High art meets haute couture in Las Vegas

Rendering of the Frank Gehry design for the Foundation Louis Vuitton museum in Paris

The two companies have been locked in a bitter feud ever since LVMH, which owns Louis Vuitton and dozens of other luxury brands, revealed that it had secretly built up a 17 per cent stake in the family-dominated Hermes. LVMH, led by tycoon Bernard Arnault, later built this holding up to 22.6 per cent prompting Hermes to cry foul and accuse Mr Arnault of surreptitiously trying to add Hermes to his large stable of brands. In its accusation at a French business court, Hermes accuses LVMH of using highly complex financial instruments set up by top French banks that enabled it to conceal its buying spree from French regulators. Hermes demands that LVMH sell back the stock to the three banks — Societe Generale, Natixis and Credit Agricole — which are themselves accused in court of acting as de-facto fronts for the alleged takeover attempt. The courtroom battle is the latest in a barrage of legal proceedings launched by Hermes against LVMH, whose spokesman told the French newspaper that the accusations by Hermes were unfounded and part of wider slander campaign. Story first published on: June 19, 2013 18:38 (IST)

Boy band launch varnish and stationery range to fight bullying in schools Highlights include 40 classic Birkin and Kelly bags covering a spectrum of bright spectacular colours to brighten up summer wardrobes and a stunning selection of exotic leathers. The price points ensure there is something for all tastes and budgets. ‘Hermes is known as the leading luxury handbag designer and it is unsurprising that the iconic Birkin and Kelly designs continue to thrive at auction,’ says Pat Frost, director of Christie’s fashion department. ‘Exquisite quality is at the heart of Hermes handbags and this sale offers the creme de la creme of Hermes designs with a number of timeless pieces and rare exotic leathers. ‘The online-only format of this sale follows hot on the heels of our successful Vintage Couture: Handbags, Luggage and Accessories sale in April this year. ‘This sale which runs for 10 days provides another extended opportunity for buyers around the world to purchase handbags and accessories by some of the greatest designers of all time.’ Handbag history: A lesson Hermes Kelly and Birkin bags continue to be highly sought-after and have become increasingly popular since they were first designed. Birkin bags were inspired by English actress and singer Jane Birkin in the 1980s. In a chance encounter with the former Hermes CEO on an airplane, the celebrity suggested the design for a weekend bag, which paved the way for the consistently popular Birkin bag.

Top seller: Lot 33, the 2011 35cm amethyst matte crocodile Birkin bag has a whopping final sale estimate of up to £28,000

Louis Vuitton pushed the envelope of creativity with their latest wind design at their 5th Avenue store in New York City. The high-end fashion brand used golden dinosaur bones to show off their latest collection. They decorated the windows with displays of very well dressed mannequins having to deal with dinosaur action. The handbags are designed in glass cases with tags that tell which bag it is and the bag specifics. The idea was inspired by the current displays at the Natural History Museum blog in Les Jardins des Plantes in Paris where dinosaur bones are a pretty big deal. While dinosaur bones are a sign of something old and prehistoric, it put a pretty chic twist to an ordinary store window display.

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It often reduces the art to nothing more than an extremely expensive sofa accompaniment. One has to ask, why? Why are fashion retailer so interested engaging with art? Because collecting, commissioning, and displaying art boost the luxury appeal of fashion houses. What could be more elite than a uniqueandexpensive work? Only making that expensive work exclusive to the retailer.The trend Louis Vuitton Locations represents the ultimate transition of art from creative act to commodity. And its all part of a broader agenda that in fact presents the reverse of whats really happening: thebrand as a purveyor not just of commodity but culture. When you purchase an LV bag, youre buy into a lifestyle of art and prestige. Rendering of the Frank Gehry design for the Foundation Louis Vuitton museum in Paris (image via roc2c.blogspot.com ) Still, when fashion brands construct major museum-like spaces or position their commissions as standalone experiences, as with the Turrell in Las Vegas, the situation may be different. A review of the websites for these projects, most notably the Louis Vuitton initiative, suggests that the fashion houses are going into the museum business with earnestness and a desire to give back to the city. Perhaps this is just the new normal art lives among us and is used in various ways.

The video has sparked criticism from all over the world, prompting Thailands Office of National Buddhism to announce it is now monitoringAthe monks for inappropriate behavior. The agencysAdirector-general Nopparat Benjawatananun said this week : When Lord Buddha was alive, there wasnt anything like this. There were no cars, smartphones or cameras, so the rules were much simpler. While the monks need to keep themselves abreast of new knowledge, current events and technology, they are restrained to choose the appropriate tools. Nopparat added that the Buddhist monks in the video were acting inappropriately, not composed and not adhering to Buddhas teachings of simplicity and self-restraint. Glad thats settled. He did, however, offer one interesting piece of data by way of explanation: AIn many cases, it was the followers who gave the monks the luxury.

While the bagmaker owned by LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA (MC) remains the most valuable luxury brand for an eighth straight year, rivals are better managing the trade-off between exclusivity and affordability, according to the report. The value of PPR SAs (PP) Guccis brand surged 48 percent to $12.7 billion, ranking it the third in the luxury list, while Pradas worth soared 63 percent to $9.45 billion, placing it fourth, Millward Brown Optimor said. Hermes stayed in second place at $19.1 billion, unchanged from last year. As consumers make room for those luxuries that make them feel better by trading down on other items, it is the middle-of-the-road brands that are feeling the impact of this polarisation, Millward Brown Optimor said in a statement. Rolex, Chanel, Cartier, Burberry, Fendi and Coach rounded out the top 10 most valuable luxury brands in the study. Pradas surge was the fastest across 13 categories measured by Millward Brown Optimor, placing it 95th out of 100 brands overall. Apple Inc. (AAPL) again ranked first with its estimated value rising 1 percent to $185 billion, the study found. Pradas brand awareness in China , Russia , Brazil and the Middle East continues to rise, said Anastasia Kourovskaia, vice-president of Millward Brown Optimor EMEA. The study, commissioned by WPP Plc, was based on interviews with consumers as well as analysis of company performance.

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