Saturday, January 28, 2012

100 Legendary Trunks Louis Vuitton

I’m all about the back story. The lore…the explanation…the provenance…the collaterals. It’s all kinda catnip for my right brain. One of you even defined me as “an explainer”. I’ll take that and raise it by saying that I also enjoy the “explanation”.
My mom gave me an Amazon Gift Certificate for Christmas and when I was made aware of 100 Legendary Trunks, I deemed my mama’s contribution towards the MSRP such that I would pop for the balance. And I’m pleased that I did.
It’s not just about the trunks. It’s about Paris and France and Europe and the States and Colonialism...
...and Campaign Furniture. And of course, the proverbial back-story that accompanies the trunks.
It’s about craftsmanship and a time when one commissioned their things more often than buying them ready made. I just had that experience in San Francisco...with a craftsperson who was just as passionate about actualizing for me, the idea that I conveyed with said passion.
And it’s about eccentricity and the means with which to manifest it. Custom cases for exactly twenty-four dress shirts. Certainly bespoken courtesy of Charvet, no?
It’s also about function living quite nicely methinks—with form. Why not have custom trunks made for Impressionist paintings?
Oh and it’s about texture. Provocatively tactile beyond just the original impregnated canvas with the ubiquitous L.V. brand scattered about.
Trunks for ballooning. I want to believe that Santos Dumont bespoke some of these. But I’m sure he didn’t do so for his balloons. He was too focused on performance. But I bet he had cases for his Charvet shirts.
It’s about libraries and the portability of one’s favorite books.
It’s WASPy in a Drexel-Biddle kinda way.
People who created the books we love also engaged Vuitton to assist in the carriage of their trade-tools.
The need to hermetically seal things seemed not to be a problem for Vuitton…
…“fermeture hermetique” …in South Carolina that would be … “Herman, not tonight! Put that damn thing away”.
Oh, and it’s about toys. Specifically the toy department in the Vuitton Paris store. Toy soldiers. Guaranteed to be courtesy of fellow French artisans from CBG Mignot, the oldest continuously operating toy soldier maker in the world. Napoleon commissioned little lead men from Mignot. I’m not kidding.
If lore and the proverbial back story intrigue you even remotely as much as they captivate me; go buy this book.
And further regarding why people are wired for certain things…why some of us are passionate about stories and objects that leave others scratching their heads. I did the Strengths Finder self-assessment a few years ago and I loved the way it “got” me…the way it characterized my wiring. Most all of these personality/trait assessment tools are derivatives of Jungian stuff and I’ve always enjoyed utilizing them. I think everyone should at least do the MBTI assessment.
So here’s how Strengths Finder thematically characterized me. I thought I share the themes that seem to explain why I’m so damned hooked on “the story”.
You are inquisitive. You collect things. You might collect information-words, facts, books, and quotations-or you might collect tangible objects such as butterflies, baseball cards, porcelain dolls, or sepia photographs. Whatever you collect, you collect it because it interests you. And yours is the kind of mind that finds so many things interesting. The world is exciting precisely because of its infinite variety and complexity. If you read a great deal, it is not necessarily to refine your theories but, rather, to add more information to your archives. If you like to travel, it is because each new location offers novel artifacts and facts. With all those possible uses in mind, you really don't feel comfortable throwing anything away. So you keep acquiring and compiling and filing stuff away. It's interesting. It keeps your mind fresh. And perhaps one day some of it will prove valuable.
You like to explain, to describe, to host, to speak in public, and to write. This is your Communication theme at work. Ideas are a dry beginning. Events are static. You feel a need to bring them to life, to energize them, to make them exciting and vivid. And so you turn events into stories and practice telling them. You take the dry idea and enliven it with images and examples and metaphors. You want to divert their attention toward you and then capture it, lock it in. This is what drives your hunt for the perfect phrase. This is what draws you toward dramatic words and powerful word combinations. This is why people like to listen to you. Your word pictures pique their interest, sharpen their world, and inspire them to act.
You are fascinated by ideas. What is an idea? An idea is a concept, the best explanation of the most events. You are delighted when you discover beneath the complex surface an elegantly simple concept to explain why things are the way they are. An idea is a connection. Yours is the kind of mind that is always looking for connections, and so you are intrigued when seemingly disparate phenomena can be linked by an obscure connection. you derive a jolt of energy whenever a new idea occurs to you. Others may label you creative or original or conceptual or even smart. Perhaps you are all of these. Who can be sure? What you are sure of is that ideas are thrilling. And on most days this is enough.
You look back. You look back because that is where the answers lie. You look back to understand the present. From your vantage point the present is unstable, a confusing clamor of competing voices. It is only by casting your mind back to an earlier time, a time when the plans were being drawn up, that the present regains its stability.

Onward. Thematically.


Anonymous said...

I don't know about you, but my chiropractor wouldn't let me lift that Hemingway trunk. I'd rather tote a big box of rocks.

I knew a lady who had some junk in her trunk once.

willie from down south

Mike said...

Man, what a great post! Many thanks!

Young Fogey said...

Looking at this kind of stuff is really great, but it does make me desire something like it for myself.

And then I remember my economic position.

I gotta get going on that side work....

CD said...

Great post. Its a real shame what has become of the company. Onetime maker of Hemingway's trunk, now the proponent of hoochie-mamma junk. Wouldn't be caught dead with a "LV" suitcase- or sunglasses for that matter (seriously, they make sunglasses).

Dustin B. said...

I also had Input as a top "theme" from Strengths Finders. My collecting is centered more around ideas and knowledge, less around physical items (though I can have that tendency too, if unchecked).

Also, Intellection, Learner, Strategic, and Connectedness.

Must say I love the Hemingway trunk. A rather elegant way to cart your library around! Makes me wonder what the going rate for such a trunk would have been in the 20s. I know their bags don't come cheap; probably a safe assumption that the trunks would be a pretty penny.

NCJack said...

First thought, Ho Hum, another lame compendium of out of copyright photos, but this is a travel fantasy first class. I can just see myself outside the Connaught, while my man loads the fitted cases in the trunk of the Bentley...boat train to Calais, rendezvous with Grace at the Plaza Athenee...I think I'll go burn my nylon duffle bag BTW, a belated Happy Birthday

Suburban Princess said...

Great post! I have always loved LV in a historic way. Shame it has such a Boughetto image these days :O(

LPC said...

Yes! It's all about texture. Up and down the metaphorical axes.

Anonytush said...

Maxi - there's a lot of junk in my trunk, that's what makes it legendary....

Young Fogey said...

The only highly specialized travel case I want (not need, but want) is a nice portable bar. I did just find one in a local thrift shop, but it was a cheapo thing from the seventies or eighties. Sure, it had all its pieces, and looked as though it had never been used, and the cups and tools were all metal, but the plastic case seemed only slightly thicker than tissue paper, and it had a flimsiness that did not bode well for its actually being used with the two fifths it was designed to carry.


Me, too. Makes me want to imagine myself as Bertie Wooster, only not quite so bumbling and maybe a bit more dashing.

DocP said...

For me, it is less about the actual trunk and more about the "golden age of travel". A reminder of a time when travel was civilized, there was no TSA, and the journey was an end, not just the means of travel.

Reggie Darling said...

Okay, man, you NAIL this. Best post on this over-discussed, over-blogged subject. Ever. As I wrote on LPC, I've never been able to bring myself to buy myself a piece of LV. My granny had it, but that was from the 1950s. That was then. Kudos, friend, my hat is off to you!