind the Group’s success: excellence, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation. “ says Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of LVMH. “The Journées Particulières is a unique event which showcases our artisans’ passion for creativity and their trades, and where the general public is able to meet the Houses’ talents. The event is an invitation to discover exceptional venues and carefully-preserved savoir-faire.”

Future visitors can pre-register on the aforementioned microsite from September 24-30. Registered users will be given priority access for themselves and up to three guests.

For this iteration of Les Journées Particulières, the addition of more Houses is an indication that luxury labels are increasingly more willing to open up their traditionally guarded gates. As luxury – and aspirational – consumers demand a story behind the brands and goods they consume, the industry is beginning to develop new tools and services that cater to that exact need.

Are you thinking innovatively enough in your brand messaging? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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Editor's pick technology

Fashion and tech announced as theme of 2016 Met Gala, sponsored by Apple

met-gala-theme-2

Technology is due to get a big nod of acceptance from the fashion industry in 2016 as the theme of the next Costume Institute exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

“Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology”, will focus on the dichotomy between handmade haute couture and machine-made fashion, according to Vogue. It will showcase over 100 pieces of fashion, and unsurprisingly, be sponsored by Apple.

“Traditionally, the distinction between the haute couture and prêt-à-porter was based on the handmade and the machine-made,” explains Andrew Bolton, curator of the Costume Institute. “But recently this distinction has become increasingly blurred as both disciplines have embraced the practices and techniques of the other.”

Expect to see traditional techniques including embroidery, pleating and lacework placed alongside new technologies such as laser cutting, thermo shaping, and circular knitting. Workshops on areas including 3D printing will also allow the public to see designs taking shape in real-time.

While there’s no information yet as to whether the exhibition will span into the embracing of digital by the industry thus including brands such as Burberry through to Ralph Lauren, there will no doubt be pieces on display from the likes of Hussein Chalayan, Alexander McQueen and Issey Miyake.

Further hints lie in the fact Nicolas Ghesquière, Karl Lagerfeld and Miuccia Prada will serve as honorary chairs of the Met Gala due to take place on Monday, May 2. Apple’s Jonathan Ive as well as Idris Elba and Taylor Swift will join Anna Wintour as co-chairs.

You might also like: Robots, holograms and wearables: a tech history of fashion week

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Editor's pick technology

You can try-on legendary Alexander McQueen make-up looks with this virtual tool

Holition-Virtual McQueen Warpaint - ANCHOR

One of the most relevant applications for virtual try-ons has got to be for the beauty industry. Walk in to any retailer and the cosmetic counter is relatively restrictive in terms of actually being able to see what a certain eyeshadow or shade of lipstick looks like on your face.

Ease, simplicity, seamless interactions are what we’re after when shopping today, meaning dabbling with a dodgy tester or being patient enough to wait for one of the sales associates to apply products for you, doesn’t usually cut it. If you’re anything like me therefore, you have a drawer full of 20+ red lippies, most of which just aren’t quite right.

Which is why I’m excited about “Face”. This is a virtual reality app created by London-based digital creative studio Holition that allows you to see exactly what the make-up you’ve selected will appear like when you put it on. Others have tried this before, but Holition have nailed it in terms of the tracking technology – meaning it does actually attach the product to your lips, your eyes, your cheeks and more, as though you were just looking in a mirror.

I know that because I tried it at the London College of Fashion recently, where the app is part of an exhibition focused on the beauty looks that dominated Alexander McQueen’s catwalk shows during the tenure of its late founder, Lee McQueen.

Take a look at the full story over on Forbes.com for insight into all that it entails.

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Valentino updates virtual museum, launches in-browser

You may remember Valentino launched a virtual museum in December 2011. Designed as a downloadable desktop app, it was met with somewhat lukewarm reception in terms of its design and more importantly, its technical ability.

It’s great to hear therefore, the team has launched a browser verison. At www.valentinogaravanimuseum.com, users can now explore the archives of the designer within their internet journey. There are still a couple of hoops to jump, such as downloading a plug-in, but the overall result is simpler, more appealing and should help up traffic.

