Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Discovering Le Monde de Louis Vuitton at Louis Vuitton Global Store

The easiest indicator to indicate that the city you live in is becoming a major destination for globe-trotting shoppers is the presence of Louis Vuitton global store. 

Now, Kuala Lumpur can further propel its prominence as the region’s preferred luxury shopping destination with the grand arrivée of Louis Vuitton’s global store at the Starhill Gallery.

Situated right in the heart of KL’s prestigious retail belt Jalan Bukit Bintang, the new global store – the first in Malaysia – boasts an array of characters unique to Louis Vuitton flagship stores such as dazzling façade, innovative interiors and furnishings rooted in the maison’s cornerstone of travel culture, creativity and savoir-faire, all within the bound of luxurious apartment-like ambiance.

As people always say that seeing is believing, I made my way to the new global store on a fine, sunny day. 

But prior to my private tour around the store, we - that’s me, Ms Jasmine Kamal and Ms Azwin from Louis Vuitton Malaysia – made a pit stop at the Indulge Floor of the Gallery where the exhibition takes place. 

Known as “The League of Extraordinary Women”, the exhibition showcases portraits of eight iconic Malaysian women whose passion and influence in their respective fields transcend space and time.

The women were photographed by Hong Kong photographer Wing Shya and styled by international stylist Sean K. 

The women – K.D.Y.T.M Tengku Puan Pahang Tunku Azizah Sultan Iskandar, actress Michelle Yeoh, activist Marina Mahathir, Dr Jemilah Mahmood, songstress Sheila Majid, fashion designer Tom Abang Saufi, squash star Nicol David and supermodel Ling Tan – were chosen for their achievements, work and determination that brought them to international light, subsequently making Malaysia proud.

Elements of Louis Vuitton were omnipresent in the portraits, be it ready-to-wear, shoes, accessories, travelling accoutrements or jewellery. For instance, model Ling Tan posed in a sensual Louis Vuitton dress designed by Marc Jacobs from one of its previous fall/winter collections; Tom Abang Saufi sported tribal chic feather earrings and Dr Jemilah (of Mercy Malaysia foundation) posed in a pair of sequined shoes and a Louis Vuitton coffee table book as part of the props.

Done with the exhibition, we adjourned to the global store. Guided by Ms Azwin, we ventured from one room to another, starting with the women’s universe where a selection of Louis Vuitton iconic carriers is neatly displayed against the wall.

Here, you could marvel at the magnificent work of art entitled “BeLieVe”, a painting by Malaysian artist Ivan Lam that is exclusively commissioned by Louis Vuitton.

Next, we ventured into the haute maroquinerie salon ― the first in Malaysia and the 12th in Asia. 

Available at selected global stores, the haute maroquinerie service allows customers to create their own city bags. There are eight types of leather, 26 colours and two fnishes available for customers to choose from. 

Samples of materials and hardware were kept in a small drawer and the price of the bags will be determined by the silhouette of the bag – Lockit, Noe, Neo Steamer, Triangle and the new Milaris - as well as the type of leather and hardware used. All haute maroquinerie orders will be made at the house’s historical workshop in Asnieres. 
 
VIP shoppers could do their shopping in a peace of mind at the adjoining VIP room that comes with a spacious changing room. 

Another artwork that you will not miss in this private salon is a paravent covered in hand painted wallpaper by New York artist Yolande Batteau.

Post VIP room, we made our way to the Ready-to-Wear and shoes area where, I have no qualms that if Carrie Bradshaw happens to be in town and drops by the global store for her Louis Vuitton fix, she will be screaming with delight, clamouring that she just got hit by a passing limo and was sent straight to fashion heaven! 

Or better still, she might ask Mr Big to move to Malaysia for good and settle down in the global store instead of a decent penthouse, which is just across the road at the Pavilion Residence.

Again, just like Carrie, I always have a soft spot for shoes. As we moved into the men’s shoes area, my heart beat faster than it should – galore of shoes! 

The sneakers are eye-catching while the patent leather brogues are lustrous; tempting enough to make any shoe lover like me to slip in and swipe the plastic. 

Shoes aside, I couldn’t help it but to run my fingers on the dainty ready-to-wear collections. Perching high on my mental to-get list are the polo shirt and the ombre printed shirt. The jeans are nice too, though.

Now, while the ladies have their own dedicated universe for themselves in the global store, I have to say that men would not be disappointed too as there is a universe dedicated to les hommes. Oui. Peep into the changing room and you can feel the air of pure masculinity saturating the atmosphere. 

What’s more, there’s also a leather sandbag with boxing gloves crafted by the artisans of Louis Vuitton. Other spaces that you should not miss within this vast store are the watches and jewellery, accessories, leather goods and travel room.

Louis Vuitton Global Store opens seven days a week from 11.00 a.m. to 9.30 p.m.

*Photos courtesy of Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton Global Store – Indulge Floor, Starhill Gallery, 181 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur.  

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