Features

December 21, 2023 • Sarah Schwartz
Whisper, Don’t Shout: Quiet Luxury trend exerts an easy, chic allure

From Fiorentina, Octaevo's porcelain tray is an eye-catching, upscale classic in which its function is not eclipsed by flashiness.

Apparently, with just one line of script in a popular HBO show, our label-driven, designer-priced, status-symbol-obsessed culture came to an abrupt halt.

The show is “Succession,” devoted to the internal ultra-rich family battles behind the sale of its media conglomerate, and the line referred to a $2,900 Burberry tote, once thought to be the height of cool, that is, until the date of one of the characters lugged it to a birthday party.

The enormous faux pas was explained thus: “She’s brought a ludicrously capacious bag. What’s even in there, huh? Flat shoes for the subway? Her lunch pail? I mean, Greg, it’s monstrous. You could take it camping. You could slide it across the floor after a bank job.”

So, while the Quiet Luxury trend was undoubtedly in the works for some time, that was the moment it officially launched. And with it, we see a certain sense of paring down, despite its emphasis on luxurious materials and processes.

In tricky times, most become risk-averse, and that’s definitely reflected in this annual crop of design trends and product categories. So while the categories I cover here — books, hands, houses, all-inclusive design, bookmarks, and playing cards and card games — are rather basic and simple, what’s new is that every element that goes into them — from material to sentiment to overall design — has been carefully considered. So, although the economy has gotten admittedly difficult, these finds are easy to love!

DESIGN TRENDS

BOOKS 2.0

This trend, first called out in this very feature a year ago, has gone off more straightforward stationery and blossomed into infinite formats and presentations.

HANDS

These can convey so much, so simply — and come in enough configurations to create endlessly interesting vignettes and displays.

HOUSES

In the hands of our creative community, “home sweet home” takes on many meanings!

PRODUCT CATEGORIES

PLAYING CARDS AND CARD GAMES

As low-cost, family-friendly activities like Game Night become more common, these relatively inexpensive finds infuse every last hand with a dose of dynamic design.

ALL-INCLUSIVE

Stationery is no longer a one-size-fits-all proposition, as makers make a concerted effort to ensure every last consumer can find someone who “looks like them” on the shelf.

BOOKMARKS

Boring bookmarks are so 20th century! Today’s compelling reads deserve placeholders as dynamic and imaginative as the book itself.


Featured photo: From Fiorentina, Octaevo’s porcelain tray is an eye-catching, upscale classic in which its function is not eclipsed by flashiness.




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