“The best things in life are free. The second are very expensive”, Coco Chanel once affirmed. Combining both schools of thought, the Louvre Abu Dhabi creates the first immersive exhibition in the Middle East on the history of luxury through the lens of different eras, cultures, and mediums. Featuring 350 pieces of fashion, jewelry, furniture and design from 30 countries, 10,000 Years of Luxury highlights the ever-changing meaning of luxury over several countries, leaving guests musing on their personal definitions of the almost indefinable term.
“Our winter exhibition explores the fascinating concept of luxury through a long lens, contextualizing objects across time and culture to illuminateevolving notions of beauty, wealth, and value”, remarks Manuel Rabate, director of Louvre Abu Dhabi.
Organized in tandem by Louvre Abu Dhabi and Musee des Arts Decoratifs and Agence France-Museum in Paris, and sponsored by the Abu Dhabi luxury department store Tryno, the exhibition displays antique treasures from the institutions’ prestigious collections as well as vintage and modern-day couture from famed Maisons including Chanel, Christian Dior, Hermes, Alaia and Elie Saab. Reflective of the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s current season Changing Societies, the exhibition examines how the idea of luxury manifests through the influence of social, economic, and political situations of the times.
“Never in the history of humanity has the word ‘luxury’ been used with such frequency as in these first decades of the 21st century”, remarks Olivier Gabet, director of Musee des Arts Decoratifs and curator of exhibition. “It is a concept that evolves within a complex, often subtle, sometimes contradictory melting pot of influences. The very identity of Louvre Abu Dhabi, a universal museum, shaped by the dialogue between civilizations, is an invitations to embrace luxury’s one thousand and one face, extending from the earliest times to its most recent manifestations. The project was conceived in line with this unique approach, offering visitors a vision of this pan-millennial phenomenon”.
Developed chronologically across 12 rooms, the exhibition invites guests to wander through each major time period. Their exploration begins with the ancient civilizations of the Middle East, where luxury was determined by skilled craftsmanship and precious materials, including one instrumental to the history of the Abu Dhabi itself – the pearl. An emirate build on the traditions and successes of illustrious pearl trade industry, the UAE capital claims the oldest pearl in the world dating beck nearly 8,000 years, displaying the timeless treasure at the exhibition’s opening along with a pearls necklace once owned by Egyptian icon Umm Kulthum.
New trade routes brought further globalization, weaving the cultures of the East and West to idealize opulence in new ways, from intricate silk and gold threads from 15th century Italy to lavish home décor masterpieces crafted during 18th century France. The Industrial Revolution democratized luxury, mass-producing elegant fashion to the far-reaching elite while still maintaining an air of exclusivity with its envy-inducing haute couture designs.
“Luxury is a multifaceted idea and defining what makes an object precious is an intriguing task”, explains Dr. Souraya Noujaim, scientific, curatorial, and collections management director at Louvre Abu Dhabi. “This exhibition challenges preconceived notions with a scientific approach that goes beyond the tangible materials, techniques, or value of objects and considers luxury as a feeling, a desire, or a freedom to enjoy”.
Supporting the exhibition is a varied cultural program featuring intimate performances from local and international artists, musicians, and dancers alongside a series of films portraying luxury through the realms of fashion and art, such as the 1966 film How to Steal A Million featuring Audrey Hepburn and the 2018 Academy Award Winner for Best Costume Design, Phantom Thread. Delving into an unconventional beauty of luxury is the interactive olfactory art installation USO – The Perfumed Cloud (USO = Unidentified Scented Object) created by Cartier’s perfumer Mathilde Laurent and Transsolar Klima. It is engineered to engage visitors with a sensorial experience “designed to restore perfume to its full nature and arouse reflection, debate, and curiosity” so that olfaction “regains its rightful central place”, says Laurent.
Although 10,000 Years of Luxury aims to uncover the paradox of luxury a collection of lavish items, visitors find the true essence of luxury lies in its freedom – freedom to transcend borders and time, to pique curiosity and inspire hope, and to map not only personal but also collective stories of individuals. Unlike beauty, luxury is not in the eye of the beholder, but in the very fabric and soul of each society.
10,000 Years of Luxury is on at the Louvre Abu Dhabi until February 2020.
For more information please check LouvreAbuDhabi.ae.
