Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What Is Luxury: Part I


The ultimate in luxury -- look at the jacket, isn't it extraordinary (?) -- designed by Elsa Schaparelli and worn by the Duchess of Windsor.

As I work on my book and am out and about conducting interviews, it is inevitable that I am once again thrust into the world I once knew so well -- the universe of (is that a mixed metaphor -- earth and universe? Whatever.) of luxury "things."

Included in this rarefied atmosphere are designer clothes, accessories, jewels, services one can only imagine, beauty products and the pricey pampering that accompanies them and, of course, the VIP treatment that one would expect -- demand -- under these circumstances.

My re-immersion, to my great surprise, ignited some of those old yearnings I had for luxe stuff. I thought it had passed, but no, at least not completely.

I'll take the Burberry on the right please. Merci.
Talk about bling. Imagine this sequined "blazer" with almost any color satin trousers (black equals a sort of  un-classic smoking for evening) or with a silk crepe pencil skirt. How chic, n'est-ce pas?
OK, maybe I wouldn't. . . but then again, maybe I would.


The cuffs? Oh, yes, pleeeese.
Here I am again confronted with the best of the best and I wanted to say, "yes, I'll have that coat; those two perfect dresses (?) life wouldn't be complete without them; the sparkly jacket (?) yes, yes, yes please and the leather one that's so creamy soft and cut like a cardigan I need it even though I've never been drawn to leather in the past; those silk blouses the way they drape -- so unexpected -- put them on the pile, no, not the orange one; love those shoes, I'll take the two pairs of Roger Viviers -- one day and one evening -- and the Louboutin peep-toe pumps, and why not (?) you might as well toss in the Gucci wedge sandals; oh, and the bags, I can envision using all of them except for the dreadful flowered tote thing -- you can keep that one;  it's been eons since I seriously thought about belts, but those bright colors in the ones that tie like obis and the natural brown one without a buckle -- so chic -- seriously I can't take a pass on them; ooo-la-la, the scarves and shawls, well a girl can't have too many of them now can she (?) I'll take all of them except that dreary khaki number; ahhh, those sunglasses are amusing particularly the ones with the red frames and that other pair with the sort of tortoise shell/leopard motif going on and merci par avance. Just pack and send please.

Florent Pagny
Then, I climb into my car turn away from Paris and head back home to the country and my reality. And, while I'm listening to Florent Pagny sing using his real, magnificent voice (instead of his "pop" salable voice), on his CD Baryton, I start thinking: "What is luxury anyway?"

I admit I have some nifty items in my closet with some serious designer caché and one of these days, after the book is written I might indulge in a couple of items, the elusive LBD that I have yet to unearth and something special, but I don't know what at the moment. We'll see. Maybe a coat.

Really, I'm not a material girl but I do like beautiful clothes and my home must be lovely as well for me to feel safe and secure.

Let's hope, in theory, I'll need a couple of new frocks when the time comes to hit the road and promote my book, when I venture out in the real world to meet you. After all, I wouldn't want you to think I didn't know how to dress the part.

I continue to wish I owned this Celine coat from last year. . .
P.S.: Of course, once the adrenaline rush has passed from the buzz of the bling, I know very well what real luxury is and in all those respects -- the ones that truly count -- I think I could say I am more than lucky.

18 comments:

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

I could so easily be captured by the world of luxury, but that is not my reality. I have to stay focused on learning to love my version of it. I refuse to allow discontent to rob my joy...life is too short! So, I will admire true luxury that others have and be happy with the cards I have been dealt! But, I will admit the jacket in the first picture is stunning!

Francine Gardner said...

There is something very special about Luxury and am very guilty to indulge in it once in a while, my Prada shoes, a few good Prada dresses, a nice watch, a fast little car, and a fabulous hotel... i work really hard for these few moments or items of Luxury, but I am known to go down and dirty as well, staying in huts, $40 motels, wearing old torn jeans...doing mu own garden (I am the only person I know who in Fairlield county mows her own lawn!)

Mary Timmers said...

Some people would tell you that living in Europe is a luxury. Especially in France, within driving distance of Paris, the Home of Luxury. You have the luxury of history, gorgeous scenery, culture, so much in a small space (at least compared to the U. S.)Thanks for passing it on to us over here!

BigLittleWolf said...

Love the splash of color in the trench, and the classic camel coat.

To me, true luxury is three things: l- not having to worry about money; 2- family that loves you, and you return those feelings; 3- a home, of whatever size (I like cozy), filled with books you have the time to read (and discuss over coffee), and art on the walls which offers you escape, inspiration, contemplation, and stories of their own to imagine.

But if we're going for bonus items... I'll take Louboutin. (*sourire*)

Tish Jett said...

BLW,

I agree 100 percent with you. In fact, I had three paragraphs in this post that said those things, but I cut them and instead added the P.S. I think one can be a fantasy material girl while knowing deep down inside what true luxury is in this life.

How well you know that.

déjà pseu said...

Ah, it can be so seductive, can't it? You walk into that shop and the sirens start singing, "see, this is how it all SHOULD be..." But I do hope you eventually find that perfect LBD!

Villette said...

Oh, gosh. I have none of the luxuries BigLittleWolf lists. But open my (rented) cupboards and you will find cashmere, fox-trimmed MaxMara, Louboutins, Tod's, a touch of Chanel and, yes, a sequinned jacket very like the one in the picture above. I think in my mind I'm always ready to flee, but I'm darned if I'm going to go without luxury packed in my suitcase.

Frugal Scholar said...

All these items are so beautiful in isolation--on the page, in the shop. But when I imagine them crammed into my closet, well, they lose some of the allure.

Young at Heart said...

it's fun to dream.....!!

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

Oh luxury is how I feel after emerging from a long soak in the tub...a
fter I have slathered Shea Butter on and put on a soft cotton chemise and climbed into sateen sheets for an early night.....

I LOVE how you dream big Tish!

When your book is complete I see some serious shopping for those book signing events :)

Splenderosa said...

Total immersion, Tish. This is the ONLY way. I am so happy for you & loved this post. I'm smiling !!!

kathy peck said...

I too love that Celine coat. And yes, when your reach a certain age, and hopefully even before that, you know what real luxury is, and it isn't clothing, shoes, bags, or jewelry.

Maryl said...

I think luxury can be truly appreciated by having just a few of those special items (and wearing/using/displaying them) and not a roomful...too much to take in. Thanks for sharing yours.

Curator said...

Wow. Florent Pagny has changed a bit since the 80's. I'm impressed by the change.
Luxury to me is not focused around purchased massed produced items. We all get to that epiphany where we've had enough of all that. Luxury means so much more.

California Girl said...

I could go for that camel coat myself. It's a classic.

The Duchess, with the right lighting, was almost pretty. Her clothes, under any lighting, were gorgeous.

M-T said...

For me Luxury is anything that makes me luxuriate in the feeling of being special -- anything Hermès, particularly my Kelly bag, the way my husband still looks at me, the purr of my cats when I touch them. All of that makes up my world of Luxury.

helen tilston said...

Good quality clothing and impeccable service can be a luxury. The freedom to travel is for me also a luxury.

A great post and sending you good wishes on your book. How exciting

Helenxx

Pamela said...

Loved this post. While I do agree with you as to the real meaning of luxury (which for me also includes the smiles and laughter of my grandchildren), it is hard to resist a special indulgence on occasion. After all, we all, at one time or another, wanted to grow up to be princesses, didn't we?

And, Tish, I'm looking forward to seeing you in that LBD.

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