True luxury today is sensual stimulation

True luxury today is sensual stimulation

The feel and sound of a silk scarf: that's what luxury means today.  (Image: Susan Wilkinson/Unsplash)

The feel and sound of a silk scarf: that’s what luxury means today. (Image: Susan Wilkinson/Unsplash)

Get rid of the logos

It’s the scent of leather seats or the rustle of a silk scarf. Today, luxury no longer shows itself conspicuously, but rather appears seductively and silently in your nostrils or only becomes apparent upon closer inspection.

One gets the impression that the bling-bling is over, more is no longer more, but less is more. Would today’s equivalent of Franck Ribéry get on a plane wearing a glittering gold Dolce & Gabbana jumpsuit like a 1970s pop star and act popular in second class? Probably not, he would rather fly discreetly in first class, away from sight, in splendid isolation, completely enveloped in dark colors.

Covering yourself from head to toe in logos now also looks cheap and loud. You no longer show, at least not at first glance, what you can afford and get. You don’t want to attract attention, you want to go unnoticed. The new luxury is silent, reserved.

No wonder beige, blue and champagne are experiencing a new boom. Even street smart is a little too aggressive. It seems to remain faithful to the definition of a kind man given by Adolf Loos: well dressed is someone who goes unnoticed and naturally aligns himself with the ruling class, in the city that sets the tone (for Loos it was not Vienna, but London). ). Or you can stick with Coco Chanel: It’s not about getting compliments on your beautiful dress, but about how good you look.

Therefore, it was not just tracksuit bottoms that won over Covid, but also soft, warm, very light and enveloping cashmere – for everything, including tracksuit bottoms. Size so you don’t feel like you’re wearing anything. It takes a second look, an insider’s knowledge, to recognize this quiet luxury that is not imposed on you, but which perhaps rises to your nose in a seductive and silent way and flatters your ears.

The smell of money

The special scent of leather seats, the soothing, barely-tuned hum of the starter motor, the deeply satisfying click of the bag closing and the rustle of the silk of a scarf: these are the sensual stimuli we fly towards, often without realizing it. noticing them. The eye is no longer the first violin; hearing, smell and feeling are at the center of luxury research.

At the moment, our desire is no longer aimed at eclipsing others. And in the end not to be recognized in the quiet luxury of our kind, the happy few. We no longer long for the first house on the block so we can be seen there at the right time with the right people. We no longer dream of winning the competition for recognition, but of a secluded place outside of social competition. The ultimate utopia, an incredible luxury, the most beautiful gift is to escape the desire for distinction, ignore it, turn your back on it.

The height of luxury is not outrageously expensive, but priceless because it has no equal. The best gift is an out-of-this-world space where everything is taken lightly and people can enjoy each other. And the right click of a bag clasp, a soft leather or the rustle of a heavy silk scarf sends a shiver of happiness down our spine.

Barbara Vinken is a professor of General Literature and Romance Philology at LMU Munich. You have reached a wide audience with your reflections on German family politics and fashion.

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