The logo to be spotted with this season is no logo at all.
Forget labels. The fashion mantra for autumn/winter 2016 seems to be if you’ve got it – don’t flaunt it.
For while designer logos were popular in the eighties, nineties and noughties – when celebs and civilians alike used them as a way of showing off their status and wealth – fast forward to today and every self-respecting Sybarite knows that true luxury doesn’t need to shout about its status.
We’re still purchasing luxury brands – take a bow Louis Vuitton, Bottega Veneta, Burberry, Hermes et al – but whereas once we would have splashed the cash on monogrammed belts and bags, now we’re purchasing clothes and accessories by the aforementioned labels, sans logos.
So why are are we all showing off by, erm, not showing off? The answer, I think, is two-fold.
Our desire for discreet branding is one way to distance ourselves from tacky reality TV stars, with whom we don’t want to be aligned – say hello to Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian, both of whom shot to fame (and fortune) on the back of leaked ‘home’ video tapes and thus have the cash, if not the class, to kit themselves out in high end labels. Ditto WAGs and Russian oligarchs…
It’s also because in this uncertain post-Brexit era where consumers are already being hit in the pocket, with prices for everything from craft beer to cars rising, understated luxury – or stealth wealth to give it, its new name – is a much more appropriate option than screaming logos and obvious branding.
The plane truth of the matter is that, in these tough, turbulent times, ostentation is it out – it’s just not good taste given the world refugee crisis – and conspicuous consumption is in. Plus as Tomas Maier – creative director at Bottega Veneta – puts it: “People should always be in charge of their clothes. It shouldn’t be the clothes that are in charge of you.”
Maier’s Bottega Veneta, together with The Row and Céline are the brands we are coveting – specialising as they do in subtle labelling that makes it harder to gauge how much a garment really cost.
Or, as the hotelier Gordon Campbell Gray, once famously remarked: “The reality is, if you have wealth, you don’t need glitz. You want understatement. It’s got to be low key and it’s got to be lovely.”
Let’s raise a (discreet) cheer to that…