The Louis Vuitton townhouse pops up in Selfridges

The Louis Vuitton townhouse in Selfridges
Truly this is the week of momentous shop openings. Build and they shall queue. But now that the pop-up shop is practically ubiquitous on every high street, the cutting edge retailer needs a new concept.
Enter the town house shop. Mayfair is full of them - although just as the pop-up store was a bit misleading, so is the town house. The latest, from Louis Vuitton opened today complete with 12 maids a-dusting (a fare-thee-well to former Vuitton creative director Marc Jacobs, who deployed frilly aproned maids as props for one of his shows seasons ago).

Naturally it isn't a house at all, but three thumping storeys in Selfridges, on London's Oxford Street.
It is very snazzy however. Designed by French-born, Japanese-based architect Gwanel Nicolas, it's a lavish space with knobs on - or rather with specially commissioned art, cutting edge technology and changing rooms the size of a small London "studio-apartment".
This is shopping not just as theatre (that's so early last century), but shopping as immersive theatre. Alongside the art, the mood lighting and the exclusive-to-this-branch ranges, there's a double helix glass lift - the first of its kind - that spins as it soars. How long before the first wedding, or at least proposal, decent or otherwise - takes place there?
Georges Vuitton would be proud - Louis Vuitton's first ever British store was opened on Oxford Street in 1885, before it upped sticks for the then more salubrious retail location of The Strand. Harry Selfridge would also be chuffed, since this is undoubtedly in the great tradition of thrilling shopping experiences. The only merchant who might be a bit miffed is that great landlord in the sky. Truly shops are the new cathedrals.