When I got my first designer handbag, it was an event. I dressed to go to the soho boutique of Burberry, and finally after complimentary champagne, came back with a bag that I babied for months. The effect was a little less dramatic the fifth time I picked a bag. Flash forward to today, when I’m about to go out, I just put my hand in the big closet of bags and take out whichever I can grab. I do have a toddler running around to blame, but my point is that the vanity fades away. This is exactly when you start to wonder, What is Luxury?
I’m sure everyone has a different parameter of what they consider luxury, but I’ve come to a realization that it is divinely luxurious when your cook makes parathas exactly as you like them, customized down to the condiments of your choice, and serves you eloquently while you watch Frozen on a Sunday afternoon. Luxury is about the sentiment that goes behind making anything. And if you can do any good to anyone while acquiring it, laurels to you.
When we moved back, and were getting our furniture made, we realized that there are so many people who have been creating beautiful and unique works of art for generations. Although, they have this beautiful gift, most of them don’t want to pass it on the next generation. Thanks to the industrial revolution, what they do is not of value anymore. People are buying mass produced, and the demand for their art is dying.
It’s the same heart wrenching irony throughout. I remember going to Spain and buying hand-made laces. I still remember my grandmother’s home full of them back in the day, but now we just find factory made, mass produced polyester laces.
This is why we decided to try to revive a dying art. The sentiment of people working with hands, creating a unique piece every single time is magical. For me, luxury is knowing that no other house in the world will have the exact same commode, that is made to the exact size of my wall panel. And the people who worked day and night with just saws & chisels makes me value it even more. Maybe I derive pleasure from the thought that one of their children will carry the art through the generation and keep it alive.
We in India, have such a treasure of fine artisans from wood workers, to silver smiths, to carpet weavers, silk weavers & stone carvers. If only we could all patronize their arts in any way and make sure that the treasure stays.
For me, that is the magic of luxury. Always stand apart, never mass produced.
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