I think it's kind of strange that people are talking about the hardware so much. I get the feeliong that a lot of people would vote anything with gold HW "tacky."
I don't think that's it. I don't find the RG-Gold tacky, or a blue flametop RG. It's bottom of the barrel in my preferences for harware, considering, there's Cosmo Black, Cosmo White, Powder Cosmo, Violet chrome, or just plain Chrome. Even Pearl Gold I would prefer over Real Gold.
Tacky Gold with the ugly scratch plate only just adds to the tackyness.
The main problem is indeed the Mother of Toiletseat pickguard.
That would make a VBK instantaneously tacky. I known that some have even put something similar on a UVGR. An instant fix would be the VBK pickguard (or that off a UVPBK, or 10th, or 90th) if those hadn't clashed with the gold.
The abalone vine is ok on the VBK or 10th, so that's not it. But pyramids could've saved it. The bridal white doesn't help, I prefer the vintage white (that actually ages) on the PWH.
But the combination is some kind of trailer park chic...Las Vegas Elvis, it always reminds me of this:
(yes that's Liberace's car)