Saturday, 11 September 2010

One Enchanting Video - 100 Legendary Trunks leads to a thousand more thoughts

This post was going to be a short one, but as I thought about it, I felt I wanted to share more. I've always loved the idea of looking at one thing through history - seeing how it itself changes, an object transforming to suit different things as times change, as well as changing reactions to it - what it means to contemporary people and in what different situations it is used. And how looking at and thinking about one thing can spark a thousand other thoughts.

All this seemed to come together when I watched this video on Lily and the Muse. This truly amazing video is actually part of an ad campaign for the Louis Vuitton book. Both look amazing, I love the video and think the book would make the perfect coffee table companion, to peruse over and dream. I was simply going to share the video and leave it at that. But it got me thinking about history and objects.

The video and book shares 100 legendary trunks, but they are all designer - a small slice of the bigger history. Louis Vuitton are using history to cement the idea of their brand, to evoke thoughts of luxury, heritage, and the past. They are, in the present day, cementing their brand, and making more sales by embracing their history, suggesting, perhaps, superiority and certainly the chance for buyers of the brand to feel part of something larger than just the material product. Looking at this could lead to cynicism, as heritage is blatantly used for commercial purposes. I feel differently, the video is just one of the ways that history can be enjoyed, thought about and embraced.

Reading the book, or simply watching the video (something many more can enjoy, if you, like me, cannot afford the book), can spark so many thoughts. On trunks themselves, how differently they were used in the past (on stage coaches, ships and trains. When men and women travelled with a retinue as well as their possessions. When diplomats in the 19th century, travelled the world, and India rode on elephants, their trunks behind them. Or when kings and queens travelled the country, their court moving with them. Or perhaps think about the men and women who emigrated, with all their worldly possessions in one trunk), compared to the present when we collect our luggage from impersonal suitcases as they circle the conveyor belt at an airport. That is simply the object, but it evokes other thoughts and feelings; ideas of travel, for pleasure, work or emigration. The movements of people that have always occurred, grand tours, trips to the seaside and our own memories of perfect holidays. Not to mention the thoughts of the people who used them and what they put inside.

Just looking at one thing, can mean being inspired by so much more.

Helen at Clio's Curiosities

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