[NOTE: IF YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT EACH FASHION TRIBE, START HERE]
- a platinum, diamond and ruby-encrusted fishing lure for $1 million;
- a dog-collar festooned with enough diamonds to warrant a $3.2 million pricetag (image);
- $16 million worth of gold, diamond and sapphire trim for your iPhone;
- a platinum-enrobed, 98 foot yacht priced at $4.5 billion (yes, b for billion).
I'm thinking I don't need Knight Frank's Wealth Report 2014 to tell me that not only are the Ultra High Net Worth humans different from the rest of us, but they're doing okay. Really okay. Really, really okay - better even than their income-neighbors next door, the merely rich. These #richbutnotwealthy folk are apparently starting to ding Wall Street's infamous "fear index," the Vix, a Volatility Index of the Chicago Board Options Exchange which measures how crazy the Wall street crowd believes stock market prices will be over the next month.
Although the Vix is currently nowhere near the 80 it registered during the financial crisis, it has crept back up to 11, which hasn't been seen since 2007. But not amongst the UHNW folk, who are livin' la vida large 'n in charge.
This fashion tribe, the Supremiums, have the financial wherewithall to afford Haute Couture - and as HC goes, so goes the nation (of Uberrichistan). Take Ulyana Sergeenko, who married Russian oligarch Danil Khachaturov...and his billions. A ninja at shopping for couture - Valentino, Givenchy, Jean Paul Gaultier, Chanel, and her fave, John Galliano at Dior - Sergeenko didn't let her complete lack of any formal design-training get in the way of launching her own eponymous couture maison in 2012. (Please. Things like qualifications - and tax paying - apply only to the Little People.) Although, to be fair, Ilyana did sew some of her own clothes in High School, which she interprets to mean that "in a way I was born in couture.”
However, Sergeenko's theatrical instincts are well-suited for herself and her couture-wearing pals that she designs for...given they're they only ones who can afford ensembles routinely costing six figures - and up. This season, Sergeenko took a slightly different route than her normal runway retelling of Russian fairytales. Instead, for Fall 2014, the modern Marie Antoinette and her court get their peasant & shepherdess dress-up on in very anime-inflected garb. This sartorial ode to Mother Russia and its revolution featured some juicy spy leather, mohair inspired by the artist Kazimir Malevich (above) and nationalistic embroideries. (image)
Not revolutionary by any means, but passably chic, certainly - especially for every day.
Podcast music: Kevin MacLeod, Incompetech.com
- Lesley Scott