From couture fashion to opulent perfumes and decadent food, the luxury goods and services industry has grown at an unprecedented rate even in the context of a global recession. But in contemporary digital culture does luxury still reside in material things, or rather the look of things? In this first study of luxury through the lens of visual culture, Armitage argues that luxury is undergoing a shift from material culture to the immaterial culture of the visual, offering new forms of luxury engagement and unparalleled levels of pleasure never before offered to the senses.
Calling for a new understanding of luxury in the changing visual landscape of contemporary society, Luxury and Visual Culture embraces an extraordinary range of cultural forms, including fashion, photography, social media, television, and art. From the masterpieces of Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons, to Richard Avedon's photography and Louis Vuitton's Flagship stores, the book explores key issues of globalization, digitization, consumer identity, "mass" luxury, and the role of art. This text is ideal for all students of contemporary luxury studies, as well as scholars and researchers in the field of visual culture.