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Victoria & Albert Museum to launch luxury exhibition

London’s Victoria & Albert Museum will attempt to answer the question ‘What is Luxury?’ with a five-month exhibition of more than 100 items from April 25 to September 27. 

The four-part showcase, curated in partnership with the Crafts Council, is scheduled to run until September in The Porter Gallery of the art and design institution. 

It will include a number of fashion pieces such as a laser-cut couture gown by Iris van Herpen and a ‘Bubble Bath’ necklace by Nora Fok, made from more than 1,000 hand-knitted nylon bubbles.

Also on display will be an Hermès horse-jumping saddle, a timepiece by British watchmaker George Daniels and articles of traditional military tailoring. 

Within the individual sections, production, time and place, the future and personal interpretation will be examined.

“As its title suggests, the exhibition questions the very idea of luxury today,” explained V&A curator of contemporary furniture Jana Scholze, who designed the exhibition alongside visiting research fellow Leanne Wierzba. 

“It will challenge common interpretations of luxury, invite close examination of luxury production and extend ideas of what luxury can be. Essentially, the question of luxury is a personal one.”

Executive director of the Crafts Council Rosy Greenlees added: “What is Luxury? brings together the distinctive expertise of our two institutions to explore the intricate connections between craftsmanship and luxury.”

Other upcoming exhibitions at the museum, which opened in 1852, include Shoes: Pleasure and Pain, a showcase of historic and contemporary footwear, and the late Alexander McQueen retrospective, Savage Beauty. 

Following its run in the UK, What is Luxury? will be made available for hire internationally as part of the V&A’s touring programme. 

Entry to the exhibition, which is sponsored by residential development business Northacre, is free. 

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