Archive for September, 2014

Louis Vuitton The Icon and the Iconoclasts: A Celebration of Monogram

In 1854, Louis Vuitton founded his House. In 1896 his son, Georges Vuitton, created The Monogram in honour of his late father. An icon was born.

The Monogram was revolutionary when it appeared. This most particular and personal of signatures was instantly transformed into a universal symbol of modernity in the hands of Georges Vuitton: it is one of the first exercises in elevated branding and a defining sign of a global culture to come.

In 1965 Gaston-Louis Vuitton, recounted how his father, Georges, had created the motifs on The Monogram canvas: ‘First of all, the initials of the company – LV – are interlaced in such a way as to remain perfectly legible. Then a diamond. To give a specific character to the shape, he made the sides concave with a four-petal flower in the centre. Then the extension of this flower in a positive image. Finally, a circle containing a flower with four rounded petals.’

The Monogram is now recognised globally as a defining signature, both literally and metaphorically, of the House of Louis Vuitton. As it has travelled through time, certain of its features and meanings remain the same. Blurring the boundaries between craftsmanship, art and design, Louis Vuitton has repeatedly embraced the notions of innovation, collaboration and daring throughout The Monogram’s history.

It is within this context that Louis Vuitton’s ‘The Icon and The Iconoclasts: Celebrating Monogram’ project appears this year. It is a collection of works that shows the distinctly personal side of the Monogram; representing something we think we all know in an extraordinary, individual and idiosyncratic way. Six creative iconoclasts – the best in their individual fields – who blur the lines between fashion, art, architecture and product design, have been given carte blanche to dictate and make whatever they see fit in the patterned canvas.

Echoing the special Louis Vuitton centenary collection of 1996 – where Azzedine Alaia, Manolo Blahnik, Romeo Gigli, Helmut Lang, Isaac Mizrahi, Sybilla and Vivienne Westwood contributed individual and distinct designs – for 2014’s collection, the participants have progressed even further. Here, Christian Louboutin, Cindy Sherman, Frank Gehry, Karl Lagerfeld, Marc Newson and Rei Kawakubo radically, personally and playfully realise an unparalleled collection.

Spanning, blurring and redefining the disciplines of art, architecture and design, this diverse and extraordinary group has created a unique collection.

The project itself was initiated by Delphine Arnault, Executive Vice President of Louis Vuitton, and Nicolas Ghesquière, Louis Vuitton’s Artistic Director of Women’s Collections.

“When we talked with Nicolas Ghesquière about the extraordinary talents we would like to approach we simply went to those who are among the best in their fields”, says Delphine Arnault. “We were interested in people who work with their minds and their hands. I thought it was so interesting – and fun! – to have all of these different points of view on the Monogram. It is inspiring to see how they envision things, to see their perspectives. This is a group of geniuses.”

“Monogram is timeless, yet with this project we wanted to celebrate it in a way that defied the conventions of ‘classic’“, says Michael Burke, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Louis Vuitton.

In many ways it means The Monogram has come full circle: looking at its handcrafted roots once more, its direct connection to a person, its daring and genre defying audacity and, above all, its journey into the future for Louis Vuitton. This is a collection that is both universal and personal, and in the cherished traditions of the house, once again defies expectations.


These very exclusive and limited editions will be available in selected Louis Vuitton stores worldwide from mid-October 2014.

A Celebration of MONOGRAM
launch event will take place in
New York City on November 7th, 2014.


The Icon: The Monogram

archive monogram Louis Vuitton The Icon and the Iconoclasts: A Celebration of Monogram

In 1896 Georges Vuitton created the Monogram, utilising the LV initials as a tribute to his late father, Louis Vuitton, who had died four years previously.

Revolutionary in its time, The Monogram is one of the first symbols of French modern design. The Monogram pattern is composed of stylised flowers and letters organised geometrically – there is some debate as to whether the graphic design owes a debt to the neo-Gothic style or to the influence of Japonisme. The tiles in the Vuitton family home might also have inspired Georges.

THE Monogram is now recognised globally as a defining signature, both literally and metaphorically, of the house of Louis Vuitton.

