8 June 2015

Professor Giorgio Riello: What is Luxury? Join him Monday 15 June at Grays

Having just completed a book entitled Luxury: A Rich History (Oxford University Press, forthcoming 2015) and reviewed V&A exhibition 'What is Luxury?' for the their magazine, Professor Giorgio Riello is an expert on the subject. Professor Riello will be speaking about luxury and the shift from French rococo opulence to a twentieth-century notion of luxury that is more restrained at Grays' upcoming day of talks, Monday 15th June. 'A Day of Antiques: Looking Beyond The Trade at Grays' will cover a broad range of subjects from how to buy antiques to jewellery design through the ages and guests will benefit from the expertise of speakers such as BBC Antiques Roadshow and Collectaholics' Mark Hill and jewellery designer Andrew Prince.

Riello says that for him luxury is, "the longstanding pursuit of pleasure," so "luxury is not just about consuming (handbags, perfumes and scarves) but is the enjoyment of the best that life can offer." A professor of Global History and Culture and Director of the Institute of Advanced Study at the University of Warwick, Giorgio has published extensively on the history of fashion, design and consumption in early modern Europe and Asia and is the coordinator of the Leverhulme-funded ‘The Luxury Network’, a collaboration between Warwick, the V&A, the Museum of Art and Design in New York, and the universities of Bologna, Stockholm and Melbourne. However he started out his career as an economist and specialised in economic history, with a particular interest in the history of the fashion and textile industries.

On the 15th, 'Between Opulence and Minimalism,' will address the question, 'Can luxury be ‘poor’?' One might say that the creation of luxury that does not look like such is the very pinnacle of luxury itself: in an age in which decoration has become cheap and at the reach of the majority, luxury has adopted its diametrical opposite to retain its exclusivity.

Buy tickets to 'Between Opulence and Minimalism,', a talk with Professor Giorgio Riello, or to our other talks, Monday 15th June, here or from reception at Grays.

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