Until September 27, 2015 the V&A and Crafts Council will ask and possibly enlighten the question, What is Luxury?

The UK has become home to some of the wealthiest people on the planet. Every where, there is exclusivity, luxury and the promise of unique opulence. Yet, as Zegna creative director Stefano Pilati stated, “you call it luxury but you want to sell it to a million people.” What is luxury in modern times with mass production and a never before seen technological advantage? The V&A and Crafts Council is asking this very question with a new exhibition.

I’m most fascinated by this collection pictured below. These items are made from human hair cast in high resin by Studio Swine’s Hair Highway. The hair creates the bright colors and texture to the pieces. This process obviously took high creativity, time and skill. So, is it luxury?


what is luxury combs hair swine studio

Personally, I have never believed that luxury has to be expensive or opulent to be luxurious. Journalist Diedre Johnson has often told me that I am a sensualist obsessed with the tactile nature of objects and craftsmanship behind it. That’s very true. More than that, I value luxurious moments and experiences even more than the objects many covet as exclusive status symbols.

This exhibit has been segmented into 4 parts: Creating Luxury, A Space and Time, a Future for Luxury and What is Your Luxury? These segments relate the time and skill involved in making the object, the value of materials involved and the individual discernment of luxury. The Future of Luxury is especially interesting to me in the current world. Some materials will become more scarce and automatically be more luxurious because they are rare. Simultaneously, technology like 3D printing will also help some materials become available that we never foresaw.