CANNES, France – The 2022 Cannes Film Festival is well under way in France, and we’ve already seen the world premiere of Top Gun: Maverick (starring Tom Cruise). On the red carpet, celebrities like Jennifer Connelly, Viola Davis and Eva Longoria all made stylish cameos – but it was supermodel Adriana Lima who truly shut … Continue reading Adriana Lima Delivers A Glamorous Maternity Moment At Cannes→
PARIS, France – Faberge, the world’s most iconic artist jeweller, is shining a light on the latest additions to the Crescent collection. Comprising of Pendant, Earrings and Ring, the capsule collection has been named Hilal, after the Arabic term for crescent moon. The trio of elegant accessories bring both beauty and spiritual guidance to its … Continue reading Faberge Celebrates The Eid With Hilal Crescent Collection→
BUCHAREST, Romania – Hollywood actress and U.N. humanitarian Angelina Jolie made a surprise visit to the western Ukrainian city of Lviv on Saturday, the Lviv region governor said on Telegram. According to Maksym Kozytshyy, Jolie – who has been a UNHCR Special Envoy for Refugees since 2011 – had come to speak with displaced people … Continue reading Angelina Jolie Makes Surprise Ukraine Visit, Meets Children→
PARIS, France – Duchess Meghan’s animated series will no longer premiere on Netflix. The streaming giant has cancelled plans to premiere the project created and executive produced by the Duchess of Sussex as part of her and Prince Harry’s landmark production dea. Tentatively titled Pearl, the show would have followed the adventures of a 12 … Continue reading Meghan Markle’s Animated Netflix Show ‘Pearl’ Has Been Cancelled→
PARIS, France – For sun seekers, beachgoers, and everyone in between, keeping your skin protected against harmful UVA and UVB rays just got a whole lot easier. Announced today, tennis champion Noami Osaka’s sun – and skincare brand, KINLO, is exclusively partnering with Walmart to expand its offerings online and in 2,500 stores nationwide. ‘Naomi … Continue reading Noami Osaka’s Hit Suncare Brand, KINLO, Is Now Available At Walmart→
PARIS, France – Helen Mirren graces People magazine’s ‘The Beautiful Issue’ in a cover story that touches on her thoughts of beauty and how the Oscar winner still gets nervous before filming a role. The magazine on Wednesday revealed the cover of the annual issue, which hits newsstands Friday. The 76 – year – old … Continue reading Helen Mirren Graces Cover Of People’s ‘Beautiful Issue’→
MILAN – Italy’s Salvatore Ferragamo and Amazon said on Tuesday Chines authorities had seized counterfeit products in the Zheijang province, following a global investigation in which the luxury group and the online retailer cooperated. Chinese official raided a warehouse, seizing hundreds of counterfeits of Ferragamo’s iconic Gancini and buckles after the producer’s attempt to sell … Continue reading Ferragamo, Amazon Say They Helped China Seize Counterfeits In Zheijang→
PARIS, France – Former world number one Maria Sharapova on Tuesday used the occasion of her 35th birthday to announce that she was pregnant with her first child. The Russian five – time Grand Slam champion, who retired from the sport in 2020, shared the news on Instagram to her 4.2 million followers. ‘Precious beginnings!!!’, … Continue reading Sharapova Says She Is Pregnant With First Child→
PARIS, France – If you’re experiencing symptoms like migraines and nausea, you might be dehydrated and need to drink more water. Hydration is just as vital to the body as food consumption. There’s a tendency to focus more on a person’s diet rather than their water intake, which enables the body to survive and work … Continue reading 5 Signs You Are Not Drinking Enough Water→
PARIS, France – Certain personality traits may be a key factor in whether people develop mild cognitive impairment later in life, a new study found. Being more conscientious and extroverted keeps mild cognitive impairment at bay longer, while having higher levels of neuroticism increases the chances of cognitive decline, according to a study published Monday … Continue reading Your Personality Can Protect Or Age Your Brain, Study Finds→
PARIS, France – The problem with sleep is often that we just don’t get enough of it. One of the most important parts of a healthy lifestyle, it can evade us for many reasons, whether it’s the ordinary stresses of a work day or more significant worries. There’s a lot going on in the world … Continue reading 3 Simple Steps To Help You Fall Asleep→
PARIS, France – Drinking two or three cups of coffee every day may benefit the heart, according to studies being presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 71st Annual Scientific Session. The American College of Cariology said Thursday that consumption of the caffeinated beverage is associated with a lower risk of hear disease and dangerous … Continue reading Drinking 2-3 Cups Of Coffee Daily Could Benefit The Heart, Studies Say→
PARIS, France – As cloudy skies start to turn sunnier, you might be checking your stash of sunscreen. But you may also want to see what’s in your kitchen, as some foods can help keep your skin youthful and healthy. ‘There are definitely foods that we eat that can boost our ability to protect our … Continue reading Protecting Your Skin From The Inside Out→
LONDON – Queen Elizabeth, 95, has tested positive for COVID and is experiencing mild symptoms but expect to continue high duties this week, Buckingham Palace said on Sunday. ‘The queen has today tested positive for COVID’ the Palace said. ‘Her Majesty is experiencing mild cold like symptoms but expects to continue light duties at Windsor … Continue reading Britain’s Queen Elizabeth Catches COVID -Palace→
PARIS, France – The European Medicines Agency’s safety committee said on Friday it was reviewing reports of heavy menstrual bleeding and absence of menstruation from women who had received COVID vaccines from Pfizer / BioNTech and Moderna. The assessment was in view of reports of menstrual disorders after receiving either of the two vaccines, both … Continue reading EU Investigates Reports Of Menstrual Disorders After mRNA COVID Shots→