My subtle idea of luxury

Today I was reading an old article about 2019 Armani and Chanel fashion shows, pushing for an idea of luxury, intended as rigorous haute couture, as something discreet relying on artisanship and refined materials. And you can’t imagine how much this made me happy.

Some weeks ago I had confrontation with a luxury expert declaring that luxury is inextricably related to twinkle, glitter, gilding, shiny fabrics, polished blacks and so on. But mostly, the lady said that this is the concept of luxury that design and fashion academies teach as well.

No ways to give room to neutral colours, satin-finished fabrics, simplicity. This means that an ivory linen table-set or some precious Egyptian linen towels would have no change of being classed as luxurious, but only as rustic.

So: what about bed sheets? Probably, black satin!

But, speaking of bed sheets, I can absolutely certify that international 5-star hotel standards _ I have them here close to me in writing _ enshrine the importance of using bed sheets able to communicate the customer an immediate sense of freshness and cleanliness. And black sheets are inappropriate.

But, despite all my examples and pictures shown about internationally recognized luxury hotels, this lady was reiterating that that bedrooms were not luxury bedrooms, including the one in Four Seasons Hotels, Mandarin Oriental or Armani Hotels.

At that point, I decide to step back and go opening my dictionary looking for the word “luxury” and, sadly finding that it is really etymologically related to the meaning of sumptuousness, show, excess.

So, it’s really said to hear that is is what academies teach about luxury. The main meaning comes from the fact that in antiquity luxury was something to defeat, it was first related to crazy and unnecessary expenses. The second meaning of elegance and sophistication is something more contemporary.

My idea of luxury is strictly tied to elegance, gentleness, precious inner values, small details. It’s not related to ostentation: it’s something magic like a chemistry. It’s something that you don’t see from far but you perceive from very close. It’s something to touch, to breath.

So … I am very glad to share this sentiment together with Mr. Armani and Maison Chanel. But also if alone, I would have keep believing in a luxury game played on balancing more than on excesses.


Photo: one of the suites of Hotel de Crillon in Paris