In a New York Times article, designer Rick Owens said of his work, "...it wasn’t about displaying one’s wealth, but rather giving the woman a selfish pleasure. It is about using sable as the lining under a very humble jacket, the luxury is all hers.”
This statement has stuck with me for a while; I like thinking of luxury in this way. Luxury shouldn't be about flaunting wealth, but making yourself happy, indulging your own whims. Luxury can be subdued and indulgent, all at the same time.
I was toying around with these ideas while thinking about secretaries. As furniture, secretaries are unique in that they're entirely transformable— they have two separate sides, an exterior facade and a secret interior life.
THE EXTERIOR: For the exterior, I planned on black. Problem is, black isn't black. Aside from color variations (green black, purple black, blue black...), there are differences in finish. Black can be glossy, black can be matte. Wouldn't it be interesting, I thought, if the two were played against each other? I envisioned a moment where velvet meets lacquer. All monochromatic, totally black, and only visible from certain angles, when the light hits the finish in a certain way. Entirely indulgent, but partly a secret, never fully revealing itself.
THE INTERIOR: Fling the doors open and pull down the desk top, and the secretary's "inner life" is revealed in the form of tortoise, metallics, marble, distressed canvas, tromp l'oeil ornaments, tomato red and powdery aqua accents. But the choice is yours how much you'd like to show. Place books on the shelves and you cover the tortoise, papers on the desk and you obscure the grotesque, envelopes in the letter slots and you mute the metallic. Or, just close the desk entirely...
Secretary, styling, and photography by (IN)DECOROUS TASTE.