Louis Vuitton – New Store On Graben in Vienna

Last month, I took the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express from Paris to Vienna as guest of Louis Vuitton. Once I arrived in the Austrian capital, I visited the new Maison’s new store that has relocated to an expanded space on Graben in the heart of the city. Occupying four floors of a historic building, this new store presents the Louis Vuitton universe within a beautiful Viennese backdrop.

The store is the latest realisation of the design concept developed by Peter Marino for locations such as New Bond Street, Los Angeles and Ginza. Among the largest in Europe, it benefits from Vienna’s status as a dynamic cultural destination and a nexus for travel.

Designed by Max Kröpf, Oskar Laske and Viktor Fiala, the building dates to 1898-99. Its listed façade is ornamented with reliefs depicting long-distance trade and coats of arms from such cities as Hamburg, Trieste and London.

A spacious layout showcases the full Louis Vuitton offer and Peter Marino signatures, including striking art, objects and furniture that correspond with the design heritage of Vienna. Defined by curving walls and open sightlines, the store is organised around an exceptional staircase that unfurls with floating steps in four tonal varieties of stone. At once sculptural and a means of circulation, it is juxtaposed with a statement wall, panelled in commissioned works by well-known Austrian artist, Erwin Wurm. Bright and graphic, the eight paintings are composed of abstracted words: Form, Love, Body, Beauty and more.

As the history of Vienna is inextricably linked to its progressive movements in art and design, both figure significantly in the store’s expression. Notably, a pyramid of trunks has been hand-painted in the spirit of Gustav Klimt and other artists of the Vienna Secession. Vintage extends to contemporary – from an Alvar Aalto daybed and a Carl Malmsten modular sofa to Matt Gagnon’s Custom Light Stacks and Fernando Daza’s Four Intercepted Circles. With its flower-shaped bubbles, Atelier Biagetti’s Flower Tower lamp stands as a glass totem at once decorative and whimsical.

If you are in Vienna, this new store is a must-see, not only for the things to shop, but for its design!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht / © Louis Vuitton 
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Fashion Meets Art: Vienna Secession

Vienna Secession by Akris

Today is Swiss National Day that is celebrated with fireworks and a public holiday.
August 1st is to the Swiss what July 4th is to Americans, or July 14th to the French. This day was chosen because August 1st 1291 was the date on which three Alpine cantons swore the oath of confederation, an act which later came to be regarded as the foundation of Switzerland.

So for me a good reason to honour our well-known Swiss designer Albert Kriemler (who is loved by Charlene de Monaco) and his Akris collection for F/W 2011. He seeked inspiration from the Vienna Secession movement which was best seen in the beautiful fall colours he used, from a golden yellow to caramel and russet.

Darmstadt, Wedding Tower

My favourite is the photo print of architect and Vienna Secession founder Joseph Maria Olbrich’s Wedding Tower (Darmstädter Hochzeitsturm) that Kriemler put on dresses, shirts and a floor-length cape.

For those of you who are not familiar with the Vienna Secession movement, here is some more information: Also known as the Union of Austrian Artists, or Vereinigung Bildender Künstler Österreichs, the Vienna Secession was formed in 1897 by a group of Austrian artists, among them Gustav Klimt, Koloman Moser, Josef Hoffmann, Joseph Maria Olbrich and Max Kurzweil. The movement included painters, sculptors, and architects.

To all Swiss, Happy National Day!

LoL, Sandra