Best known for their heavy-handed branding and deal-with-the-devil scale celebrity endorsements Louis Vuitton have a long heritage of creating really beautiful luggage (for really wealthy people - a cosmetics pouch costs around €250). Having started out making transport and storage boxes for the dresses bought in the ateliers of Paris in the late 1800s, LV has grown to become one of the most formidable names in fashion; it makes up the LV part of billion-dollar luxury goods multi-conglomerate LVMH whose mammoth subsidiaries include Dior, Fendi, Givenchy and Marc Jacobs to name but a few. Sure, the ubiquitous LV monogrammed luggage isn't to everyone's taste - or is to everyone's taste as the case may be given that it's been "borrowed" to create everything from bootleg rolling papers and condoms to tattoos and toilet seats - but with more than 200 years of experience, we can probably trust Louis Vuitton's advice when it comes to packing. Going beyond the great Fold or Roll debate (fold shirts and jackets, roll trousers, apparently) the company has produced a series of super stylish tutorials on how to pack like an obsessive compulsive on meth. The latest instalment of the Art of Packing series, below, features the folding of a jacket and jeans in the most hypnotically beautiful manner. Or maybe that's just the crank talking.
My favourite is this 30-second lesson on how to fold shirts by interlacing them. Again, it probably sounds terribly dull, but much like those videos that demonstrate how to fold a tee in two seconds, it's weirdly mesmerizing. Of course the subtle stylishness of the videos belies the fact that this is a company with millions of dollars, interns and favours at their disposal, so really, they'd want to be nailing it.
And that they do. The videos serve not only as master classes on folding and stowing stuff but as a lesson in simple yet detailed tutorial making. With literally millions of tutorials on YouTube, not to mention the tutorial-based sites like eHow and Howcast, the notion of passing your wisdom on to others online has become less and less of an art-form and more of a self-congratulatory free-for-all. I’m not dissing the brave souls that post instructionals, anyone who puts themselves out there like that is good in my book, but perhaps some heavily funded videos like these that rely on clean, stylish visuals and concise, pared down information - as opposed to glossy models giggling in slick locations (ahemVictoriasSecretahemhem) - will offer some constructive inspiration for the bedroom have-a-go-heroes out there. If nothing else, the fact that the videos are of a watchable length (they're all blessedly under two minutes) and rely on visuals over language adds enormously to their for potential mass appeal. This 30 second video, that details how to use trousers to fold your coat, is a good example of just that.
Speaking of inspiration, I'm not sure if still fashion photographer Carl Kleiner has anything to with this video, some gentle research would suggest he didn't, but there's certainly a lot have his influence in the photography. So, you know, don't feel bad for copying Louis Vuitton's approach, they were probably riffing off Carl Kleiner. Either way, these are some solid tutorials that may not get you any closer to owning the luggage, but at least we can say our packing is Louis Vuitton. Close enough, close enough.