Before this year started, I had an important conversation with a dear friend. We agreed that we were kind of done with traditional resolutions. The trouble with these is that the time-worn form inspires little motivation. What it needs is a slight reframing. What I’ve settled on is an arc for the year – a state of mind to inspire and suffuse my choices and decisions with.
In the previous edition of this column, I wrote about the headspace of getting back to business. In an age of anything-goes-all-trends-are-dead free for all, I really do think that a bit of direction and authority can be helpful! Hence my arc for the year: a love for life through sumptuous things. In other words: romanticising and making even the mundane enjoyable.
A lovely new Spring/Summer 2022 creation from Hermes to get excited about: a folding fan crafted from pear wood with printed silk on the leaf – a term I’ve just learned from this fan enthusiast (fan fans?) site.
I got an affirmation of that thought earlier this month when I learned that Hermes has designated 2022 as the year of lightness. That means literally light – featherweight materials, open-worked designs that let in air – and also a lightness of spirit. The material and the conceptual as a guide for both things and thoughts… Delightful!
But that’s one luxury house’s arc. How does a direction or arc apply personally? To me, it’s taking very seriously the pursuit and nurture of surrounding yourself with beautiful objects. Things that enrich and enhance. The thing about aesthetic pleasures is that it takes work – which is why frothy artifice can also be so hugely inspiring!
A look from the Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2022 that neatly embodies the collection’s spirit. Having just designed the costumes for Alicia Vikander’s turn as Irma Vep for Olivier Assayas’ upcoming series for HBO, Ghesquiere was inspired by the notion of a time-travelling vampire whose style combines past and present. Hence the wide pannier shapes, the opulently-textured fabrics, and modern touches like sunglasses as ball masks.
There was one recent fashion show that really helped plant this seed: Nicolas Ghesquiere’s Spring/Summer 2022 collection for Louis Vuitton. The set: crystal chandeliers hung low from the ceilings. The clothes: opulently historical, layered chock full of decorative techniques and artisanal wizardry. The point: I think we’re ready to move on from obsessively curating the perfect minimalist capsule wardrobe.
Ghesquiere took the zeitgeist’s temperature and rightly guessed that what we need now is romance… To treat the decorative arts as serious endeavours! It’s a mentality of loving life enough to seek out the many degrees of beauty available to us.
And because this is a column about shopping, it’s sent me thinking about lovely objects that add a plum, sumptuous quality to day-to-day things and activities. Basically: romanticise everything! Here are some of my suggestions.