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Women Of The Ages

Louis Vuitton pays homage to some of the greatest women who have ever lived

Launched in 2018, Conquêtes- Regalia highlighted precious tokens symbolizing the Louis Vuitton woman’s greater destiny. This year, the first collection of Francesca Amfitheatrof signs a creative renewal for the Maison: Riders of the Knights leads us into lands of legends and audacity. The new high jewelry collection evokes a ride in the wake of great female figures from the medieval realms. Historical icons or legendary heroines, they embody inner strength and determination, values that echo to the Louis Vuitton woman. The collection celebrates the heroines of our founding myths in all their various aspects as knights, sovereigns, and oracles. They faced their destiny with dignity and courage, driven by a vision that led them to rise above their condition. 

Louis Vuitton set up the display cases of high jewelry in the Grand Hall of Troja Chateau.

Inspiration–iconic medieval figures 

Vision is the genesis of all creation: it breaks free from all constraints, overturns perspectives, and shapes the future. It is the creative impulse of Riders of the Knights and the leitmotif that will inspire the Maison’s future collections. The first opus explores the power of vision that drove several medieval heroines to transcend their status in order to forge their own destiny. 

With this new collection, the House pays tribute to the powerful vision that impelled so many medieval heroines to transcend their limitations and forge their own destiny. These women made a lasting mark on the man’s world they inhabited. They are the very embodiment of determination and independence, values that reflect the Louis Vuitton woman. 

Part of the latest high jewelry collection on display for VIP clients at Troja Chateau

These women include Joan of Arc, the French peasant who led royal armies to victory; Hua Mulan, the Chinese warrior who went to war dressed as a man in place of her ageing father; Tomoe Gozen, the legendary Samurai who led her troops into combat; Khutulun, the Mongol princess who swore she would marry the first warrior who could defeat her; Sultan Razia, the Indian princess who would lead her troops into battle wearing armor, the only woman to have ruled in Delhi. In homage to them, the House conjured a suit of armor made of light, a luminous blaze that expresses the inner radiance of she who wears it. It irradiates outwards in a luminous choreography of glittering gems and diamonds—tens of thousands of them, initially in a line of some 50 designs, to be extended in due course with 50 more pieces. 

Kevin and Shirley Wong with Francesca Amfitheatrof, Artistic Director for Jewelry and Watches

The location 

The House previewed the latest high jewelry collection at Troja Chateau in Prague for its VIP clients. The chateau is considered one of the most important architectural works at the beginning of the late Baroque in Central Europe. In areas where vineyards were once located, Count Václav Vojtech from Šternberk had the chateau built in 1678 to successfully obtain a title of nobility. The chateau’s form resembles a type of an Italian suburban villa; it is therefore a summer residence rather than a chateau. The chateau was also to serve as a residence and resting place of the emperor and his retinue while hunting in Stromovka, the nearby game enclosure. Outstanding European artists were invited to join in the construction and decoration of the chateau. The project was designed by Jean Baptist Mathey, an Italian architect, who changed the original concept to regular disposition with a grand hall in the center. 

The gala dinner for the press was set in the gardens of Troja Chateau. One of Prague’s finest gardens are those surrounding Troja Chateau, dating back to the 17th century. This Baroque French-style garden is divided into three parts and two elevations. It is decorated with many statues, rare decorative terracotta vases, pergolas, mazes, fountains, and a modern fountain with a water feature.

Troja Chateau is situated in a splendid part of Prague. The chateau is surrounded by beautiful gardens and the Vltava River directly below. Troja Chateau was named after the impressive garden staircase of the villa, which displays statues depicting the battle between Olympic Gods and the Titans. The construction started in 1678 and was quickly halted by a plaque epidemic in 1685. The second phase of the reconstruction focused on the decorations of the interiors. 

One of the private salons set up by Louis Vuitton for VIP clients to view pieces of high jewelry at the Troja Chateau

Mathey was inspired by great villas in Italy and built one of the finest Mediterranean-style summer houses in the north of Italy. The most remarkable aspects about Troja Chateau are the garden staircase, the beautiful Baroque gardens, and the interior design. Sternberg even went so far as to decorate the interiors of the stables in grand frescos! 

The main garden staircase leads from the garden to the first floor of the Chateau. Two giants support the terrace, and the staircase is adorned with statues representing heroes of Greek mythology. The interior of the Grand Hall is covered with frescos by Abraham Godyn. The frescos themselves are considered one of the best examples of classical Baroque painting. 

This article was originally published in Metro Society vol. 16, no. 6.

Photographs by Chuck Reyes, Thomas Cesalek, and Raul Manzano