have you seen her?

So I was having my Valentine strawberry cheesecake and double latte over at Wayne’s Coffee and picked up the latest issue of Conde Nast Traveller. Flipping the cover page, I saw her on a two-page spread, lit like a porcelain-skinned girl off a Vermeer painting.

The Seamstress with Linen Thread and Beeswax.

A needle, linen thread, beeswax and infinite patience protect each overstitch from humidity and the passage of time. One could say that a Louis Vuitton bag is a collection of details. But with so much attention lavished on every one, should we only call them details?

Doing a quick search online, I found two other images from the same campaign.

The Craftsman with his Brush.

In a Louis Vuitton shoe there is, of course, quality you can see: superb materials, an impeccable finish and perfect proportions. But other qualities remain unseen: the craftsman’s skill and the simple elegance of his gestures, repeated so often and precisely. Not forgetting the final touch: a coat of dark paint to protect the sole and enhance the beauty of every step.

The Young Woman and the Tiny Folds.

In everything from Louis Vuitton, there are elements that cannot be fully explained. What secret little gestures do our craftsmen discreetly pass on? How do we blend innate skill and inherent prowess? Or how can five tiny folds lengthen the life of a wallet? Let’s allow these mysteries to hang in the air. Time will provide the answers.

While the truth-in-advertising standard was raised in question by Business Week in a report on these ads by Louis Vuitton, I just like how these ads depart from the use of legendary pop stars or Hollywood icons. Or of Lara Stone posed teasingly like the temptress snake in the garden of Eden.

And every now and then, we need a little stroke of romance behind the products we buy. That at one point or another, the bag we carry or the shoe we put on has been touched, hand-finished and brushed by a skilled artisan at a workshop on a French countryside.

After all, when we buy a Louis Vuitton, we buy a dream, a love story. And at other times, more than we’d like to admit, we buy an illusion.


7 Responses to “have you seen her?”

  1. 1 Malsen February 14, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    I just read the link to business week and wow do they put LV down…I see some of their points, but I choose to see the ad for what it is. It’s a reminder of a company that has legacy and history to an extend which is not guite comparable to other brands but a few. I support this company for being trustworthy and admirable for choosing not to move workshops to other parts of the world for cheaper labour. I understand that we are asked to swallow quite a bit….from long-legged Lara Stone in the latest ads for the runway pieces 2010 to this, but to me the difference is, that these ads, which we discuss here, are made to sell the main products, not the seasonal ones.
    The main products with the classic patterns do go back in time, so why not celebrate that in a set of ads that are so beautiful to look at and in the same time true to the brand’s origin. And as you say…..get a bit of illusion and love story too :)

  2. 3 ofaj February 14, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    isang malaking charing ang ad na ‘to. yun lang.

    nung bumisita si Dana Thomas sa isang LV atelier, hindi sha pinayagang kumuha ng pictures o magsulat tungkol sa bags & slg assembly room ng LV. e di kung gaya nitong ads nito ang paggawa ng LV products, di sana hindi nila sinikreto yon.

    hindi ko gustong bangasan ang LV. natutuwa pa rin ako sa iba nilang mga likha pero etong mga ads na to? nakakatawa.

    di ko pa nababasa yung BW link.

    • 4 deluxeduck February 17, 2010 at 1:14 pm

      that article implies that LV bags and SLGs come out of machines or robots. sure they use sewing machines (they never denied this), but each item is still guided by hand. the rolled handles seen on most bags like the Speedy and Keepall are definitely stitched by hand just like in the photo. sure these ads are too staged, the “workers” are too photogenic, but come on… aren’t we just being too critical?

  3. 5 Eric February 14, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    i like the ads, and ur post about it. Especially the last paragraph.

  4. 6 yed February 16, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    i so love this entry of yours. :) nothing more to say. haha.

  1. 1 gucci forever now « fresh mess Trackback on March 3, 2010 at 4:19 pm

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