LV Volt, the second jewellery collection by Louis Vuitton Artistic Director of watches and jewellery, Francesca Amfitheatrof moves to the beat of its own rhythm — just like multi-hyphenate Chris Mak himself.
In the 1967 track “Memphis Soul Stew” by American saxophonist King Curtis, the lyrics describe that the ingredients that make any song a toe-tapping hit includes “half a teacup of bass” and a “pound of fat-back drums”.
While audiophiles chalk it up to Bernard Purdie on the drums and Curtis’s prowess at the saxophone, scientists have narrowed it down to the brain-tickling pleasure that comes with syncopation — a disturbance or interruption of the regular flow of rhythm.
This intrinsic need to seek out energy, rhythm and momentum is not lost on Francesca Amfitheatrof, Louis Vuitton’s artistic director of watches and jewellery.
The Louis Vuitton LV Volt collection, the second jewellery collection by Amfitheatrof plays off all three factors while riffing off the brand’s most famous insignia — its capital “L” and “V” letters.
Pictured above: (On Chris’s neck from top down) LV Volt Upside Down Rose gold necklace; LV Volt Upside Down Yellow gold and diamond pendant; LV Volt One Silver and diamond pendant; LV Volt One Yellow gold and diamond pendant. (On Chris’s hands (from left) LV Volt Multi Yellow gold bracelet (worn as knuckle duster); LV Volt Multi Yellow gold ring; LV Volt Multi silver ring; LV Volt Upside Down Yellow gold ring; LV Volt One Silver and diamond ring; LV Volt Upside Down Yellow gold bracelet; LV Volt Multi Silver bracelet. Louis Vuitton Wool ribbed vest, wool pants.
While the appearance of Louis Vuitton’s iconic logo on any of the Maison’s goods instantly triggers the motor cerebellum portion of the brain that governs hand movement (in short, humans instinctively reach out for attractive things), it can also be said that it is due to the visual pleasure of its symmetry.
However, according to Amfitheatrof, these iconic initials are also an allegory for momentum while functioning as a symbol of speed. Its lines become a precise unit of measurement, one that is recognised across borders and by genders.
Each piece of jewellery from the Louis Vuitton LV Volt collection features this exacting attention to detail by Amfitheatrof that is coupled with clean lines and soft, smooth contours — it is complex in its make but comprehensible in its unisex design while bold in its statement while orderly in the way it looks worn on its own or with other pieces.
(From top down, left to right) LV Volt Upside Down small Yellow gold and diamond pendant, LV Volt One Yellow gold pendant, LV Volt One Yellow gold and diamond pendant, LV Volt Upside Down Yellow gold and diamond pendant, LV Volt Upside Down Silver and diamond pendant.
Under the orchestration of Amfitheatrof, each of the five parter series of the Louis Vuitton LV Volt collection render the classic “L” and “V” as leitmotifs — one that reminds its audience of its own iconic presence while subtly undergoing a lyrical change to provide a dynamic in energy and attitude.
LV VOLT ONE: The first parter of the series plays out as tubular structures with the “V” leitmotif in a different scale — Amfitheatrof has shrunk it while still keeping it centre stage. A sprinkling of diamonds give it a trill.
LV MULTI: The “L“ and “V” are deconstructed and split apart — the two letters strike an infinite chord while playing out in a continuous tempo. They are in tune to perfect harmony without skipping a beat or pulse.
LV CURB CHAIN: The refrain of the LV Curb Chain plays out as the “L” and “V” intertwine themselves in the form of necklaces and bracelets. Instantly recognisable in its iconic look, it becomes the rhythmic backbone of the collection.
LV UPSIDE DOWN: An escape from the abstract as the two letters turn into claws to be stacked on fingers, the LV Upside Down plays on an entirely different chord from the rest of the sections.
LV MESH: The finale of LV Volt has the “L” and “V” transformed into chain links of myriad textures, volumes, finishes and dimensions. It becomes a chorale of bracelets, rings and a choker.
Whether one sees the collection as something to be worn as a solo or ensemble piece (just like Chris Mak here), the beat goes on under the orchestration of Amfitheatrof.
Photography Cher Him
Styling and Text Bryan Goh
Grooming Larry Yeo using DProgram and Hanz de Fuko
This interview with Chris Mak and the Louis Vuitton LV Volt Collection first appeared in the August ’20 issue of Men’s Folio so if you’re bored, listless or sick of doing your job, click here to catch up with it!