What is Luxury?

Working in an industry surrounded by extravagant interiors, full of rich fabrics and detailed finishes; I often enjoy understanding how these luxurious items are made.

I define luxury as being exceptional craftsmanship that takes long hours to create these objects and of course tends to be very costly.

victoria and albert museum

The V&A Museum presented an exhibition that explored how luxury is made and understood. The exhibition finished earlier in the week but for those that missed it these are my highlights.

victoria and albert museum

There’s always such a great atmosphere outside the museum, its like the creative energy flows out of the building.

victoria and albert museum

I squeezed passed the children chasing bubbles outside and into the incredible entrance of the V&A.

victoria and albert museum

Neon lights adorn the entry to the exhibition; I stepped inside to a dark room with the only lighting illuminating the opulent objects dotted around the room.

victoria and albert museum what is luxury

victoria and albert museum what is luxury

One of my favourite pieces in the collection was the concrete chandelier designed by Studio Drift and presented by Carpenters Workshop Gallery.

victoria and albert museum what is luxury

This luxurious lighting consisted of dandelion heads that were applied to LED lights after they harvested. The lighting circuit runs through the bronze geometrical grid formation, this was implemented to avoid the striking chandelier having visible wiring.

victoria and albert museum what is luxury

The designers dream was to create a fusion between nature and technology and show the contrasting elements connecting. A design this intricate obviously comes with a rather hefty price tag costing over £100,000!

victoria and albert museum what is luxury

The next gem was The Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Collections crown from 1750, it was hard to capture the detail with the dark lighting but the jewels inserted in the crown sparkled magnificently.

victoria and albert museum what is luxury

An exceptionally lavish object was Studio Job’s monkey perched on a treasure chest; this cheeky looking monkey was studded with multiple crystals.

victoria and albert museum what is luxury

A beautifully crafted suit was on display by Carol Christian Poell. The jacket presented a seamlessly woven garment with intricate detailing.

victoria and albert museum what is luxury

One of the show stopping pieces that stood focal in the exhibition space was a design by Philippe Malouin. The design interpreted the hourglass function but created patterns of quartz sand on the ground.

victoria and albert museum what is luxury

victoria and albert museum what is luxury

The watches were made by George Daniel and were handcrafted with the finest detail; a mirror situated behind showed the complexity in the mechanical craftsmanship that made up the fob watches.

victoria and albert museum what is luxury

victoria and albert museum what is luxury

I found myself fascinated by the laser-cut Iris van Herpen couture gown with the elaborate elements that built the design.

victoria and albert museum what is luxury

The garment has a three dimensional quality and I can only imagine must look exceptional on.

victoria and albert museum what is luxury

The ‘Repair is Beautiful’ chair was designed by Paulo Goldstein created using a mixture of steel, timber, twine and rope. The chair has the ability to fold down for storage purposes but ultimately is a uniquely crafted item of furniture.

victoria and albert museum what is luxury

The next part of the exhibition explored the future of luxury design.

victoria and albert museum what is luxury

This part of the exhibition demonstrated luxury as being portrayed through time and space.

victoria and albert museum what is luxury

victoria and albert museum what is luxury

The fascinating display of extravagant items showed beauty but made the mind wonder about how luxury might be defined in the future.

victoria and albert museum what is luxury

Hopefully my brief post has provided a little insight into the V&A’s interpretation of what luxury is.

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