Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
August 17, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Deluxe

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Dana Thomas
publisher
Penguin
genre
Nonfiction, Art/Fine Art

We gave it a B+

Paris-based Newsweek writer, Dana Thomas, casts an impressive net over fashion in Deluxe, exhaustively researching how haute couture transformed into a $157 billion business for mass consumption. The narrative arc occasionally frustrates as she interrupts tales of attempted takeovers and designers’ battles for pages on the crafting of an Hermès bag or Leslie Caron waxing wardrobe nostalgic. Despite the gloomy subtitle (”How Luxury Lost Its Luster”), Thomas’ passion and egalitarianism stand out. As H&M marketing director Jörgen Andersson tells the author, ”Luxury is more in your perception than what it says on the label.” Even Coco Chanel wouldn’t argue with that. B+

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