low-key luxe: outfit - Isabel Marant; fragrance - Serge Lutens Beatue L'Incendiaire ($600); bracelet - Mahnaz Ispahani ($15,000); bag - Zagliani "Gatsby" tote ($27,000) - all Barneys.com
Noise is the most impertinent of all forms of interruption. It is not only an interruption, but also a disruption of thought.
- Arthur Schopenhauer (19th c. German philosopher)
Freedom from noise is an interesting luxury trend, be it fancy Bose noise-cancelling headphones, silent retreats that are all the rage in the travel biz or even the Electrolux vaccuum cleaner that's so quiet when it's being operated, people nearby can sleep. "The search for silence might be the extreme extension of the urge to shed modern life’s 'noisy' baggage: all those emails, texts, and bits of media—digital, social, etc.—that clutter our consciousness," muses an interesting article in New Republic.
Absence, in myriad different ways, has become a commodity. "How many products advertise their virtues by what they don’t include? BPA-free baby bottles, GMO-free tomatoes, and gluten-free oatmeal—never mind that it didn’t have gluten to begin with—are all available at your local supermarket," the article continues. "Food can’t get from the farm to the table fast enough; toxins must be avoided at all costs; the “disconnectionists” preach digital detox...to some extent it seems an outgrowth of a back-to-basics, purity-as-priority impulse."
(illustration by Jordi Labanda)
Which strikes me as another way of saying function must come first, dictating form. Instead of a bag being an excuse for a large logo, the latest spendy "it" bag is devoid of all telltale brand markings. Exhibit A: this understated brown croc Gatsby tote lined with blue watersnake from Zagliani. Crafted from only the best skins, each bag is made completely by hand in Milan, Italy. With a commensurate pricetag: $27,000. While fans do include gauche glitterati like Rihanna, it's the lower key fans - Nicole Kidman, Cindy Crawford and Natalia Vodianova - that reflect the main fan base of this line: the members of the Supremium fashion tribe. Although they are certainly shop-shop-shopping their way through the Apocalypse, they mostly want to do it in style-Style-STYLE. A mix of the low-key approach of the millionaire next door, just with amazing fabrics and accessories at non-next-door prices.
Podcast music: Kevin MacLeod, Incompetech.com