Considering our photo sets have been described as ‘magnificent, opulent, lavish and splendid’, it’s really no wonder we were booked to help launch a new exhibition at the V&A called…. wait for it, ‘What is Luxury?’.
As the answer to this question is surely subjective, it might be easier to ask how is luxury created? Here’s what the V&A has to say about this:
Making luxury is not concerned with practical solutions but with the extraordinary, non-essential and exclusive.”
By this definition the PopUp Photo Parlour truly is a non-essential self-indulgene. A joyful folly. We create spaces which inspire people to play. And every photo we take tells a story. A mini popup production, if you like.
Part of the design brief was inspired by one story in the exhibition which recounts the tale of Elizabeth Taylor who received a ring featuring a very large diamond from her husband Richard Burton – one of the many such jewels she wore casually, for instance whilst sunbathing or cracking crab claws.
The late Princess Margaret acidly remarked on how vulgar the ring was. Taylor took it off and put it on the princess’s finger: “Not so vulgar now, is it?” she remarked.
This story reflects the connection between conventional luxury, social competition and the cultural distance between established elites and newly emerging ones. It is a narrative that has continued through to modern day with the rise of Bling culture.
‘Focusing on the almost grotesque version of luxury that permeates modern life’, was our brief. People having fun in our parlour… Priceless!