At the original launch last year, Valentino Garavani’s business partner Giancarlo Giammetti spoke about keeping the virtual concept exciting by staying abreast of technological change. He also promised frequent content updates to the museum, including new drawings and videos.

That is finally happening with the web browser launch too. Two new videos have been added: one from Valentino’s collaboration with the New York City Ballet (as below), and the other of the recent presentation of his Commandeur de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres, in Paris. Hopefully there’ll be more to follow.

The site also has a dedicated homepage (before the plug-in) featuring news, pics of the week and an ‘In the Press’ section – nice for SEO and further suggestive of more regular content updates.

Offline, Valentino’s couture archive specifically is the subject of a new exhibition at Somerset House in London, opening this Thursday, November 29.

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Chloé launches digital archive for 60-year celebration

Chloé is celebrating its 60th anniversary with an interactive digital archive to accompany its Chloé.Attitudes exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris.

The Alphabet, as it’s called, is an online exploration of the French fashion house’s heritage from 1952 to current day. Created by digital agency Guided Collective, it plays on the idea of founder Gaby Aghion’s own naming of her collections and garments, taking each letter of the alphabet and assigning it a relevant theme.

The first five letters were, unsurprisingly, C H L O and E. They launched simultaneously last week with a short film each (shown below) directed by Poppy De Villeneuve, Julie Verhoeven, Kathryn Ferguson, Stéphanie Di Giusto and Mary Clerté, who interpreted the themes of counter-couture, horses, light, O (roundness) and embroidery respectively.

The rest of the archive letters will be brought to life with further documentary films, previously unseen imagery, past advertising, sketches and collection references, editorial and even specially-commissioned music.

“Individually [they tell] a fragment of the story; collectively [they form] a mosaic of Chloé’s iconic moments, inspirations and heritage,” reads the write-up.

A new letter is currently launching every other day, revealed by a famous blogger worldwide before appearing on The Alphabet microsite. Once they are all live, users will be able to send friends an invitation featuring their own version of the heritage, relative to the letters that make up their name.

Referred to as playful, immersive, imaginative and compelling, the site is available in six languages worldwide and across multiple devices.

The Chloé.Attitudes exhibition opened on September 29 and runs until November 18.

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Chanel’s Little Black Jacket exhibit launches online

Elle Fanning as featured in Chanel's Little Black Jacket digital exhibition

Chanel has unveiled a digital rendition of its new Little Black Jacket photography exhibition, showcasing 113 pictures of celebrities and personalities taken by Karl Lagerfeld.

Thelittleblackjacket.chanel.com follows on from the brand’s book of the same name by Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld, available from autumn 2012, and the opening of its physical exhibition in Tokyo last week.

Included are shots of Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kirsten Dunst, Baptiste Giabiconi, Sarah Jessica Parker, Lily Donaldson, Stella Tennant, Yoko One, Elle Fanning (as pictured) and more. Each one is featured as though part of a rotating cylinder, random in its delivery and clickable to reveal full detail.

See below too for a summary video of the launch event of the main exhibition in Tokyo, or click here for a behind-the-scenes from the shoot itself.

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Prada Facebook app adds to mystery of 24-hours museum

There’s an interesting post over at FashionablyMarketing.Me, looking at Prada’s mystery pop-up museum in Paris, which launches tonight.

The 24-hour installation at the Palais d’Iéna, is a partnership between the brand, Milanese artist Francesco Vezzoli and Rem Koolhaas’ design group, AMO. No one, not even Prada’s agency Modecracy, knows what it’s actually about.

According to the write-up, the space will be divided into three sections – historic, contemporary and forgotten. Vezzoli is said to be creating a “non-existent museum” where he shows “his personal tribute to the eternal allure of femininity through interpretations of classical sculptures that make reference to contemporary divas”.

Any the wiser?

