05 December 2010

ping ping ping: champagne and high fashion

I'm continually harping on about the basic interconnectedness of most aesthetic fields - wine, music, fashion, art, literature, etc. But I should stress that this tendency of mine should not imply a de facto endorsement of opportunistic cross-industry cash-in nonsense like the above "collaboration" between fashion house Viktor & Rolf and Champagne house Piper-Heidsieck, which I saw at a Champagne tasting a few weeks ago.

For one thing, the premise of the parties' involvement is miserably facile. Fashion and wine are both, at their very worst, luxury industries. A necessarily simplistic idea of luxury is all these two brands have in common.

For another thing, the glasses themselves are monstrously ugly and impractical. I stood and watched that day as the hapless Piper-Heidsieck representative attempted to take them out of their specially-built case and in doing so broke three at their stems. Ping, ping, ping.

Finally, the shape of the glass, by including the perennially irritating, dead-tired shape of the classic cocktail glass, seems to encourage consumers to make bellinis (idiot trifler cocktails that I've ranted against in a previous post), despite the fact that utilizing this glassware in such a fashion would involve gripping, as a handle, the suddenly oddly phallic bulb of the flute-end.

It must be said, however, that slurping a Piper-Heidsieck bellini from these space-alien-dildo-glasses would be marginally preferable to slurping dead tinny-tasting Piper-Heidsieck Champagne straight, or to actually paying vast sums of money for anything by Viktor & Rolf, two charlatans whose celebrated "showmanship" is merely cover for gimmicky parlor tricks. These glasses are yet another.

Related Links:

A literary critic's unfortunate taste in Champagne
A Taittinger tasting in Reims
A Champagne tasting at Julhès Paris, 75010