When confronted by a question of taste, I always ask myself, what would Bryan Ferry do?
[First published Oct 10, 2014]
My extensive research has thrown up a nice example of a sub-set of a subset, designer accessories for designer editions of mass produced cars. It’s Gucci fitted luggage for the 1979 Cadillac Seville. Would Bryan Ferry go for this or not? The Big Two and a Half in the US have been more prone to tie-ins and designer editions of their cars than we have here in the social-democratic paradise of Western Europe. Cartier have been associated with Lincoln; Bill Blass added his magical touch to the understated elegance of the 1979 Lincoln Continental Mk V; there was the 1984 Fila-edition Ford Thunderbird; AMC asked Oleg Cassini – yes, that Oleg Cassini – to trim the 1974 Matador, for example. Just recently I have become aware of the Gucci fitted luggage that came with the Gucci-edition Cadillac Seville, truly a part of this very fine tradition.
On the one hand, when I travel with my family I like things to be orderly. My mission** is to have all the luggage in the boot and all the luggage in closed containers with a handle. Isn’t matching, fitted luggage the natural conclusion of this? In 1979 lucky buyers of the
Gucci-edition Cadillac Seville could add a set to their options list. Tacky? But still on the one hand, I find this quite charming. Looking at the black Seville in the publicity photo, one is almost ready to fall for the idea.
On the other hand – asking myself the Bryan Ferry question – I tend to feel that having everything neat and ready to hand is quite cool. Nobody likes a fuss over luggage as the porter brings your belongings into the Hotel de Bergues in Geneva. But Bryan Ferry is also about not overdoing things. And I feel that, on balance, to have obviously
matching luggage is on the same level as monogrammed shirts. What Bryan Ferry would do is to have the luggage coloured so it did not clash: charcoal greys, black and maybe one warm colour. That would be the tan of the Bridge of Weir satchel in which the Filofax and Apple tablet are kept. So, to answer the question, what would Bryan Ferry do? He’d walk casually but firmly away from the Gucci fitted luggage.
**I seldom succeed. Nobody co-operates with my vision of uncluttered, calm motoring. My wife likes to bring a surprise extra item just when the car is 100% full, the “inflatable elephant moment”.