Undeniably, Christmas is everyone’s favourite time of year, and for good reason. There’s the endless consumption of food and booze which slowly but surely increases the digits on your bathroom scales, but who cares? Then there are the parties which won’t let up for a restful evening, as your calendar is firmly locked off until well into the New Year. And finally, the festive music that keeps spirits high, jolly and merry as it invariably is. It’s the ultimate occasion that drags on and on, and the perfect excuse for serious over indulging, which we at The Rake are so well accustomed to, and welcoming of. The countdown is here, Rake readers, the high-streets are filling — I know this as my shins have started to take a battering from passers-by armed to the teeth with wrapping paper and presents — and Bond Street’s lights are glistening. So, Christmas, let’s do it.
Whilst we are all contemplating what to get our beloved ones (and fearing what we may receive from those ill-tasted relatives), cast your eyes over this exceptional example of a luxurious piece of design that offers a unique combination of traditional craftsmanship and innovative auditory precision. This should be on your Christmas list somewhere (even if it’s for yourself).
The Parisian house Berluti, a favourite of The Rake's, has collaborated with Devialet, a design studio, also from Paris, whose precision and attention to detail is quite remarkable. It strives to create devices that do beautiful music justice - producing a pure and dense sound that is totally devoid of distortions and crackle. In 2015, Devialet launched the ‘Phantom’, which quickly became one of the most critically heralded and revered portable sound systems on the market (think Bang & Olufson with an injection of Parisian flair). With the ability to connect through Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Spotify as well as your smartphone, you’re able to bring your favourite tracks with you as you travel the globe.
Nicknamed the 'Cocoon’, these two upstanding maisons have joined forces to create the ultimate made-to-measure travel case. This seems like a natural progression for Berluti in particular, which in recent years has upped the anti considerably, and raised the bar on luxury travel-wear and accessories, creating fluid collections for the modern, high-powered traveller with taste. The speaker for the Cocoon is housed in a supple patinaed leather — a signature which Berluti originated back in the 1980s — case, coming in either their rich Tobacco Bis hue or Nero and Indigo that over time will become even more attractive. Furthermore, as is customary with Berluti, if none of these patinas take your fancy, you are able to customise your own version of the leather.
Whilst this has been ironically labelled as an Impractical Choice for its sheer decadence and for the uncompromising level of luxury it represents, it's also important to consider that this offers a particularly dynamic and contemporary take on a speaker system. A stunning example of modern design clashing with a traditional idea, Berluti and Devialet's Cocoon is insanely useful and easily transportable, whilst being a highly impressive piece of kit that you will cherish as much as your favourite songs, albums and artists. Highly recommended.