Karl Lagerfeld Declares Bling Is Out

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Dior couture, fall 2008. The only time not wearing pants is okay. Photo: Getty Images

With the luxury industry floundering, France is essentially having a mid-life crisis. The business of luxury started in France, and the French are known for appreciating the finer things (if you've ever tried to serve a French person wine you know we're talking about). Since the industry is the very fabric of their being, they must save it, but how? Their strategy is simple: make it less luxurious. Some are calling for price cuts across the industry, while at parties sparkling wine and duck mousse are the new Champagne and fois gras. But all that really matters is how Karl Lagerfeld plans to deal with it. He told the New York Times:

“This whole crisis is like a big spring housecleaning — both moral and physical... Bling is over. Red carpetry covered with rhinestones is out. I call it ‘the new modesty.’ ”


However just because the French and Karl Lagerfeld are acting like they're on a budget doesn't mean they are. Karl noted sales of his recent Paris-Moscow pre-fall collection for Chanel were 17 percent higher than his pre-fall show the year before. As for his forthcoming Fall 2009 show:

He said he is not being forced by the private company’s owners to bend or adapt because of financial constraints. “We have no budget, we do what we want and throwing money out the window brings money back in through the front door,” he said. “The bottom line is that I don’t deal with the bottom line. The luxury in my life is I never have to think about it.”


See? Luxury is an attitude just as much as a state of dress. What — did you think all the French people in the world would become non-snobby in 2009?

In the Lap of Luxury, Paris Squirms [NYT]