It is a common saying that «luxury is the superfluous» but there is a lot more meaning to luxury than that. Amongst other things luxury is a strong cultural indicator. While in the German speaking countries luxury is traditionally very much associated with crafts and engineering, in other European countries it is strongly linked to the sensorial. British brand Burberry Prorsum has just launched a bag that grants a deep insight into the cultural heritage of its home country. The St. Ives Bag is pure luxury and it is special in many ways.
This hand-painted bag is more than a fine leather bag, it is an involving concept that invites you to take a closer look, to touch the painting on fine suede and let your associations flow in order to reveal the idea behind. Characteristically for the Burberry brand, this bag plays creatively with the cultural codes of Great Britain, transforming the country’s heritage and identity into a contemporary design, which becomes itself a code of Britishness.
The hand-painted design reminds of the 19th century British Arts & Crafts movement that fought for the re-unification these traditional skills.
The flower pattern which is widely stretched across the bag feels like a tribute to the Cottage Gardens, a British gardening tradition that allowed the garden to grow more naturally.
The color vibrancy brings to mind the artist colonies that were founded at the beginning of the 19th century at the Cornish Coast. Here and especially in the city of St. Ives nature has always created colours that can only be seen in the special light of St Ives. The pigeon blue background of the bag painting turns into the color of the stormy skies in autumn as weather is not only a stereotype, but an important context of the British isles and since years a guiding theme of the Burberry brand.
For me this bag is not only an urban weekender, it becomes a storytelling object that carries a bit of Britishness into my everyday life.