What is luxury? London Pt. I

I love London, but having been this amazing city many times before I had originally opted out for a more low-key weekend with no attractions. But being early for a meeting with a friend in South Kensington a drop-in visit to the Victoria & Albert Museum seemed like a good idea.  V&AV&A

It’s a stunning museum, and a signature of the V&A is its emphasis on design as it houses wonderful works such as fashion and furniture.  Currently there is the an exhibition on shoes, titled “Pleasure and Pain” showcasing shoes throughout the ages, but with one free hour to spare I decided for the smaller, contemporary “What is luxury?” exhibition (which was free!).

Image credit: Craftscouncil.co.uk

Entrance to the What is luxury? exhibition [Image credit: Craftscouncil.co.uk]

What is Luxury?

will interrogate ideas of luxury today. It will address how luxury is made and understood in a physical, conceptual and cultural capacity.

The exhibition pieces were respectively presented under a subheading, each meaning to portray an element  of luxury.  I found my favourite piece, The Fragile Future Concrete Chandelier, early in the exhibition.  Titled under “Extraordinary”, it was a chandelier decorated with dandelion seeds, each individually applied to the LED light.  Not only was it incredibly beautiful, I think what I found impression about it was that it represented the investment of time, and the perfection of intricate craftsmanship.

Image credit: Craftscouncil.co.uk

The Fragile Future Concrete Chandelier by Studio Draft [Image credit: Craftscouncil.co.uk]

Another very interesting exhibition was the work Rise of the Plasticsmiths by Gangjiun Cui.  The audience is invited to gaze upon the skillfully handcrafted plastic objects.  The designer inspires the audience to imagine the post-industrial year of 2052, where global petroleum reserves are depleted resulting in un-sustainability of mass plastic production.  Plastic, what is mundane and abundantly available in modern society, becomes a rare and luxurious commodity.

Rise of the Plasticsmiths by Gangjian Cui.

Rise of the Plasticsmiths by Gangjian Cui.

There were of course many other exquisite pieces that were not only beautiful but also thought-provoking of the audience’s concepts of luxury, but surely I would not want to kiss and tell every detail about this exhibition.  It’s yours to find out!

Right before leaving, I have naturally paid a visit to the museum shop and got myself this tote bag designed by Alexander McQueen for the recently concluded “Salvage Beauty” exhibition:

Alexander McQueen Tote

I’ve heard great things about the lunch at the V&A Museum, but I was off for crepes at the Kensington Creperie across the street(!) so until next time.


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