Building hype around the mysterious launch, is a Facebook app that invites users to upload and frame their own photo. The finished images are hosted in the museum’s digital gallery, and shareable via Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.

“Prada is seeking to create buzz around the pop-up museum event without revealing it. To do so, we have studied Francesco Vezzoli’s career and tried to link to it and to make it accessible to the worldwide web. In the last 48 hours, we have seen the number of people using the Facebook application exploding,” says Giuliano Federico of Moderacy.

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Virtual Valentino museum opens, sets the bar for digital designer archives

Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti

The Valentino Garavani Virtual Museum launched today, and is well worth a look.

As reported last month, it showcases five decades of the designer’s fashion history in an immersive 3-D experience; 300 dresses, 5000 images, 100 show videos, all in an equivalent real-world space of 10,000sq m.

Although officially retired from Valentino ‘the brand’, Valentino Garavani and his business partner Giancarlo Giammetti (pictured above) have been working on it for the past two years.

Speaking at a press conference in New York this morning (watch on YouTube), the duo explained that the aim was to showcase the work of a “life dedicated to beauty”, and make it accessible to as many people as possible.

It’s a particularly interesting move for a traditionally non tech-savvy brand (Giammetti joked at Valentino’s inability to even turn the television on).

“It all started with where to keep the enormous amount of things we’ve collected for nearly 50 years,” said Giammetti. “How to make it available to everyone that wants to see it; and how to make it exciting year after year without things becoming dusty or obsolete. Why not then use modern technology… where everyone can move with just a click.”

Albeit in essence a legacy space, Giammetti was quick to highlight that the work continues tomorrow; both in terms of keeping up with technological change, and providing fresh content.

Indeed to encourage return visitors, there will be frequent updates to the museum, be it additional rooms, new drawings and ideas – as suggested by Valentino – or video insights from the likes of Franca Sozzani, editor-in-chief of Italian Vogue who also spoke this morning.

Giammetti pointed out that the museum was funded by themselves and has no sponsors. For them, the numbers are irrelevant, he said. The app is free to download in anycase.

Nonetheless, it will be intriguing to see how it actually does. The McQueen exhibition at the Met was one of the Costume Institute’s most successful of all time; if you were interested in fashion – indeed even if you weren’t – it proved a must-see on the New York calendar this year. Could an online museum ever have the same pulling power?

But perhaps that’s irrelevant. What counts is that Valentino is advancing the fashion industry. While digital destinations to accompany exhibitions have been played with for a few years, virtual archive museums in their entirety are now likely to become increasingly commonplace.

Hollywood actress Anne Hathaway, who hosted the press conference, explained how Valentino and Giammetti together helped shape the industry in the 1960s. “Now, they’re repeating that inspiration,” she said, “setting the bar for other fashion brands around the world.”

I agree.

See below for a virtual tour of the museum, as well as a number of pictures from within it… 

 

The museum entrance
The Red Room
The White Room
The Print and Pastels Room
The Animal Print Room
The Embroidery Room
The image library
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Valentino to launch virtual archive museum

Valentino is set to launch a virtual museum that will showcase five decades of the designer’s fashion history in an immersive 3-D experience.

A downloadable desktop application connected to an online database, it captures over 300 dresses from the Valentino archive, organised by theme.

Users can explore different galleries and wings that would likely cover over 10,000sq m in an actual museum. There are also sketches, illustrations, advertising campaigns and red carpet as well as event photos accompanying each dress.

Photos and videos celebrate the special events and exhibitions from Valentino Garavani and his business partner Giancarlo Giammetti’s history, from the 1968 White Collection to the 2011 White Fairy Tale Love Ball. And there’s a media library cataloguing more than 5000 images including dresses, photos, drawings and 95 show videos.

A short video introduction has just launched (as below), while users are currently being invited to register their email addresses on the site to keep up with news on the December 5 launch.

A social media campaign has also kicked off across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

The museum has been created by Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti, with support from Valentino SpA. It was designed and produced by Novacom Associes in Paris, in collaboration with Kinmonth-Monfreda Design Project in London.