Rather than offer a sermon, I’d like to ask a set of questions. What does elegance look like today?
“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, more violent. It takes genius and a touch of courage to move in the opposite direction,” said Charles Schumacher. And Coco Chanel murmured into her glass of chilled Lillet: “Elegance is refusal”. That’s a descriptive and not a formal defininition.
Recently I wanted to list examples of elegant cars and came up with three, two of which were contentious. There must be others. What are we looking for in such a search?
First, is elegance dependent on dimensions? We probably think of a long car when thinking of elegance. What is the smallest elegant car? Elegance is sometimes understood as pleasingly ingenious or simple and that could mean a small, smart car.
Elegance suggests colours. While a multicoloured Georgian sitting room might
be elegant, a bright-coloured car is probably not. Why? Elegant things are commonly beautiful but not all such things are elegant. Beauty carries notions of classicism: are there elegant Modernist cars? Or does Modernism always require a swerve from conceptions of beauty?
So, what do you suggest are modern elegant cars?