Louis Vuitton is a legendary French luxury goods brand with more than century of history. So, why did a group of Parsons, New School Jazz, and Joffrey Ballet School students spend the past fall reinterpreting Louis Vuitton by creating one-of-a-kind works of music, dance, and fashion?
The project, Reconstruction 3.0, is The New School’s third collaboration with the Parisian company. In past years, teams from Parsons have participated in a kind of live fashion design competition, cutting up Louis Vuitton garments and stitching them back together in a single day. This year, they’re trying something a little different for a special event on February 14 that will make an exciting conclusion to New York Fashion Week.
Participating students were put into five teams. Each consisted of a choreographer from the Joffrey Ballet School’s Jazz and Contemporary Program, a fashion designer from Parsons, and a composer from The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. Team members worked together to develop an extraordinary live music, dance, and fashion experience.
“It’s like improv through and through, with the jazz component and the dance. It’s been an exciting and organic process,” said Amanda James, who is studying fashion design at Parsons and psychology at Eugene Lang College in The New School’s BA/BFA joint program.
The final works will be presented on February 14 to an audience of invited guests and a panel of experts on dance, music, and fashion. The panel includes Simon Collins, dean of the School of Fashion at Parsons; Lanessa Elrod, vice president of merchandising for Louis Vuitton North America; choreographer Gus Solomons Jr.; composer Laura Kaminsky; and Zanna Roberts Rassi, senior fashion editor at Marie Claire. One student team will win a trip to Paris to experience craftsmanship and artistic expression first hand at Louis Vuitton’s atelier and at the historic home of the Vuitton family in Asnières, France.
“The New School Jazz composers were so excited to take part in this collaborative adventure,” said Jane Ira Bloom, an acclaimed jazz saxophonist and composer and long-time New School Jazz faculty member. “I encouraged them to embrace the ambiguity and surprise that accompanies all innovative collaborations. They and their creative partners in dance and fashion took to the process easily and in a way that reflects an openness to cross-disciplinary work. It’s an approach that is completely natural to their generation.”