Images via Louis Vuitton

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Join Us in the Fight For Net Neutrality

“Net Neutrality” is the simple but powerful principle that cable and broadband providers must treat all internet traffic equally. Whether you’re loading a blog post on, streaming House of Cards on Netflix, or browsing handcrafted tea cozies on Etsy, your internet provider can’t degrade your connection speed, block sites, or charge a toll based on the content that you’re viewing.

Net neutrality has defined the internet since its inception, and it’s hard to argue with the results: the internet is the most powerful engine of economic growth and free expression in history. Most importantly, the open internet is characterized by companies, products, and ideas that survive or fail depending on their own merit — not on whether they have preferred deals in place with a broadband service provider. Unfortunately, the principle of net neutrality, and the open internet that we know and love, is under attack.

Net Neutrality under attack

The Federal Communications Commission has proposed rules that would, for the first time, expressly allow internet providers — like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T — to charge internet companies like Automattic, Netflix or Etsy for access to their subscribers. This means there could be “fast lanes” for companies who are able to pay providers for preferred internet access, while everyone else gets stuck in the “slow lane”…which means applications won’t perform as quickly, webpages will load slowly, and of course, buffering. A slow “still loading” spinner will be an unfortunate, but common sight on the new, closed internet that the big providers want.

Unsurprisingly, the large telecom companies who stand to benefit from the FCC’s proposed rules fully support their passage. They have nearly unlimited funds and hundreds of lobbyists in Washington to promote these harmful new rules.

But what they don’t have is you.

What can we do to fight back?

Automattic strongly supports a free and open internet. After all,, and the WordPress open source project are living examples of what is possible on an unthrottled internet, open for creation, collaboration, and expression. Over the last few months, we’ve joined 150 major tech companies in sending a letter to Washington in support of net neutrality, and met with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to urge him to preserve the internet we’ve always known.

Now it’s your turn.

Automattic, along with many other companies and digital rights organizations, is proud to participate in the Internet Slowdown on September 10. For this day of action, we’ve built a “Fight for Net Neutrality” plugin that you can enable now on your blog to show support for this important cause.

You can turn the plugin on by going to your Dashboard, Settings → Fight for Net Neutrality.


When you enable the plugin, we’ll replace a few of the posts on your site with a “Still Loading” spinner…to show what life will be like on an internet that features dreaded slow lanes.

ffnn 2

The plugin will also display a banner that shows your support for Net Neutrality, and links to, where visitors to your site can sign a letter to the FCC about this important issue.

Please take a few minutes to enable the Fight for Net Neutrality on your site today, and visit to send a message to Washington that net neutrality must be preserved. Together we can make a difference, and we hope you’ll join us in this important battle for the open internet!

Filed under: Community,
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Michelle Williams for Louis Vuitton: A New Campaign

Louis Vuitton is unveiling a new advertising campaign with Michelle Williams, marking the actress’s third season as its ambassadress.

Currently starring on Broadway in the acclaimed revival of the musical Cabaret, codirected by Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall, Michelle Williams took time out to be photographed for Louis Vuitton by Peter Lindbergh. The resulting series of portraits hints at the woman behind the actress, revealing the intriguing balance of force and fragility that made Michelle Williams such a compelling choice as the face of Louis Vuitton.

Louis Vuitton Michelle Williams Ad Campaign Fall 2014 1 489x600 Michelle Williams for Louis Vuitton: A New Campaign
Louis Vuitton Michelle Williams Ad Campaign Fall 2014 2 489x600 Michelle Williams for Louis Vuitton: A New Campaign
Louis Vuitton Michelle Williams Ad Campaign Fall 2014 3 489x600 Michelle Williams for Louis Vuitton: A New Campaign
Louis Vuitton Michelle Williams Ad Campaign Fall 2014 4 489x600 Michelle Williams for Louis Vuitton: A New Campaign
Louis Vuitton Michelle Williams Ad Campaign Fall 2014 5 489x600 Michelle Williams for Louis Vuitton: A New Campaign
Louis Vuitton Michelle Williams Ad Campaign Fall 2014 6 489x600 Michelle Williams for Louis Vuitton: A New Campaign

The campaign spotlights two emblematic Louis Vuitton bags, the Capucines and the Lockit, in new shades: sky blue Outremer, soft pink Magnolia and dark blue Cobalt with bright fuchsia edging for the Capucines; beige Galet and Black with python trim for the Lockit. A separate visual features the Emprise watch. For the first time, Michelle Williams wears looks from Nicolas Ghesquière’s collections. The pared-down backdrop of the New York studio resonates with the pure lines of both the bags and the ready-to-wear, and – in focusing the eye on the expressive beauty of Michelle Williams – creates a subtle, intimate ambiance.

