Julie de Libran looks to the legacy of design legend Charlotte Perriand for her latest Louis Vuitton offering.
With ties to the art world that are well documented, Louis Vuitton has never failed to impress us when it comes to its artistic collaborations in Miami. In 2011, it was a wooden sculpture by Vik Muniz inspired by the LV logo to commemorate the brand’s then-temporary store at Aventura Mall. In 2012, it was a graffiti-style mural by Retna on the facade of the label’s Design District boutique in honor of its opening. And, just in time for Art Basel this year, the inspiration continues with two debuts that celebrate the genius of Charlotte Perriand, a aFrench architect and designer whose prolific work was founded on the belief that good design helps to better society.
One of these offerings is “La Maison au Bord de l’Eau,” a satellite installation for the Design Miami/ fair that envisions Perriand’s modular vacation home originally conceived for an architecture contest but never built during her lifetime, which will be constructed on the sands of Miami Beach behind the Raleigh Hotel (Dec. 4-8, designmiami.com). Complementing this undertaking is the big reveal of the Julie de Libran-designed spring/summer 2014 Icônes collection, a line of women’s travel and accessories inspired by some of Perriand’s most iconic furnishings that will fill the shelves of LV’s District outpost this month. To immerse shoppers in the tastemaker’s universe, the store’s entrance has been reimagined with vintage pieces by Perriand, as well as archival imagery accented with a simple palette that the modernist known for her spartan sensibility would have certainly appreciated.
“She was a strong woman of her time with a pure aesthetic and an innate sense of color, especially demonstrated through her innovative use of contrasting materials like wood, metal and Formica,” says de Libran, LV’s womenswear creative director. “She expressed freedom through her work and nomadic lifestyle, often traveling for inspiration.”
One of these such frequent trips took Perriand to Japan, where she fell in love with the country’s design traditions. It was during this time that she learned how to travel light, curating a limited wardrobe of separates that could be mixed and matched to create 16 different looks. “As homage to that, we offer 16 pieces to highlight interchangeability for everyday life,” says de Libran, who added logo prints and other clever details to the collection. “For example, Louis Vuitton’s large Damier and small Vichy prints represent Charlotte’s masculine and feminine sides, and a mattress stripe in her signature colors alludes to her furniture design.”
Beyond their modular component references, pieces are travel-friendly due to lightweight, comfortable and weather-resistant materials. Versatile, too. A reversible cashmere cape, for instance, also serves as a blanket, while a nylon parka folds into a waist pocket for easy transport.
“Luxury’s source lies in these materials, and how each piece is analyzed for an active lifestyle,” says de Libran, who personally tests them on the road regularly, as if asking, “What would Charlotte do?” 170 NE 40th St., Miami, 305.573.1366, louisvuitton.com