Louis Vuitton’s hand-tooled treasures

Louis Vuitton’s commitment to preserving time-honoured craftsmanship is stronger and more relevant than it has ever been.

Life in the 21st-century fast lane is just that – fast. And furious. But as with our desire for things to be more efficient and ‘better’, so the notion that you pay for what you get becomes more apparent.

Now more than ever, luxury hand-tooled products with a traceable pedigree are in the spotlight, be they watches, haute couture gowns or sartorial must-haves. And no one knows this better than Louis Vuitton, the Parisian brand that has stuck to its guns since 1854. Despite major developments in textile and garment production processes in the fashion world, the introduction of significant cost-cutting measures in the global fashion industry and the rise of a culture of instant gratification according to social-media ‘trend predictions’, the famed house of Vuitton has continued painstakingly to produce everything by hand, from its prized hand-tooled trunks and shoes to its LV-emblazoned handbags that still come in the same style of dust bags as they did 150 years ago.

It’s this unwavering commitment to a centuries-old process of production that has always ensured a steadfast fan base for Louis Vuitton, but its Spring/Summer 2016 collection’s look book, with its up-close-and-personal views of the brand’s intricate design and production processes is a no-holds-barred proclamation of providence.

The notion of ready-to-wear garments coming straight off a production line is turned on its head when one is reminded of the intricate pattern production and embellishments that go into each piece. Images of hand-coloured leather handbags, their seams and symbols being hand-stitched and -soldered by actual people, are stark reminders of how much time goes into a piece of LV arm candy that is bound to offer a lifetime of pleasure. Which shoe addict wouldn’t love a pair more, knowing that they have been designed and handled by a master cobbler, shaped and finished so that they fit like slippers and last for decades?

It is this enormous commitment to craftsmanship that has always made the difference with Louis Vuitton. And in a world of ‘easy come, easy go’ consumerism, there is every reason to celebrate this ethos.

For more information, visit www.louisvuitton.com

By Vicki Sleet, Private Edition, Issue 32