For its latest fragrance collection, Louis Vuitton commissioned a painting from artist Alex Israel
Louis Vuitton’s new unisex fragrance series, City of Stars, is an olfactory ode to Los Angeles, with fragrances called Afternoon Swim and California Dream. It’s no surprise, then, that the brand enlisted Los Angeles-based multimedia artist Alex Israel to help create the collection’s evocative look.
Israel, 39, has made a name for himself with his witty and stylized take on all things his hometown.
Its recurring wave pattern, inspired by wetsuits as well as the work of Japanese ukiyo-e artist Katsushika Hokusai, is a ruminative yet graphic Pop confection that has translated well into a range of mediums, from sculptural friezes to silkscreen prints. through Louis Vuitton handbags. (see the LV Artycapucines 2019 collection).
Israel has a strong connection to parent company LVMH and its young scion Alexandre Arnault, having collaborated on pink-gradient luggage for Rimowa, a brand that Arnault led and catapulted to the forefront of fashion when in was the president. The artist has also already designed a textile capsule and even a surfboard for Louis Vuitton.
For City of Stars, the brand commissioned an original painting from Israel, depicting an LA cityscape during a bright pink and purple sunset. Like many Israeli artworks, it works on many levels – it would make sense on a gallery wall or airbrushed on the side of a circa 1986 Lothario surf van. In this case it was adapted to the design of Louis Vuitton perfume bottles. and travel suitcases.
“It’s a view from the hills, through silhouetted palm trees, overlooking Hollywood and the grid of city lights below,” Israel explained, wearing a black Louis Vuitton suit and shoulder bag, at a press event for the launch of the fragrances. last week at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.
“This vantage point implies a domestic setting, like being on a bedroom balcony or in a backyard near a swimming pool or tennis court, standing outside and admiring the view. The spotlight should emanate from the red carpet of a movie premiere or awards show.
The series’ namesake City of Stars fragrance was formulated by master perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud to capture the mood of a “special and sparkling” night in Los Angeles, “when the singular setting sun gives way to lights and city spotlights streaking across the sky,” he said in a statement from the brand.
“It’s a bright night. The light comes from the explosion of a quintet of citrus fruits: blood orange, lemon, red mandarin, bergamot and lime”, specifies the perfumer. “He blends these different flashes, showcasing their spontaneity in a swirling melody that envelops and caresses the senses.”
Louis Vuitton calls it a “perfume de nuit”, inspired by the city’s night scene. “So much of the nightlife in Los Angeles is after-hours at home parties, away from the hustle and bustle of the inner city,” Israel said. “The house party offers a different kind of social space than the nightclub or bar: the conversation moves at a different pace, things can feel more mysterious and intimate.”
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