Saturday, December 3, 2011

Louis Vuitton Goes Down Market

The Shuttle had an invitation to last night’s “glittering VIP” opening party for Louis Vuitton’s magnificent new George Street emporium but had to turn it down due to a prior engagement.
But how can you miss it” pleaded  a breathless PR operative “when we have an amazing list of top celebrities coming ?”
“like who ?”. 
“Lara Bingle , Erica Heynatz, Melissa Doyle, Miranda Kerr !”
“anyone we may not have run into last week ?”
“Cate Blanchett, she’s cutting the ribbon ?
“look we love Cate but she’s a tad over exposed in Sydney at present . Who else?”
Ronnie Wood from the Rolling Stones?”
“Love Ronnie but I'm seeing him at a private party this Sunday. We’ll send our photographer to get a few snaps"
terrific, I’ll make sure he has a good spot on the black carpet”
“you mean a carpet with one of those boards with your name plastered all over it ?”
“No thanks. The whole idea is to have shots that are different to the paparazzi pics-you know maybe with the product inside the store and so on”.
Ronnie & Jo Woods at LV
And so it went and driving that night at 6.30pm over the Harbour Bridge our cynicism was confirmed. Opening anything on a Friday is verboten in this town mainly because you miss the Thursday deadline for Sunday’s society pages. 
But hearing  LVHM overlord Phillip Corne being interviewed on 2GB (nighttime audience-Long Bay Jail, nursing homes, the deranged etc) tell the befuddled listeners they could save for years to buy a Louis Vuitton piece which could be handed down through their family, or of the two South American peasants who saved a lifetime to purchase a LV suitcase (presumably with no money left to travel ) the madness of the modern world was confirmed.

They did get one thing right-using top party designer David Grant. A veteran of many Olympic Games events and the legendary Cointreau Balls, there is none better.

On Wednesday we had a long conversation with one of Australia’s top movie PRs who has promoted some of the biggest stars in the world and we both agreed about the new breed of publicists armed with a "communications degree” who can do everything but communicate.

The opening of Louis Vuitton was reminiscent of  the opening of the Martin Place Armani store a few years ago.
The Shuttle phoned the PR firm (new in town) to politely inform them we would be attending.
Oh we can't have media inside” was the snooty reply “we have VIPs coming. You can stand outside the marquee” Miss Bossy Boots said.
“Who ?” we asked. 
Lady Sonia McMahon, Boy George and Julian Clary
“Well the reason I’m ringing is because Lady Sonia asked me to escort her” I replied “and Boy George told me today that Armani can ‘f"ck orf” unless they gave him a few outfits and Julian Clary will be in Brisbane. Well that's what he said at lunch two days ago".

We went with Sonia in the end and it was usual suspects (without Lara Bingle as she hadn’t become one yet). No Boy George and no Julian Clary.
Cate with LV head honcho Philip Corne

Cutting the ribbon for the opening of a new store seemed an odd job for one of the world's top movie stars but Cate Blanchett had a good reason to last night (apart from the set of new LV luggage delivered to her a few days ago)

Now that Giorgio Armani has dropped out as a sponsor for the Sydney Theatre Company-step forward Louis Vuitton. And the brand comes with it's own champagne label, Mo√ęt & Chandon, perfect for those all important patron   parties.