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Friday, November 16, 2007

Dean Mayo Davies joins in some luxury lampooning...

"Luxury" is the cliché of our times, a word that's become so overused in industry spiel that whatever it flogs is often anything but. With all the impact of a photocopier running low on toner, the word should be used sparingly.

German menswear talent Carola Euler understands this and went all conceptual to make an excitingly mundane point about überbranding, product extension and status symbols. With sexy, tongue-in-cheek images of her spring 2008 campaign filling the windows of London's B Store—itself on Savile Row, a street that finds its raison d'etre more and more marginalized, thanks to a hideous leisurewear behemoth where Jil Sander used to be—she held a cocktail reception to showcase her men's line, as well as beautifully barbed accessories and grooming products that don't actually exist but prove tidy objects with which to criticize notions of luxury. These include the Carolex watch, pristinely-packaged fragrances and skincare, cheeky socks, luggage and trickle-down cigarette lighters, which proved such a talking point they may actually become available to order. So, ironically, art and commerce may meet again.

“I was inspired by the idea of what a 16-year-old boy would buy if he suddenly came into lots of money,” Carola has said, “that kind of naïve approach to luxury dressing.”

Packed inside and out (the smokers' strip outside any building is the place to be these days) were Wonderland's fashion editor Lauren Blane, artist/designer Simon Thorogood and WGSN’s Ellie Hay (in a Marc Jacobs coat so major it almost had an impromptu cocktail reception itself), not to mention everyone's favorite publicist Mandi Lennard, who shouted "Gatecrasher!" to me across the crowded room upon my arrival, before coming over for a hug and to show me her latest damn-fine Yves Saint Laurent splurge. Also spotted in the heaving throng were British GQ’s Charlie Porter, Victoria Young and Anders Soelvsten Thomsen of Pop magazine, Tank’s Isaac Lock and Sam editor Jason Hughes, who's also a close creative consultant to Euler.

Strangely, and yet not, I didn't meet Carola herself. She was, I’m assured, present somewhere on site, but then how would one recognize the notoriously camera-shy designer? There's as much chance of clocking her visage in print as there is of Martin Margiela doing MTV Cribs. Wherever you were Carola, thank you.

And then, another luxurious concept popped into my mind: skip the pub, have an early night and sleep. Bag it up—I'll take it.

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