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LV and Me -- Diary of an "It" Dress -- Getting to Know a Storied Brand

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 10/03/2016 Elisabeth Laurence

It's amazing how wearing an"It" dress can rock your world.
2016-03-08-1457469292-2582104-MEINLVDRESSSTANDINGANDSMILINGAAAHUFFPO.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-08-1457469292-2582104-MEINLVDRESSSTANDINGANDSMILINGAAAHUFFPO.jpg For those of you who read my Huffington Post Wedding Blog: 2016-03-08-1457469136-3749006-EFWEDDINGFORMEDIANICEPICDRMRS.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-08-1457469136-3749006-EFWEDDINGFORMEDIANICEPICDRMRS.jpg http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elisabeth-laurence/carolina-the-cake-and-me-_b_7788778.html
... and my Huffington Post Honeymoon Blog: 2016-03-08-1457469607-2945563-HONEYMOONTHELEOPARDFORMEDIAAAAAHUFFPO13OCT2015.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-08-1457469607-2945563-HONEYMOONTHELEOPARDFORMEDIAAAAAHUFFPO13OCT2015.jpg HERE.
...you know how easily I can fall in love with a perfect dress. But can wearing an "It" dress change me?
I decided to find out.
So... when I attended Paris Fashion Week for Spring-Summer 2016 -- with 750 of the world's top fashion leaders -- I decided I'd wear a dress I knew would be an iconic one.
In this case, it was Louis Vuitton.
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But then I thought, would wearing an "It" dress make me feel connected to the DNA of a brand?
You have to know -- if you've seen our show Lives of Style in San Francisco or L.A. -- that, after covering New York Fashion Week for 13 seasons, with designer stars like DVF 2016-03-08-1457469903-6252325-DIANEVONFURSTENBERGANDELISABETHHUFFPO.png © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-08-1457469903-6252325-DIANEVONFURSTENBERGANDELISABETHHUFFPO.png Donna Karan 2016-03-08-1457470020-6429587-elisabethlaurenceanddonnakaran.png © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-08-1457470020-6429587-elisabethlaurenceanddonnakaran.png Vera Wang 2016-03-08-1457470111-4089425-ELISABETHLAURENCEANDVERAWANG.png © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-08-1457470111-4089425-ELISABETHLAURENCEANDVERAWANG.png Jason Wu 2016-03-08-1457470186-8980246-JASONWUANDELISABETHFORHUFFPO.png © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-08-1457470186-8980246-JASONWUANDELISABETHFORHUFFPO.png
and Narciso Rodriguez 2016-03-08-1457470262-4194187-NARCISORODRIGUEZANDELISABETHFORHUFFPO.png © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-08-1457470262-4194187-NARCISORODRIGUEZANDELISABETHFORHUFFPO.png
-- with models like Estella Warren 2016-03-08-1457470450-9960305-ESTELLAWARRENFORHUFFPO.png © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-08-1457470450-9960305-ESTELLAWARRENFORHUFFPO.png
and Petra Nemkova 2016-03-08-1457470494-6215652-PETRANEMCOVAONLIVESOFSTYLEFORHUFFPO.png © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-08-1457470494-6215652-PETRANEMCOVAONLIVESOFSTYLEFORHUFFPO.png We revel in runway -- including the celebrities --
Like Jennifer Lawrence 2016-03-08-1457470544-8536345-JENNIFERLAWRENCEONLIVESOFSTYLEFORHUFFPO.png © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-08-1457470544-8536345-JENNIFERLAWRENCEONLIVESOFSTYLEFORHUFFPO.png Kim and Kourtney 2016-03-09-1457482292-9194416-KIMKOURTNEYKARDASHIANONLIVESOFSTYLEFORHUFFPO.png © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-09-1457482292-9194416-KIMKOURTNEYKARDASHIANONLIVESOFSTYLEFORHUFFPO.png
And Fergie 2016-03-08-1457471007-8837992-ElisabethFergieA.png © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-08-1457471007-8837992-ElisabethFergieA.png
See: VIDEO...
but the pull and power of Paris is twenty-times greater.
I already had purchased the first look in Nicolas's Spring/Summer 2015 show -- see me here with my now-husband Frank:
2016-03-08-1457471838-1364057-FRANKANDMEWITHWHITEDRESSAHUFFPO.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-08-1457471838-1364057-FRANKANDMEWITHWHITEDRESSAHUFFPO.jpg
But I wanted more...
So the day before the show -- with my go-to-Guru from Louis Vuitton -- Quentin Rubin: 2016-03-09-1457482647-4229887-ELISABETHANDQUENTINAforHUFFPO.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-09-1457482647-4229887-ELISABETHANDQUENTINAforHUFFPO.jpg
I tried on scores of looks to find the one right "It"look for me.
