The Chelsea Flower Show? No, Louis Vuitton's latest shop opening. Whilst Alex Fury was live-blogging from today's shoot, I made it over to the luxury behemoth's grand unveiling of their sixth UK store at Westfield London and Jeremy Deller's accompanying urban garden. Having invited the Turner Prize-winning artist to 'conceptualise an important and significant theme in London', Deller responded with a tribute to spring and a British love of gardening, commissioning young landscape artists to create a set of mobile city gardens. Entitled 'In All Things of Nature There is Something of The Marvellous', the appealing display is made up of a series of 'bags' containing flowers and vegetables, guarded by a scarecrow couple. Occupying the mall space outside, the gardens are also plotted within the single-storey store next to its lines of women's and men's clothing and accessories. The various gardens will be maintained via individual water towers until the 2 June when they will be donated to the Hammersmith Community Gardens Association.
The Louis Vuitton brand is keen to establish relationships with the contemporary art world - since the appointment of Marc Jacobs in 1997, they have collaborated with artists Stephen Sprouse, Julie Verhoeven, Takahashi Murakami, Richard Prince on its fashion lines. Committed to integrating art in a luxury retail environment, the store has also in the past enlisted artists such as Vanessa Beecroft, who created LV-spelling body letters for its 'Espace Louis Vuitton' gallery in Paris, as covered in our blog in 2006. Deller was a natural choice for the brand's latest London addition - collaboration is a central theme to his work and he spent seven years on 'Folk Archive', a vibrant, visual account of contemporary popular British culture. Created in association with Alan Kane, the project celebrated activity from a vast range of British pastimes and pursuits, demonstrating that folk art in the UK is both widespread and vigorous. As part of Folk Archive in 2000, Deller organised a contest of bouquets of flowers for Tate Britain; guests at tonight's event were given bouquets of tulips wrapped in LV monogrammed paper and tied with a leather thong.
We will be continuing the fashion/folk theme later this week with the launch of our 'Britannica' project scheduled for launch on Friday. To celebrate set designer Simon Costin's latest venture, 'The Museum of British Folklore' our project will comprise two films by filmmaker Ruth Hogben: 'Britannica, Rites and Rituals' incorporating archive footage of seasonal customs and festivals from all over the UK alongside an interview with Costin himself.