What do we want of the devices that empower our lives? Aesthetics first, I’ve often argued, because they are ultimately triumphant, and the story of humanity is told first and foremost in the way things look. That’s why our hopes for the future are a ‘vision’. There are no smells or sensations yet to come, but we can have a crack at what things might look like.
But since we have to interact with these devices, we want them to be pleasing in use, too. Doesn’t matter whether it’s a potato peeler or a yacht. Things that feel ‘right’, and balanced, reflect our inner desire for harmony and wellbeing. So in something like a car, art and technology combine, perhaps with a little psychology too, to provide resolution for our desires.
I hope that doesn’t sound too pretentious. The point I wanted to make is that none of this involves a new jumper.
It’s been bothering me for a while that Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, known generally simply as ‘Rolls-Royce’, now seem to be presenting themselves as ‘House of Rolls-Royce’. What the hell are they on about? I’ve always rather liked Rolls-Royces, but I don’t think I can drive one if everyone imagines I bought it from a stuffy department store where a liveried man in a brassy lift said ‘Third floor, alight for motor cars and sounding like an arse.’
And now a certain British sports-car maker from the middle of the country seems to have re-branded itself as Aston TK Maxton. I’m reading about the Aston Martin by Hackett capsule collection, which has been inspired by a boat, thus deepening my confusion. It’s a 22-piece collection (it says here) and includes outerwear, knitwear, shirts, polo shirts, trousers and accessories. What has happened? I’m forced to conclude that Aston, having run out of V-names for its cars, have moved on to the Aston Martin V-neck.
Stand out pieces (their words again. I’d never say that) include the cobalt nautical parka. ‘Its wind and waterproof qualities make it the perfect attire for driving the powerboat in any weather.’ No shit Sherlock. I expect Grace Darling knew that these were the qualities desirable in a boat jacket, and if you’ve got as far as owning a power boat you’ve probably worked out that you shouldn’t drive it in a string vest or a paper Hazchem suit. And anyone in May’s Britain who uses the word ‘attire’ will be going to prison. They’ll be sharing a cell with someone who said ‘beverage’.
‘Key knitwear pieces include a cashmere half-zipped sweater in navy and grey and an insulating down-filled knit and merino wool sweater in navy with soft lambswool knitted sleeves and collar.’
Rubbish. What we want from you lot is autobloodymotive engibloodyneering.