It was -- however, the "It" look at least seven other women at the show were wearing.Paris was agog -- they even had contests about "Who wore it best?" 2016-03-09-1457483352-3850734-WOMENATLVSHOWINDRESSAAAhuffpo.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-09-1457483352-3850734-WOMENATLVSHOWINDRESSAAAhuffpo.jpg I was less than thrilled.But, even in an "It" dress sported by a cadre of others, as I walked over to say hello to friends in the fashion industry like Harper's Bazaar's Editor-in-Chief Glenda Bailey 2016-03-08-1457472041-6533847-ElisabethLaurenceGlendaBaileyAFORHUFFPO.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-08-1457472041-6533847-ElisabethLaurenceGlendaBaileyAFORHUFFPO.jpg
Then spotted Marie Claire's Nina Garcia and spied Carine Roitfeld and scores more bellwether bastions of fashion, I stood up straighter, smiled more warmly, and literally sailed to my seat. 2016-03-08-1457472123-7767680-ELISABETHATLVRUNWAYSHOW.JPG © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-08-1457472123-7767680-ELISABETHATLVRUNWAYSHOW.JPG
The dress wore me -- and I knew that, even with others in the same look, it was the "It"outfit of the day.
So when I chatted with Florence Masurel, Directeur General of Louis Vuitton France:
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And Christophe Bertin, Directeur, Champs-Élysées original flagship store:
2016-03-09-1457485139-452280-elisabethandchristophebertin.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-09-1457485139-452280-elisabethandchristophebertin.jpg I felt, well, cool.
People around the world posed with me:
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And even Anna Wintour gave a glance!
2016-03-08-1457472456-8677689-ANNAWINTOURHUFFPO.JPG.PNG © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-08-1457472456-8677689-ANNAWINTOURHUFFPO.JPG.PNG .
It made me realize that fashion is more than "It" looks--it is more than wearable art.
Iconic fashions take massive creativity, courage, consistent focus and excellent craftsmanship to "birth."
To that find out more, I was invited for a private visit to the Louis Vuitton MaisonVIDEO. 2016-03-09-1457485511-5033813-LOUISVUITTONRESIDENCEAFORHUFFPO.JPG © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-09-1457485511-5033813-LOUISVUITTONRESIDENCEAFORHUFFPO.JPG Where Louis Vuitton and his descendants: 2016-03-09-1457485615-7384183-louisvuittonphotos.JPG © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-09-1457485615-7384183-louisvuittonphotos.JPG 2016-03-09-1457485578-9738202-louisvuittonresidenceinterior.JPG © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-09-1457485578-9738202-louisvuittonresidenceinterior.JPG Lived for a time. It is a gracious edifice:
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Away from the bustle of downtown Paris.
And then I had a private tour of the original Louis Vuitton factory.
2016-03-09-1457486534-9538686-MAISONEXTERIORANDFACTORY.JPG © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-09-1457486534-9538686-MAISONEXTERIORANDFACTORY.JPG
And the Louis Vuitton Museum.
At the factory (no photos allowed), they work on made-to-order pieces. I viewed fabrications of every conceivable leather -- master craftspeople -- one was even knighted -- carefully piecing together what will be cherished cases and trunks.
At the Louis Vuitton Museum I saw a through-line of creativity over generations of designers. 2016-03-09-1457487150-5292541-louisvuittondressesfrommuseumAHuffpo.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-09-1457487150-5292541-louisvuittondressesfrommuseumAHuffpo.jpg With pieces from the original ready-to-wear collections.
2016-03-09-1457486975-6435300-louisvuittonmuseumdressesolderAAAHuffpo.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-09-1457486975-6435300-louisvuittonmuseumdressesolderAAAHuffpo.jpg Handbags and trunks and photographs memorializing the history -- and DNA of the brand.VIDEO.It's these designers and craftsmen -- from Nicolas Ghesquière: 2016-03-09-1457487252-332707-NICOLASWALKINGAFTERSHOWFORHUFFPO.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-09-1457487252-332707-NICOLASWALKINGAFTERSHOWFORHUFFPO.jpg
On down -- who take this storied brand and propel it to the "now," with an eye to the future.
So... I concluded, an "It" dress is more than a look -- it's a responsibility. I shared this with Andrea Di Lorenzo, Directeur of Louis Vuitton's Womenswear -- who works with Nicolas. 2016-03-09-1457492025-8687249-ELISABETHANDANDREAHUFFOA.JPEG.jpg © Provided by The Huffington Post 2016-03-09-1457492025-8687249-ELISABETHANDANDREAHUFFOA.JPEG.jpg
It's a carrying on of a creative tradition -- and an influx of talent and fresh ideas.
So, when I was invited again, to attend the Fall-Winter 2016/17 Louis Vuitton show Wednesday, I knew I'd be less focused on the thrill of wearing an "It" dress -- and thinking more about my connection to the people who created it.It is an awesome responsibility -- this "It" dress thing.
I'm more than happy to carry the mantle again.

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