Diamond created from roadkill remains, 160 kilometres of gold fibre shaped into a fur hat, a necklace that looks like bath bubbles hand-knitted from nylon fibres, furniture and fashion accessories made with human hair and natural resin, pottery created with toxic mud from a radioactive lake in Mongolia… these are just some of the objects displayed in the current What is Luxury exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
The exhibition features unique items of contemporary design and craft, along with conceptual projects, researching the basic ideas of luxury in fashion, jewellery, lighting, clocks etc. The presenters – artists and designers – look into the future of luxury considering the way factors such as time, space, privacy, welfare, social justice, access to resources and skills influence our choices and aspirations.
Indeed, in an era where quick fashion and design corporations manage to replicate, copy and bring to stores with the speed of lighting what was only yesterday presented in fashion shows, producing luxury items, or those conveying luxury, is the way to create added value. Accordingly, even a company like Apple, where innovation and design are core values, decided to produce its smart watch in a gold-plated version at a price of 17 thousand US Dollars.