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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