The new Louis Vuitton advertising campaign starring Michelle Williams will break in the October 2014 issues of magazines worldwide.

Ad Campaign Credits:
Photographer: Peter Lindbergh
Stylist: Carine Roitfeld
Hair: Odile Gilbert
Makeup: Angela Levin

Images via Louis Vuitton

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New Theme: Eighties

Today we’re taking a trip back in time with our latest free theme, Eighties!


Eighties WordPress Theme

Think big hair, mixtapes, and beloved family sitcoms, and you have what is arguably one of the craziest, most colorful periods in recent memory. Eighties channels that essence into a theme with just as much flair and personality as the decade for which it is named.

Designed by Justin Kopepasah, Eighties features bold colors and typography, large custom header and featured images, styled post formats, and much more. It’s certain to make your personal blog stand out from the rest.

Learn more about the free Eighties theme at the Theme Showcase, or preview it by going to Appearance → Themes.

Filed under: Themes
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Longreads’ Best of WordPress, Vol. 4

It’s time for our latest edition of Longreads’ Best of WordPress: below are 10 outstanding stories from across WordPress, published over the past month.

You can find Volumes 1, 2 and 3 here — and you can follow Longreads on for all of our daily reading recommendations.

Publishers, writers, keep your stories coming: share links to essays and interviews (over 1,500 words) on Twitter (#longreads) and by tagging your posts longreads.

1. The Moral Dilemmas Of Narrative (Bill Marvel, Gangrey)

Bill Marvel on journalism and the quest for empathy in telling other people’s stories:

Compassion and sensitivity thus tell us how to approach our subjects from the outside.

Empathy, the word Lee Hancock murmured that morning, is more difficult. Because empathy requires that we approach our subjects from the inside. We try to enter into the emotions, thoughts, the very lives of those we write about. We try to imagine what it must be like to be them. Only by living in their skin at least briefly, by walking in their shoes, can we begin to see that person as he or she is. This requires moral imagination. It is what the good fiction writer does. And it is, I argue, what we writers of nonfiction must do.

Read the story

2. The Battle of As Samawah (Don Gomez, Carrying the Gun)

A series of dispatches from the front lines of Iraq in March and April of 2003.

Read the story

3. The Boy With Half a Brain (Michael Rubino, Indianapolis Monthly)

Jeff and Tiernae Buttars made a difficult decision to have a portion of their son’s brain surgically removed to eliminate his seizures. The decision changed all of their lives:

In exchange for a 60 percent chance to end the seizures, William would lose a portion of his vision, forfeit use of his left hand, and might never walk without some form of assistance. He’d always be labeled “special needs,” though the doctor promised that William would grow to develop a below-average IQ in the 70-to-80 range. (Untreated, he was headed for one 40 points lower.) And there remained a chance, however small, that William might not survive the procedure.

Read the story

4. Let’s Be Real (Wesley Morris, Grantland)

Says Dana Stevens, the movie critic at, of Morris’s review of Let’s Be Cops: “Wesley Morris on Let’s Be Cops and the shooting of Michael Brown is everything 21st-century film criticism should be.”

Read the story

5. A Tale of Two Abortion Wars (Ananda Rose, Pacific Standard)

While pro-life activists fight to rescue IVF embryos from the freezer, pregnant women in their third trimester with catastrophic fetal anomalies have nowhere to turn.

