How to appreciate luxury

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Mastering an enriching lifestyle through sophistication is the way to go

By Konkana Bakshi 


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Published: Thu 26 Mar 2020, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Fri 27 Mar 2020, 1:00 AM

We love living lives of comfort. We also wouldn't mind living in the lap of luxury once in a while. And why not? There is nothing wrong with experiencing the good life! But choosing sophisticated alternatives, while experiencing luxury, instead of a conspicuous lifestyle is a sign of true elegance. The key is not to try too hard to portray one's lifestyle as a luxurious one.
The origin of luxury is rooted in the social classes of societies when royals and aristocrats used pretentious consumption to demonstrate their superiority and maintain distance from commoners. The word 'luxury' originally meant 'lust'; the French phrase "de luxe" became the English word "deluxe". In Elizabethan times, luxury was associated with infidelity. Over time, luxury drifted away from its sensual connotations to denote sumptuous experiences.
In modern times, the ideology behind luxury has changed. Understated elegance is very alluring. The ostentatious portrayal of a grand lifestyle runs the risk of being perceived as nouveau riche.
When I teach luxury appreciation to my clients, I first try to teach them how to master an enriching lifestyle through sophistication. Here are three ways for a true luxury enthusiast to choose sophisticated alternatives:

1 Understand the history: When you choose a luxury item, make the effort to learn its story: how the brand was invented, what influences it, who their target clientele is, etc. Only invest in what the brand is known for. For example, a high-end French brand is known for their leather and silk. The brand started as a harness workshop in Paris in 1801 with the aim to serve European noblemen. Today, they are famous for high-quality leather bags and silk scarves that are considered investment pieces. In order to spread brand awareness, they also have price-friendly accessories - but a true luxury enthusiast would ideally invest only in the item they are historically known for.

2 Do a personality analysis: Know your signature style, values, and personal preferences before investing in a luxury item. We often get influenced by marketing and buy brands that may or may not speak good taste in the true sense. But because we see the brand advertising all over the place, we're inclined to believe it's a luxury item. Owning a good luxury item should be thought through; you should be opting for something that you'd love to pass on to the next generation, so don't look at it as a fashion item that changes every season.

3 Invest in experience and authenticity: Luxury is replicable, as we all know, but owning a good luxury item is also about the 'joie de vivre' or joy of living. Fashion and luxury are not synonymous. So, choose wisely. I always wait at least 6-8 months before I get a luxury item I desire. Only if you know it resonates with you and your taste should you go ahead and invest in it.
Till next week, #beextraordinary.
wknd@khaleejtimes.com
Konkana Bakshi is Founder, Savoir Faire Academie and former Miss Elegance World



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