At Home with Louis Vuitton

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Louis Vuitton, Louis Vuitton, Louis Vuitton. A glorious phrase, a wondrous sound. Kisses off the lips with decades of glamour, style, longevity and stature. To many, not merely a brand of luxury goods, Vuitton precedes itself and is of course a living, breathing entity. A lifestyle.

A lifestyle many stylish men would dream of adhering to. Or at least dressing themselves in. A modern man, a man who takes pride in himself and his personal tastes, a man who enjoys being aware of new and exciting cultural references, of new literature, stylish bistros, trends in fashion, architecture and undiscovered exciting new travel opportunities. But most importantly a man who seeks the correct way to dress whist ensuring one remains true to one’s personality.

A one of a kind rendezvous allowed Glass magazine to be cocooned within a Louis Vuitton world at their London New Bond Street Maison (Vuitton’s terminology for one of its select flagship spaces across the world). Situated at the junction of New Bond Street and Clifford Street, this Maison is, in the words of architect Peter Marino, “the most luxurious Louis Vuitton store to date”. The environment, which reflects Louis Vuitton’s art de vivre and savoir faire, is conceived as the home of a collector who loves only the best and the rarest. It gives visitors opportunities to discover new and exciting experiences and to be offered one of the most bespoke services in the world.

Within the Maison a decadent glass staircase leads down to the men’s universe. Bags, scarves and other accessories join areas for the full range of men’s ready-to-wear and shoes, which includes sneakers and car shoes in exotic skins made for special order. In the centre is the men’s club area with sofas and displays of high-end ready-to-wear, where customers and their guests can relax, watched over by statuesque Gilbert & George ceiling-height artworks. Quirky hints meet classic interiors by the introduction of Juergen Teller’s bookshelf, a peek into the famous photographer’s favourite books, movies and magazines.

We met with the Vuitton professionals, a butler, a stylist and a tailor, on the second floor apartment of the Maison, with the aim of putting together the concise gentleman’s guide to dressing and of how to conduct one’s sartorial movements.
This quick and exciting tryst gave us the opportunity to converse, be inspired and gain valuable tips from three first class men at the zenith within their chosen industries, all of which offers the Glass man valuable lessons in style, dining and life …

Instructions for transporting your suit with minimal creasing:
1. Lay the trousers down flat, legs folded in the usual way.
2. Place the outside trouser leg in the coat hanger. Fold it in two around the crotch.
3. Place the inside leg in the same coat hanger, and fold it identically, towards the waist of the trousers.
4. Hang the jacket on the coat hanger.

Dining – tips from the butler
• When throwing a dinner party, nothing need be overly perfect. However, clean glassware and polished cutlery is a must.
• Pay attention to guests’ tastes and likes. Subtly go the extra mile to ensure everyone feels at home.
• Select a musical genre tailored to suit your dinner party/guests by using apps such as 8 track.
• A man can never go wrong by polishing his Martini-making skills.
• When drinking at a chic restaurant, for example, always sit at the bar, engage with the mixologists and coax their passion for drinks while ensuring you are always served first whilst picking up a few helpful tips for your own parties.

Dressing – tips from the Vuitton tailor
• Confidence in dressing lies in a correctly fitting suit jacket, paying particular attention to sleeve length, waist and hemline. Here a tailor becomes invaluable.
• Dress for your personality. The event may read black tie but if casual is ones preference, wear black or raw denim with a tuxedo. No man looks better than when he wears his clothes with comfort and ease.
• For shoes, invest in shoe trees, allowing leather to breathe. And always polish!
• Always iron trousers to ensure the perfect crease, and purchase a lint roller.

The Vuitton packing guide
• Arrange the shoes at the bottom and the top of the case or bag, separating the pair, with light shoetrees inserted and protective covers put on.
• Place between them your books or city guide, the toilet bag, the shoe care kit and the belt rolled up on itself.
• Fill in the spaces left empty with underwear, socks and gloves.
• On the wheels side, stack the shirts and polo shirt, top-to-toe and intertwined, collars raised, with alternate buttons done up – this ensures minimal creasing.
• Higher up, arrange the t-shirts and jumper rolled up on themselves, as well as the ties.
• Insert the accessories (watch, bow ties, etc).
• Cover with the jeans, then the jacket folded in the usual way (in two across the height with the collar raised and the sleeves folded in the back).
• Place the complete suit in its cover. Fold it in three over itself and attach it to the top flap of the suitcase – that is what that compartment is designed for. Close the suitcase.
• Slip the diary and iPad case into the patch zipped pocket on the front. Check the taxi reservation number and confirm your departure will be on time.

Styling – tips from the stylist
• Learn to express yourself through styling, albeit subtly or outrageously, to achieve a confident looking ensemble.
• With a nod to British tailoring and classical style, choose a double breasted suit jacket, the Spring/Summer 2013 Vuitton oversized trench and custom-made alligator Derby Goodyear shoes.
• Never overlook the appropriateness of shoes when finishing an outfit. Choosing colours to complement the suiting and accessories is crucial.

by Calvin Baillie