Monday, November 13, 2017

Volez, Voguez, Voyagez – Louis Vuitton Exhibition in New York City

I was in New York City last week for a quick trip to visit my grandmother and some friends. We mostly just grabbed meals together and relaxed, but one day I went out on my own to see the new Louis Vuitton exhibit that's in lower Manhattan. Coincidentally I had just read about it in the latest issue of Harper's Bazaar magazine*, so I figured I'd check it out.

The exhibition focuses on how changes related to travel impacted the House of Louis Vuitton. He started out as a box maker, and then started making trunks that were sturdy but light-weight, perfect for travelling. As more people started using cars and flying more often, and continued to travel by boat and train, Louis Vuitton created trunks to suit their needs. "Necessity is the mother of invention" it is said, and so these trunks and bags, and therefore their place in fashion, transformed as travel did.

I took TONS of photos:

The name means "Fly, Vogue, Travel" (well, according to Google Translate).

The man himself, Louis Vuitton

The classic trunk that has become so iconic to the House's name

Each drawer was meant to hold a shoe.

This trunk was designed with drawers, one specifically for ladies gloves.

Here you can see a mix of his newer trunks and bags along with the older ones.

When people would travel to faraway lands, they would need to pack ALL of their things. That means a lot of trunks.

Traveling by boat was no longer just a way to get from Point A to Point B, but now "resort wear" was coming into fashion for vacations taken by boat.

This trunk was designed specifically for tea-time.

A picnic trunk kept in cars

The trunks not only came in the classic brown with gold; this one is black with the blue design.

One room of the exhibit was designed to make you feel like you were in a train car.

These are coats from more recent collections.

Louis Vuitton created many library trunks, even one for Ernest Hemingway.

In these drawings you can see the first rough sketches of what would become the iconic logo design for the House.

The walls in one of the rooms were covered in the LV design.

This library trunk could even transform into a desk!

This is a newer design by Marc Jacobs, who was the creative director for Louis Vuitton for 16 years. Not my fave.

The line between art and fashion has always been quite blurry. You can see that these trunks and bags were not only designed to be functional, but to be beautiful as well.

The chandelier and draped ceilings in this room made it feel very glamorous!

A trunk design for Greta Garbo and her shoes

A newer custom piece: a make-up case for Sharon Stone

Several cases were designed for hair brushes, shaving kits, perfumery, and other small items.

This was a trunk owned by Katharine Hepburn. Notice how it has drawers and hangers.

This collection was a collaboration with artist Yayoi Kusama, who had an exhibit in DC earlier this year.

The latest collaboration with Jeff Koons called "Masters" takes famous paintings and transforms them into handbags.+

Trunk were also designed to hold musical instruments, including drum sticks!

You can see how popular the bags were even in the beginning!

Dresses of celebrities were on display as well.

The front one was worn by Alicia Vikander at the 2016 Oscars.

Taylor Swift wore the front one to the 2016 Met Gala.
The exhibit will be in New York City until early in the New Year, so I highly recommend it! It's free to attend, but registration is recommended.

*Here's the article from the magazine:

+Read more about the collaboration between Jeff Koons and the House of Louis Vuitton:

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

This past weekend

This past weekend was so much fun! I packed a lot in; I like to keep busy!

The Pumpkin Festival at Butler's Orchard
We weren't sure what we wanted to do, but then my friend mentioned that the Flower Hill String Band was going to play at a local pumpkin festival. He mentioned the musicians on a whim, but I had just worked with them on an event for my job, so I already knew the band. I definitely wanted to stop by and say hi!

We listened to the music, but the festival also had other fun things to check out:

Fun fact: it takes 120 days for a pumpkin to grow to full size from a seed.
Rather than throwing darts on a board, you throw pumpkins at the darts!

The barnyard animals were my favorite. There's Charlie the pig on the right!

Flower (top) is the mother of Milo (bottom). We couldn't pet them, but they were certainly cute!

I'm driving a tractor! (Well, sitting in an old one that hasn't moved in YEARS...)

Gluttony at its finest: a slice of pumpkin pie AND a s'more on a stick (i.e. a marshmallow covered in caramel, mini chocolate chips, chopped walnuts, and graham cracker crumbs on top of a pretzel stick).

After that, we headed to Little Bennett Regional Park for a hike. We had considered going to Sugarloaf Mountain (my favorite local hike), but we have done that hike several times. So we tried something new. This hike was more like a nature walk (not too strenuous), but the leaves were beautiful now that the foliage is changing color. We hiked for about two hours, and just as we were heading back to the parking lot, the rain started drizzling. Talk about good timing!

The fluff from the milkweed pod is SO soft!

The seeds are nicely packed into the pods before they really explode!

We saw this wasp nest on our hike. Luckily we didn't see any wasps!
After our hike, we quickly changed our clothes in the car and then made our way to the Comus Inn (a fancy restaurant where hiking clothes would not be particularly appropriate). I had a Groupon that was going to expire in a week, so our full day of fun was actually all based around making sure to have dinner at the Comus Inn. We started with the butternut squash bisque and glasses of Reisling (I tried the Elk Run wine since it's local), and while I had the North Carolina trout, my friend had the pork special (I think I liked his better; it came with apple butter!). Since we had already eaten pumpkin pie earlier, we figured we didn't need dessert. Such a lovely meal!

Image found here
We ended the night with a trip to Rockwell Brewery. At this point it was heavily raining, so we all packed inside. I don't like beer, but we were just there to hang out anyway. There were a lot of people, and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. So if you're ever in Frederick, MD and you like beer, I would recommend checking this place out!

Republic Restoratives is best known for their CIVIC vodka, but they also have rye whiskey, bourbon, and apple brandy!
I signed up to participate in the Junior League of Washington's "Kitchen Tour" mini-event (since the real tour isn't until April). This particular event was a brunch at a women-owned distillery in D.C. named Republic Restoratives. I worked with the distillery on the same event for my job recently, so I wanted to show my support and thanks by paying it forward and going to an event at their location.

We started our with a tour of the distillery, learning about how they make their products and doing a tasting of their vodka, rye whiskey, and bourbon. Then we went upstairs to where the barrels are kept, and that's where we enjoyed our family style brunch. We were served delicious waffles with all different kinds of toppings (not just syrup!), and we each got two drink tickets to enjoy hand-crafted cocktails.
We each got a Republic Restoratives glass. What does the logo mean? It's the letter R in American Sign Language. Because of the distillery's proximity to Gallaudet University, a school for the deaf, all of the bartenders are fluent in sign language.
We had brunch upstairs. I didn't even know this room existed!

Cute autumn-themed table decorations

The food looked and tasted so delicious!

I enjoyed waffles topped with pesto chicken salad (front), beef and mustard (top left), and eggs and bacon (top right). There were also waffles with salmon/lox on them, as well as a dessert waffle served with chocolate syrup and strawberries.
Image found here
It was a rainy day, so after brunch, I mostly just lounged around. But I ended the night with an at-home movie night and watched The Internship. This movie came out several years ago, but I was in the mood for a comedy, and I knew Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn would not disappoint. And I was right! This is a lighthearted film that is perfect for just relaxing at home.

What a nice weekend! This coming weekend I'll be in NYC, so stay tuned for my blog post about that!