Harry Winston for Luxury Culture, 2010
Theodor Adorno was writing after Marx in a group called the Frankfurt School that was trying to “wake up” those who are under the spell of capitalism. He suggested that we contemplate objects because they have something historical or meaningful to them, beauty is more than surface it is also imagined power.
Hope Diamond donation to Smithsonian, 1958
Before the Enlightenment, people believed that gold and jewels had power, it was a mythical illusion of radiant light reflection as power . We are still seduced by radiant things.
In the past decade diamonds have lost their lustre due to conflict. De Beers tried to make their issues transparent with a new compassionate campaign. But the diamond still retains high value with the largest recent diamond being auctioned for $6 million in 2009.
Alexander McQueen, 2010
“As radiant things give up their magic claims…they become transformed into images of images of gentleness, promises of happiness…This is the primeval history of luxury…In the magic of what reveals itself in absolute powerlessness of beauty, at once perfection and nothingness, the illusion of omnipotence is mirrored negatively as hope.”