In fashion and art circles alike, the palpable buzz for the September release of " Louis Vuitton: Art, Fashion and Architecture" comes from the French brand's pairing of their coveted insignia with artistic sensibilities. Best embodied in the art handbag, couture collectors continue to hunt for limited editions of the Stephen Sprouse, Richard Prince and Takashi Murakami designs, both for daily use and extended shelf life. The book covers these projects as well as Louis Vuitton's creative adventures into other aspects of design and architecture, such as Olafur Eliassonâ€™s brilliant "Eye See You" lamp, Frank Gehryâ€™s Parisian architecture and Annie Leibovitz portraiture. The coffee table tome captures it all in 400 image-heavy pages with plenty of thoughtful comment.
â€œI thought, well, how do we deface the monogram to make something more rebellious? More punk?" Artistic Director Marc Jacobs said in an interview with New York Magazine about the Sprouse collection. Like his influence on the Louis Vuitton vision in recent years, Jacobs shapes the book's content, with essays by art critic luminaries including Interview magazine's Glenn O'Brien, architecture critic Ian Luna, Rebecca Mead of the New Yorker and Valerie Steele, director and chief curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Readers who buy the book at a Louis Vuitton store will find the special edition cover featuring the 2003 Monogram Hands print created by Takashi Murakami for Louis Vuitton—with a sticker price of $85, it's certainly cheaper than one of their handbags.