The meaning of luxury changed with the coming of hipsterhood. A certain egalitarianism—real or not—entered luxury. Suddenly, luxury was no longer tied to the “best that money can buy” but became all about provenance, storytelling, myth-building; objects with a certain narrative power became more desirable, lording it over objects that were fine, no doubt, but didn’t tell a story.
In the age of Instagram, even the names we have associated with luxury for over a century—the Louis Vuittons, Versaces and Diors of the world—had to project this wholesomeness and they did it by digging into their own rich histories.
In this new world of luxury, a handmade, handcrafted object, meticulously designed and created in a small pottery studio somewhere, anywhere, in the world could compete with boutiques bragging of the most coveted addresses in Paris and Milan.
Its kings and kingmakers are not the white (and mostly male) European designers who became household names over the last century but relative newcomers who bring playfulness and a certain meta-ness to luxury: Virgil Abloh, the black American designer and DJ who is the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection; actor Emma Watson, who met former US vice-president Al Gore in an outfit made of leftover fabrics; superstar Angelina Jolie’s daughters Shiloh and Zahara, who borrowed her famous red-carpet looks for their outing at the Eternals premiere; YouTuber Eugene Lee Yang, who got an unusual invitation to the Met Gala; Indian actor Sonam Kapoor Ahuja, whose handpicked luxury at her London home is the talk of every glamorous circle.
Luxury today is thoughtful and particular. Here’s our curated guide to luxury that will help you identify what’s on-brand for you.
1. Today’s customer wants accessories that can complement outfits for any occasion. Here are some options for you to chose from this festive season.
2. Luxury watches return to the classics. Here are six great watches that you should be considering.
3. After last year’s socially distanced Diwali, this one is all about reviving connections. What better way to do it than through personalised stationery?
4. Along with ‘kaju katli’, there are options galore to fill platters of plenty this Diwali. Here’s a round-up of gourmet gifts.
5. As people venture out again, they are not leaving technology behind. Our pick of luxury gadgets for wherever you go.
6. Less is more when it comes to skincare and makeup. Here's a selection of products for the Diwali glow.
Pandemic? Climate change? People just want to party and forget the year that was. The dress code: bright, shiny clothes that are all about extravagance. As fashion stylist Ayesha Amin Nigam says: “People want to go all out when it comes to shopping. There was a lot of talk about sustainability and mindful consumption. But it's all about indulgence right now.”