Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

High fashion on Red Square

I was startled in 1990 when I saw a Xerox copy shop and a YSL store on the ground floor of East Berlin's Young Communist League building.

Many Moscovites, were startled to see a Louis Vuitton pop-up store on Red Square. The political upheaval of this symbol of capitalism on Communism's holy ground was too much.

Even as a "Potemkin village" it was too much for politicians to stomach. The high fashion holiday store is coming down before it opens.

Outrage as Russian government rents out Red Square to Louis Vuitton
Vladimir Lenin wanted to be buried beside his mother in his St. Petersburg. But since he isn’t, someone should check whether lying on Red Square beside an oversized Louis Vuitton suitcase does indeed have him spinning in his tomb.

Louis Vuitton pop-up in Red Square
Many Russians – led by Lenin’s heirs in the Communist Party – are stunned by the appearance of a nine-metre-high, 30-metre-long Louis Vuitton trunk on Red Square, a cobblestone plaza more famous for demonstrations against the evils of capitalism and displays of Russian military might.

Modern, heavily commercialized Moscow bears little resemblance to its Soviet-era self, but many here remain unconvinced that the luxury brand’s signature wares should be displayed alongside the red-walled Kremlin…

“[Red Square] is a sacred place of the Russian government. There are symbols like this that cannot be trivialized or denigrated, because the future of the government depends on it,” said Sergei Obukhov, a Communist deputy in Russia’s parliament, the Duma…

The giant trunk is actually a building intended to house an advertising display featuring what the company is calling “historical suitcases” and video installations, and labelled L’Ame de Voyage, or the spirit of travel…

The trunk is supposed to help commemorate the 120th anniversary of GUM, a showpiece mall that spent much of the Soviet era as an office building. It now hosts flagship shores for Louis Vuitton and other Western brands…

Giant Louis Vuitton suitcase to leave Moscow's Red Square

"An installation in Moscow's Red Square in the form of a giant Louis Vuitton suitcase is to be dismantled.

"The suitcase, which had been due to house an exhibition about luggage produced by the luxury brand, had caused outrage among some Muscovites.
Some MPs had decried the installation as trivialising a "sacred space" for the Russian state.

"The department store GUM, under whose auspices the case was installed, said on Wednesday that it would be removed...

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