Discretion, with something extra. The reductionist aesthetic that eschews fake glitter and glossy glamour. The sober, calm, but luxurious expressive register.. In the nineties it was inside, in the 2000s a little less, today it is back inside, covered with an ad hoc term: quiet luxury. Whispered luxury, which puts quality materials before rustic logos, and silent but quality manufacturing over kitsch decorations. A neominimalism made of simplicity and clean lines, fetish colors to compose the palette: beige, camel, powdery pink and the ever-present black and white. Sad? Strict? You are welcome. The new luxury is the absolute epitome of cool.: this is the elastic ballerinas of The row and woven bags Bottega Venetastructured jackets Khaita and the enveloping layers of Max Mara. In short, it is the product that beats the logo and the stylistic code to the passing fashion. Why are you talking about it again? Due to the extreme popularity of some maisons, and due to a fashion and pop culture intrigue that has revived the term “luxury” as a synonym for tradition, craftsmanship and robustness.
from the closet of Succession, to that of Gwyneth Paltrow in court: the quiet luxury it goes viral
In the first episode of the fourth and final season of Succession, an acclaimed HBO series available from April 3 on Sky and Now, there is a scene that is the perfect example of reverse advertising. A Burberry maxi shopper, stamped with the iconic check pattern, has jumped to the top of user searches thanks to the American series. The accessory is the subject of scathing irony from Tom Wambsgans (actor Matthew Macfadyen) who calls it “monstrous, gigantic”, an XL handbag with which to “camp”, or even “stuff the loot behind a bank” ”. theft”. The reason for the scathing quip is easy to say: the tote bag, with a design immediately attributable to the English fashion house, is tacky, the jarring note in the atmosphere of discreet luxury of the protagonists of the series, a unchic object that immediately identifies its wearer as an intruder. Successionin fact, it is the winner who wins quiet luxury, a succession of absolutely anonymous suits, shirts, sweaters and T-shirts, if it weren’t for the names of the labels they carry: Loro Piana, The Row, Max Mara, Gabriela Hearst and Proenza Schouler. In short, the Gotha of reserved luxury, which repudiates logos, branding and, of course, prints.
Just The Row, the American brand of the Olsen sisters, is an integral part of the listening wardrobe of Gwyneth Paltrow. If you hang out on social media (and who doesn’t), you may have come across the many mushrooming orderly memes that accompany the trials of Hollywood stars. Beyond the aviator glasses that have seen the actress compared to serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, what draws attention is the super stylish fashion show, led by Paltrow to the rhythm of less is more. Defending himself against accusations that he caused a ski accident on the Utah ski slopes, the superstar wears understated but highly designer outfits to court: a military-accented coat from The Row as well as the striped shirt he wears under his double-breasted velvet blazer, Prada and Celine amphibians, and a compendium of neutral shades that couldn’t be more neutral, declined in jacket-trouser suits or cardigans with contrasting buttons. A fashion show of quiet luxury, a selection of basics elevated to the category of super luxuryeven without frills and decorations.
From Bottega Veneta to The Row: the rigor of extra-luxury shows on the catwalk
A large plaid shirt, striped pants and a white tank top, one of those simple ones, with fine ribbing and thin straps, who knows what. Attached to the shoulder, a maxi shopper bag in burgundy braided leather. Watch soap and water and you’re done. The most appropriate example to tell the quiet luxury, at least the Italian one, is this one; the outfit seen on the catwalk Bottega Veneta for Spring Summer 2023, the deceptive one where everything looks like fabric but (almost) nothing is. Matthieu Blazy, who has been in charge of the house’s creativity since 2021, takes advantage of the brand’s historical savoir-faire in leather goods for outfits that hide secrets that can only be revealed by touch. No use of logos or monograms, just an illusory and extremely sophisticated game. An apparent normality that, involving quality materials and craftsmanship, becomes a silent but immediately recognizable stylistic signature.
The champions of star-studded quality minimalism are, on the other hand, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, the sisters at the helm of The Row, who have made the zero-grade aesthetic their hallmark, gaining over the years an audience of supporters united by the rejection of any form of tinsel and decoration. Black and white and then black and white. Simple cuts and a tailoring so perfect that sometimes it seems monastic. High-quality involvement and a radical subtraction that is the symbol of an exaggerated but hidden luxury. A reduction doctrine in the name of which garments are made that do not submit to the rules of trends and that make The Row one of the most interesting brands on the non-European scene.
But beyond these two famous examples, there are many brands, both Italian and non-Italian, that can be included in the group of “luxurious with grace”: those already mentioned Max Mara, they clear, gabriela hearst AND proenza scoulerbut also Brijuni AND Brunello Cucinelli, Jil Sander, Peter Do AND Khaita. Brands that make up a classic wardrobe in the highest sense of the word; versatile and desirable, even without a plus.
Because “luxury does not dwell in wealth and adornment, but in the absence of vulgarity”, argued the ingenious Coco Chanel. Here we have some doubts about wealth, because it can be “quiet” but it is still luxury. And what a world and world, quality has a price and also a high price. Perhaps the adage of Irene Brin is better, who believed that abundance was only desirable for someone: for those who knew how to hide it.
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