Read the story

6. Dress Your Family In Your Lover’s Shoes (Kathleen Hale, The Hairpin)

Hale recalls meeting a boyfriend’s eccentric family during a trip to Ireland:

Over the next month, I would also learn that Sam had lied to me about his parents’ jobs: they didn’t have any. They were not working artists, but had rather opted to leave behind their middle-class upbringing and good educations to live on the dole, Ireland’s form of welfare. Caro got splinters from compulsively sanding the same bedside table until it resembled a large toothpick. Sam Sr.’s days revolved around rising late, napping, bossing Caro around, and lecturing snobbishly on the superiority of natural fibers while his nipples peeked through holes in his over washed pajama tops. “Wot?” he would yelp at me a few nights later, in exactly that voice, when I stood up startled after the back on my chair fell off—“It’s a great antique piece, very nice quality, you just can’t lean on it.”

Read the story

7. Made for China (Shawn Wen, The New Inquiry)

As American audiences tire of big budget spectacle, Hollywood has begun to tailor its blockbusters for the ever-expanding Chinese market.

Read the story

8. What My Bike Has Taught Me About White Privilege (Jeremy Dowsett, A Little More Sauce)

Dowsett explains “white privilege” through the lens of a bicycle rider:

And it’s not just the fact that the whole transportation infrastructure is built around the car. It’s the law, which is poorly enforced when cyclists are hit by cars, the fact that gas is subsidized by the government and bike tires aren’t, and just the general mindset of a culture that is in love with cars after a hundred years of propaganda and still thinks that bikes are toys for kids and triathletes.

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9. Going It Alone (Eli Saslow, The Washington Post)

In one of the poorest counties in Texas, a 37-year-old deputy named Elias Pompa addresses the U.S. border crisis alone while earning $11.50 an hour.

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10. An Interview with Elissa Schappell (Maria Gagliano, Slice)

I don’t think you can be much of a writer if you don’t read. I’m appalled by the number of writers and writing students I know who say, ‘I don’t read because I don’t have time, or I don’t read because I don’t want to be influenced by other writers’ work, or My busy reality-TV-watching schedule doesn’t permit me time to read books, only blogs.’

Read the story

Filed under: Community, Writing
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Louis Vuitton Window Displays by Frank Gehry

LV Proto Gehry 2334 Louis Vuitton Window Displays by Frank Gehry

World-renowned architect, Frank Gehry, winner of the 1989 Pritzker Prize, is turning his talents to the design of window displays for the first time. In September, Louis Vuitton store windows will feature Gehry’s sculptures alongside its Fall/Winter 2014 collection.

Strongly inspired by stylish schooners of the past, the sculptures are made from wooden structures covered in metal. “They are like sails filled by a following wind. We’ve called them Wind Wings,” explains the architect.

Bulging oblong, metal hulls are curved, twisted, exaggerated and grouped together. They partially cover one another, rolling against each other, nestled together, caressing one another. They stand like caparisoned horses, or shell-patterned mantillas. They are at once sails and hulls.

Shells, casings and armour alongside corsets and sheath dresses… The sculptures pay tribute to both architecture and fashion, two arts that protect the human body. The sculptures are static yet capture a sense of movement. Frank Gehry believes that architecture and sculpture must be dynamic.

From September, the Louis Vuitton window displays will dance on imaginary waves.

Louis Vuitton Frank Gehry Ready to Wear Window Display 1 600x465 Louis Vuitton Window Displays by Frank Gehry
Louis Vuitton Frank Gehry Ready to Wear Window Display 6 600x465 Louis Vuitton Window Displays by Frank Gehry
Louis Vuitton Frank Gehry Ready to Wear Window Display 4 600x465 Louis Vuitton Window Displays by Frank Gehry
Louis Vuitton Frank Gehry Ready to Wear Window Display 2 600x465 Louis Vuitton Window Displays by Frank Gehry
Louis Vuitton Frank Gehry Ready to Wear Window Display 3 600x465 Louis Vuitton Window Displays by Frank Gehry
Louis Vuitton Frank Gehry Ready to Wear Window Display 5 600x465 Louis Vuitton Window Displays by Frank Gehry

Crafted in tones of blue, grey, brown and rosewood, these sculptures are pearlescent, gleaming, iridescent in the light and splattered with reflective glints; they are almost liquid in places and bear a resemblance to the work of Frank Stella, another Frank and close friend of Gehry’s, (the architect himself acknowledges the similarity).

