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Workshop 1.The Production of Luxury: Skills, Materials, and Networks

V&A, London, 4-5 July 2013

Henry Poole

What role has luxury production played in developing innovative technologies, and conversely, in preserving

artisanal skills that would otherwise disappear? How are luxury makers trained, and what narratives can be told

about their professional identity, work habits, and traditions? What is the implication of luxury’s dependence upon

high-value raw materials such as gemstones, fur, and precious metals? What organizational structures have existed

to support luxury production, and how do these relate to constructions of nationhood? All of these questions can

be applied across a wide historical span, but in the contemporary framework new issues arise – concerning the

digital, new approaches to value creation, the increasing interpenetration of the luxury sector with previously

distinct disciplines like fine art and industrial design, and the way that ‘experience’ itself has become a luxury. We

will attempt a synthetic workshop in which historical and contemporary specialists can investigate these issues in a collaborative and comparative way.


Thursday 4 July

10.00 – 10.30 (Seminar room A)

Glenn Adamson, V&A
Outline of network objectives:
Giorgio Riello, University of Warwick

10.30– 12.00

Session 1. Luxury and Exclusivity

Chair:Rosa Salzberg, Warwick

Lisa Skogh, University of Stockholm, ‘ Amateurship, Patronage and the Consort. Luxury and Knowledge in the Early Modern German Princely Context’
Neil Taylor, ‘The Ancien Régime Dies Hard in England': The Place of Luxury in the People’s War’
Gertrud Lehnert, University of Potsdam, ‘Producing Exclusivity: Fortuny, Etro and Remembrance of Things Past’.


12.00 - 12.45


12.45 – 14.00

Object Session 1 (Seminar Room A)
Luxury for the Lower Sorts
Angela McShane and Angus Patterson, V&A

Object session 2 (V&A course library)

Luxury and Contemporary Design

Naomi Filmer and Oliver Ruuger, London

14.00– 14.45

Session 2. Luxury and Materiality

Marta Ajmar, V&A
Richard Checketts, University of Leeds, ‘The Value of Broken Glass’
Marlise Rijks, Ghent University and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, ‘Collections and Coral: Trading and Crafting Precious Metals, Stones, and Naturalia in Seventeenth-Century Antwerp’
Hannah Greig, University of York, ‘What was a Duchess without diamonds? Jewellery and Identity in Eighteenth-Century London’.


15.45 – 16.00

Closing Comments Day One
Marcia Pointon, London


Site visit –
To West End and Bond Street producers/retailers(group divides in two)


Dinner, Malabar JunctionRestaurant, 107 Great Russell St, London, Greater London WC1B 3NA

Friday 5 July

09.30 - 10:45

Please Report at Secretariat Gate at 9.20am

Exhibition tour of ‘Treasures of the Royal Courts: Tudors, Stuarts and Russian Tsars’
with Angus Patterson and Frances Parton, V&A

11.00 - 12.45

Session 3. Luxury, Artisans and Systems of Production

Giorgio Riello, Warwick University


Luca Mola, European University Institute, ‘ Luxury Goods and Innovation in Renaissance Italy: A Proposal for Future Research’
Catharine Rossi, Kingston University, ‘ Production, Place and Politics: Designing Luxury in Italy from Post-War to the Present’
Ulrich Lehmann, University of the Creative Arts, title tbc

12.45 – 14.00


14.00– 14.45 (Seminar Room One, Sackler Centre)

Object Session
Italian Postwar Fashion
Sonnet Stanfill and Lucia Savi, V&A


15.00 – 15.45

Object Session
Reproduction Garments for the Theatre
Ulinka Rublack, University of Cambridge

15.45 - 16.15


16.15pm – 17.15pm (Seminar Room 3)

Keynote Lecture:
Daljit Singh, Happiness, ‘The Department of Luxury’
Lynda Relph-Knight, Design writer and consultant


17.15 - 18.00

Concluding discussion, chaired by Glenn Adamson