Wendy Holden

Chanel for Chavs

Deluxe: How Luxury Lost its Lustre

By

Allen Lane / The Penguin Press 375pp £20 order from our bookshop

I live in the country, where fashion is irrelevant. If I walked through Matlock with a Luella handbag and Prada, no-one would bat an eyelid. Not that kind of eyelid anyway. I might get laughed at. I was once sneered at in the supermarket for wearing spotty wellies. Then again, perhaps laughing is the only right response to high-level luxury. Those saps who join thousand-strong waiting lists for a handbag that looks just like every other handbag. That bizarre yet unbending rule which dictates that the most ludicrous-looking people on earth (Valentino’s tan, anyone?) are the most fêted of its designers. How seriously can one take the whole business?

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • The entertaining Howard Jacobson is in conversation with Prof John Mullan at the Queen’s Park Book Festival on Sund… ,
    • 'A modest and retiring man, Thompson spent his life describing apple varieties and recommending the best – Ribston… ,
    • 'Macfarlane is a poet with the instincts of a thriller writer, an autodidact in botany, mycology, geology and palae… ,
    • 'Some scholars attribute Shakespeare’s pre-eminence to four centuries of propaganda and not to the fact that Hamlet… ,
    • RT : We would appreciate any retweets ,
    • We've just stumbled on a gem from the LR archive. The emoluments page from May 1995, in which one reviewer asked to… ,
    • Unlike Mary Shelley's monstrous creation, Jeanette Winterson's Frankenstein-inspired novel feels 'barely alive', sa… ,