By creating subtle combinations, these basic elements can be used to vary the groups of sculptures. Like a composer with musical notes, a conductor with his musicians, Frank Gehry uses his metal sails to bring elegance and lightness to the Louis Vuitton window displays.

LV PASS x FRANK GEHRY image 2 Louis Vuitton Window Displays by Frank Gehry

Passers-by and visitors will be able to view exclusive content when they scan the window displays with their mobile phones using the Louis Vuitton Pass app.

Images via Louis Vuitton

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Early Theme Adopters: Sketch

Sketch has barely been available for two weeks, but you’d never know it. This clean, cheerful, portfolio-focused theme is already a favorite — and not just for artists and illustrators. Here are three sites we love:

All Cats Have

Dutch artist and designer Asja loves cats, as does the rest of the internet. On All Cats Have, she takes a simple doodle of two cats sitting side-by-side and transforms them to everything from superhero cats to Matisse-inspired cats to buddy cats lamenting their hangovers:

all cats

With Sketch, she’s able to showcase her latest blog posts up top, and her cat illustrations, which are all organized as portfolios, below. Using the new Site Logo feature, she drops a mini-version of her eponymous felines in the blog’s upper-left corner.

Asja keeps Sketch’s default sans-serif font; it’s readable, simple, and doesn’t steal the limelight away from her art. We also love the personal cat-teriffic touches in her pages and menus — the blog is listed as “Random Purring” in her menu.

850 Calories

When budget issues led the United Nations to reduce food support to refugees in central Africa, most of the world didn’t hear about it. One blogger did, and is now challenging the rest of us to spend a day living on the equivalent of one day’s rations: 850 calories. He uses Sketch‘s emphasis on visuals to build a bold, engaging site that draws us in with photos:

850 calories

The blogger uses the top feature area to keep evergreen posts front and center, while the portfolio area links to more information on the humanitarian crisis and guidelines for people interested in taking the challenge. A simple logo (also taking advantage of the theme’s support for Site Logos) and Sketch‘s naturally clean typography mean that nothing detracts from the site’s mission.


BRICKrhetoric is a literary and arts journal from Chicago with an urban focus. And although Sketch is presented as a theme for artists’ portfolios, the editors saw it as the perfect blank canvas for the creative work they present:


They’ve opted to add a custom header instead of a logo, so their online journal can mimic a printed masthead. Rather than posts and portfolios, the home page features the journal’s mission statement, and a sidebar makes it easy for visitors to access past issues or look for content by contributor.

As the bloggers at All Cats Have and 850 Calories were, BRICKrhetoric’s editors were also drawn to Sketch‘s typography. Here, the clean lines of the type have a modern feel just right for the journal’s contemporary urban focus.

Looking for more inspiration? These sites and blogs also caught our eye:

  • The Argentinian fashion blogger at RBLD nixes portolfios and sidebars for a full-width template that makes it impossible to ignore his photographs.
  • Writer Ericka Clay uses it for Tipsy Lit, the writing community she organizes. She ups the font sizes a bit, creating a version of Sketch that suits the group’s brash style.
  • Pati Montero depends on Sketch’s simplicity to keep her jam-packed site — web design, print design, and personal blogging, all available in Spanish, French, and English — from feeling overwhelming.
  • Unsurprisingly, Sketch makes a great portfolio site for photographers — we particularly like Michelle Dorman and Lymath Images.

Sketch is a free theme — learn more about it in the Theme Showcase.

Filed under: Customization, Themes
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A lack of inspo from this season’s shows in Stockholm coincides quite nicely with the start of autumn/winter 2014. LOADS of great stuff there! 

So I decided to curate my own superband of brands, including Deitas, House of Dagmar, Hunkydory, J. Jindeberg, and Ida Sjostedt. I’ve included pieces for casualwear, work, outwear and events.

Key pieces for me are silk tops and dresses, oversized outerwear and knitwear, a slender bottom silhouette for work with pencil skirts and leggings, and Russian textiles (scarves?!) to pop against the neutral colours.

{all images from} 

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