by Mui-Hai Chu

In a time when everyone seems obsessed with delving into the past to understand and create the future, Louis Vuitton, a brand with such a deeply steeped illustrious history, only has to look to the future. And the future, at the moment, is in South Coast Plaza at their newly expanded and re-designed by Peter Marino store that has become the largest single level retail space in all the Americas and the first in-store atelier in the world.

Last Thursday, we made our way through traffic to toast the iconic brand on this soon to be iconic new space and toured the atelier, where we witnessed an artisan hand-painting a handbag, and took note of a very futuristic and scientific looking contraption that can suck out smells in your bag. Vibrantly colored luggage tags lined an entire wall, waiting to be hot stamped no doubt by another artisan in the near future. All these crafts have been in the past, quite secretive and behind closed doors, but in an age where full transparency is key to success, and also when such fine artisanship is dwindling, it’s a beautiful sight to see.

Also beautiful, the natural daylight streaming onto a Louis Vuitton Objets Nomades Campana brothers modular sofa from skylights that were painstakingly and precisely cut out of South Coast Plaza’s ceiling. And also beautiful, Nicolas Gesquiere’s latest Fall collection and Kim Jones’ final collection all hanging within arm’s reach and soon to be snatched up.

Anyway, not much time to dally too long here, but off to another breathtaking view: Pelican Hill Resort, an endless lush expanse of landscape. These memories: thick ocean fog begins to descend and envelop the evening in warm mystery; the clink clanks of champagne glasses filled with perfect pearls of Dom, or was it the clicks of LV heels on impeccably dressed women and men dancing, laughing, that ripen the atmosphere with a possibility for anything? Nevertheless, the stars begin to swell in the blackened night sky, as dinner is served for 175 clients, influencers, people of interest, in the middle of what feels like a field, perfectly candle-lit and hosted by Louis Vuitton Chairman and CEO Michael Burke.

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Merriment is in the air and nothing is better than great food and conversation. Dancing ensues afterwards with music from DJ Alex Merrell. It’s these creations of moments, suspended in time and place, seemingly out of nowhere, this beauty and elegance, this existing in the future when it’s just nearing eyeline for the rest of us, that make Louis Vuitton truly so special. And so we danced the rest of the night and sang songs on the ride back to LA.

Check out the photos in the slideshow to see more from the event.

Photos courtesy of Louis Vuitton