The Revival Effect: Tracing the History and Timely Rise of Monograms

The Revival Effect: Tracing the History and Timely Rise of Monograms

Fashion houses are once again ushering in the style that forever defined an era.

Fashion houses are once again ushering in the style that forever defined an era.

Text: Maxwell N. Burnstein

The revival of 00’s fashion is officially back in full swing as luxury logo symbols are once again being resurrected among storied fashion houses—each looking to their history as a source of inspiration.

At its peak, logomania had solidified its place in fashion history being worn by the likes of Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie during the heyday of their hit 2003 TV show The Simple Life and later appearing on the arms or backs every A-list celebrity look to take part in the logo-defined trend. Now, the heavily branded and monogrammed apparel have once again hit a sweet spot amongst the industry and those looking for a taste of nostalgia.

To pay tribute to the style the defined a decade V is tracing the origins of each distinct monogram from the luxury labels that ushered in the iconic style and are now preparing for its timely resurrection.

LOUIS VUITTON

The most ubiquitous status symbol at the turn of the century started in a Parisian atelier in 1854 under the French fashion house Louis Vuitton. The first made-to- order trunks and boxes were for France’s elite and eventually the logoed symbols once again made their reprise on the runways by Vuitton’s son Georges.

The advancing pattern was embossed, painted and stitched on the luggage during 1896, which now be seen on display at “Volez, Voguez, Voyagez—Louis Vuitton” at the Old American Stock Exchange in New York City. Patrons of the open exhibit can now draw on similarities between the trunk’s original prints and those found on creative director Nicolas Ghesquière’s modernized trunks.

When Marc Jacobs was creative director at Vuitton he invigorated the brand with his keen insight on melding popular culture and fashion together in 1997. His first collaboration saw artist Sylvie Fleury—circa 2000—develop high-shine metallic bags but in classic shapes. Continuing to raise the stakes, Jacobs tapped graffiti artist Stephen Sprouse—circa 2001—to create a neon pink and green motif that was ultimately splashed onto classic monogram pints.

Next in line, enthralling artist Takashi Murakami—circa 2003—sought to apply colourful monograms and hand-painted eyes under Eye Dare You, a style that’s popularity carried it throughout the late decade before being discontinued.

Today, Ghesquière has embraced the subtlety of reviving monogram, which he unveiled during his FW14 collection—showcasing his reiteration of the miniature trunk, The Petite Malle Bag, which incorporated the four-petal flower that was immortalized onto the heels of boots, leather dress and iPhone cases. For FW17, Ghesquière melded the worlds of luxury and streetwear fashion with the collaboration between the brand and Supreme—which saw traditional Vuitton patterns reinterpreted on streetwear garments, along with cult-classic bags in a shade of cherry-apple red.

LOUIS VUITTON BY MARC JACOBS CIRCA 2002
LOUIS VUITTON BY MARC JACOBS CIRCA 1999

FENDI

Scaled to feel oversized, the double “F” insignia was dyed into fur and etched onto modernized bags with the original black and brown monogram. For SS18, Karl Lagerfeld refashioned the same monogram he developed under the founding five Fendi sisters for his tropical collection.

At the helm since 1965, the “fun furs” creator is revitalizing the branding hype of The Baguette bag; embellished with the squared-off “F” it was the most recognizable bag of logomania.

After Fendi dropped in status during the economic collapse, Lagerfeld used accessories [key-chains] and the kitsch appeal of furry “monsters” to revitalize interest amongst the brand. The inclusion of classic elements like the double “F” can be seen on the trimming of belts—circa FW17—where a year prior—FW16—you’d be hard pressed to find reference to the house’s history.

FENDI BY KARL LAGERFELD 1997

GUCCI

“I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the logo,” said Alessandro Michele’s whose appointment as creative director of Gucci has championed a new age of style.

Designed a decade after founder Guccio Gucci’s death by his son Aldo, the “GG” emblem forged in 1933 has remained one of the most revered symbols in fashion. A logo that first appeared as fastenings on bags, former creative director Frida Giannini adapted interlocking G’s in 2006 as the new monogram Guccissima. Embossed leather became the brand’s unassuming staple until Michele’s rebirth of branding a decade later.

Michele has been credited with his ability to continually renew the brands inherit iconography, tacking the “GG” logo on accessories, handbags, apparel and décor.

GUCCI FW17
GUCCI PRE-FALL '17
GUCCI PRE-FALL '17

DIOR

The infamous Dior canvas bag mastered by John Galliano in 1999 is as popular as ever—now being revived under creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri. Flash-forward to the SS18 runways and we can now expect Chiuri to integrate the monogram into each collection, having done so since her initial debut.

During the early ‘00’s Nick Knight’s riveting and seducing campaigns for the brand set the tone for the monogrammed era and now Chiuri is forging her own path with a reclaimed sensibility and sophistication that fully embraces modern femininity.

DIOR PHOTOGRAPHED BY NICK KNIGHT CIRCA 2002
DIOR PHOTOGRAPHED BY NICK KNIGHT CIRCA 2000

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