Luxury — The depth and beauty of Time!
The word “Luxury”, to many of us, is a limited concept. We mostly associate luxury with knowledge of few brands like Ferrari, Louis Vuitton, Cartier or a Chanel, something that is supremely expensive and most often to a logo dominated market which creates a sense of gratification within society.
However, my experience with the world of luxury has been a far deeper one. It is an everlasting love affair — with sensual complexity, mysteriously creative, contradictory yet empowering and a never-ending chase of unlimited knowledge. It’s a world that very artistically carries forward the past in its most modern form. In these difficult times, where we question the survival of luxury based on quarterly reports and financial statistics, we need to understand that it is an experiential concept and not merely a commercial one.
It is an underlying culture that needs to be understood to practice it with ease and grace while defining your lifestyle. One who is curious could learn the exclusive art of aspiration through it.
Luxury still makes history relevant. It allows you to travel back in time and revisit an influential historical era that served as a valuable inspiration. For example, the wondrous Parisian evenings where Haute Couture was brought to life by Charles Fredrick Worth, which then influenced the establishment of the iconic maisons like Chanel. Every piece carries a long gone story- Tank one of Cartier’s most famous creation dates back almost 90 years where it was created to pay homage to the Allied tanks in the First World War. Having a historical presence imbibes great self-confidence, a sense of uniqueness and a cult of inherited values into the products.
Like a living being, luxury is born amidst the culture and has its geographical roots. Well anchored and not invented, it is the country of origin from which it derives its vision and goes on to build an epic saga. Mostly associated as a European phenomenon, it is still driven by values of quality and aesthetics. Luxury invited the world to cherish the “Art De Vivre” culture of France, dominated by heritage, mythology and timelessness. It gave us a chance to enjoy the splendid Italian “Dolce Vita” living, which has less to do with past and more to do with the excellence and innovation. It is the culture that makes luxury rare and unique in its approach.
Louis Vuitton’s geometric patterns called Mon signs hold intrinsic value in Japan as they were inspired by Japanese heraldry. That is the reason why a Japanese derives more meaning from it than a westerner.
Luxury fantasizes art — a relationship that probably started with the dawn of humanity. A seduction for those who possess the eye to notice, and appreciate. Luxury like art is obsessed with hedonism and creativity. It holds the ability to transform your imagination into an object of aspirational desire. Luxury’s exclusive associations with contemporary art help its timelessness to remain topical and relevant.
The Louis Vuitton Foundation standing tall in Jardin d’Acclimatation, Paris’s Bois de Boulogne park is built in collaboration with the master architect Frank Gehry. It is a marvellous construct that captures modernity in its iconic design. Rei Kawabuko X Merce Cunningham (a legendary choreographer) presented a groundbreaking interplay between contemporary dance and avant-grande fashion for Commes Des Garcon Summer/Spring Collection 1997 — “Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body”.
Human connection holds utmost importance in luxury. True luxury lies in human excellence and the refinement of skill rather than simply an expensive object. Appreciating the inconsistencies in individual creations while deeply associating oneself with the craft of master artisans helps one understand the finer nuances of luxury.
Nib crafting by MontBlanc perfectly matches an individual’s writing style. The artisan works through 35 different stages — rolling, shaping & stamping the 18 karat gold nib with painstaking patience, before engraving it with the emblem and the number 4810, MontBlanc’s height in meters.
Fashion is often confused with luxury. Fashion is seasonal poetry, however, luxury is a celebration of time. An embodiment of man’s quest for immortality. Fashion follows bi-annual cyclical trends, luxury is a timeless journey. It derives a long-enduring meaningful relationship with the item you possess. Luxury is an item that is “lived in” and its value only grows similar to a bottle of vintage wine. It shows you how to desire something that is based on aesthetics instead of overindulgence leading to saturation. One is durable while the other is ephemeral.
Luxury’s strong personality is built over time. A sense of uniqueness, cultivated taste and acquired knowledge are what drives human desire to attain a decorous life. One should not confuse “having taste for luxury” with “having luxurious taste”. It is similar to acquiring a master skill on its own. If learnt carefully it turns you into a person, who not only desires finer things in life but one who questions what’s consumed.
In today’s scenario, where our consumption is impulsively “as soon as possible”, luxury still supports its credibility on “as slow as possible”. We need to make a conscious shift towards desiring things that will add significant value to our lives.
It’s time we take a step back and indulge in the luxury of educated consumerism.