As much has been made about the kinky sex in Fifty Shades of Grey, BDSM isn’t the only major fetish of the bestselling book series. The other sin is that universal turn-on: Money, money, money.
Anastasia Steele’s tortured romance with billionaire Christian Grey is about love, and it’s about all that bondage sex, of course. But we all know that bling can be an aphrodisiac, too. Christian’s worth, according to Forbes, is estimated to be $2.2bn (€1.9bn).
The luxury porn starts with Christian’s sleek glass office, and continues as little Ana from Savannah hops into a helicopter for their first date. From there, she encounters endless fine suits, high-end watches, museum-quality art, expensive sound equipment, fancy hotels, that fleet of Audis, and of course, high-end bondage gear.
It’s a lot to keep track of, but we’ve identified some of the key luxury items from the film version of the bestselling book series.
Watches and accessories
Christian is an Omega man, flashing two models prominently throughout the film, the white-faced Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Chronograph ($7,200) and black-faced Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Co-Axial Chronograph ($26,500). Omega (as opposed to a more rarified niche brand such as Richard Mille) may seem like an odd choice for a billionaire, but I’m chalking that one up to author EL James not being a watch connoisseur. For example, that platinum one Christian gave Ana in the book sequels doesn’t actually exist, according to our expert Stephen Pulvirent. Sorry, ladies.
Those Dunhill silver Knot and Rod cufflinks ($991) in the contract negotiation scene definitely do exist, and are just one of the sly details Christian uses to signal his lifestyle.
He takes a more straightforward approach with his luxury leather goods — belts, briefcases, travel bags, wallet — all by Yves Saint Laurent (from $375 to $5,975 and then some). Those just say: “I’m classy.”
The body is by ‘jogging’, the underwear is by ‘commando’, and the condoms are by Trojan (a telltale glint of gold means Magnums, naturally; box of 26 $19.99). Oh, and Christian’s sex jeans are by a random Canadian “that Erika [EL James] was very specific on the look of” — though they looked suspiciously like Diesel to me, ripped and faded and roomy, riding low in all the right ways.
Christian is all about Audi, with a fleet comprising S6, S7, and S8 sedans (from $75,500 to $114,900 and up) and a Q7 crossover SUV (from $48,300), plus tight-lipped livery drivers (their silence, priceless). But only he gets to drive the V10 R8 Spyder convertible (from $167,000) — black, like Christian’s heart. He even buys Ana a red Audi A3 ($29,990) for her college graduation, selling her vintage Volkswagen Beetle in the process — without asking, of course.
One word: bespoke. When it comes to business attire, no billionaire is going off the rack, least of all Christian Grey. There were so many well-cut suits popping up onscreen I thought of negotiating my own dom/sub contract with a tailor.
Designer Mark Bridges kept the wool lightweight and Italian, the cuts classic, and the buttons were mainly limited to one. Although actor Jamie Dornan is slender, Bridges didn’t shy away from peaked lapels. He told me Cary Grant and modern international style icons such as David Beckham and David Gandy served as inspiration to get that perfect “clean, classic, young, expensive, and sexy” look. Good quality, classic design is always in style.
Christian seduces Anastasia with a look — and a bespoke suit.
The casual clothes: Boxer or briefs?
Christian doesn’t play that game and instead goes for Zimmerli boxer briefs, a cult Swiss brand at around $100 a pair. When he’s not in a suit, he’s in a well-fit pair of jeans and rough-out boots by Ralph Lauren, cashmere shirts by Malo, and a Dolce & Gabbana black leather jacket (from $4,195). On his gliding date, that jacket gets switched up for a Bottega Veneta windbreaker ($980) and John Varvatos tee ($198).
The wine and cocktails
If you’re going to drink a lot of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, you’re going to want Bacarrat crystal wine glasses to drink it out of. For bubbles, it’s all about the Bollinger. Christian keeps cocktails classic — a gin and tonic, either with Hendricks and a cucumber or Bombay Sapphire and lime.
And what about that piano?
It’s a Fazioli F278 Grand, handmade in Italy over three years using red spruce from the same forests Stradivarius used, with some parts plated in 18K gold. It cost $268,999. No wonder Christian’s song selections are so serious.
The red room of pain
A cheesy sex dungeon this is not. Christian Grey’s playroom is as serious and sensual as he is, with deep red walls, crimson Chesterfield sofa, and four-poster bed with a custom red leather mattress. Director Taylor-Johnson asked for an equestrian feel, meaning brown leather instead of black, with brass hardware like a Hermes saddle. Everything is lined up in its place — silk eye masks, leather floggers, metal shackles, ticklers made from horsehair and peacock feathers — like a tack room in a BDSM barn.
There are real leather floor panels, secured by shoe tacks. A honeycomb-like custom brass grid articulates from the ceiling via the touch of an iPad.
None of this came cheap. Like love, you can’t put a price on this set-up.