Over the Mountains With Louis Vuitton

By
Photography Spela Kasal

Published April 24, 2012

Yesterday, Louis Vuitton commenced its Serenissima Run, a classic car rally celebrating the history shared by the evolution of motoring and the creation of the house’s first automobile trunk in 1897. The seventh such rally organized by the prestigious fashion house since 1993, the five-day event features 43 vintage cars from across five continents, which will make a scenic journey from Monte Carlo through Switzerland, France, and Italy, and finally arrive in Venice on Apr. 27. The cars will remain on display in Venice’s Piazza San Giorgio until Apr. 28.

While a lucky few across the pond will be able to not only fête the rally at the Grand Palais de Paris in Monte Carlo, but also watch the antique cars as they speed across Europe, Vuitton commissioned husband and wife photographer duo Christophe Berlet and Spela Kasal (who met on a photo shoot a few years ago) to follow the path of the rally—through the Swiss Alps, past Lake Como and beside the canals of Venice—and create a film, as well as a collection of photographs, documenting their journey. Through their artistic view of the road trip, the photographers aim to bring the experience of the rally to readers worldwide. “For me, a road trip is a synonym for freedom. It’s about discovering new places and perpetual movement,” says Berlet, 31, who describes his aesthetic as raw, instinctive and emotional. “We always love to travel and take pictures while traveling, so this [project] came naturally to us,” adds Kasal, 33, whose work focuses on simplicity, realism and nature’s “absolute beauty.”

The collaborative film and photographs, which can be viewed in their entirety on New, Now, Vuitton’s online magazine, are a seamless fusion of the duo’s photographic visions. From a misty image of Monte-Carlo taken from above to a shot of the lapping waters of Italy’s Lake Garda, the romantic photographs project a quiet beauty and evoke pangs of nostalgia. The film, a grainy, serene interpretation of their trip set to Debussy’s “Clair de Lune,” allows the viewer to soak in the rally’s picturesque route. “I love the movement and the parts when we’re driving; it’s the essence of the road trip. And I feel there’s some kind of beauty and melancholy in capturing those moments,” says Berlet. There is indeed an underlying melancholy as the camera watches birds swooping over Venice, pans across Rheinwaldhorn Mountain, gazes up at blossoming cherry trees and follows the course’s winding roads. Kasal adds, “I would hope the images show beauty and the timelessness. There is still some magic out there, you just need to stop and look around. We seem to forget about it. This project is about the beauty of life and enjoying special moments in time.”

Kasal and Berlet’s film and photographs can be viewed in their entirety on Louis Vuitton’s online magazine, New, Now.