Paying Out the Wazoo for Fashion — How Much Would You Pay for Cara Delevingne’s Chanel Coat?

Cara Delevingne wears look 1 from Chanel’s fall/winter 2014 collection

Luxury fashion is expensive. I mean, it’s REALLY expensive. And, like most of us, the faint call from a Dior handbag whispering seductively “You want me,” isn’t enough to justify the four-figure price tag. So we admire from afar and make our peace with it, spontaneously finding ourselves drooling onto store windows.

With the extreme pace fashion is moving at, however, we barely have time to make a seasonal wish list before there is a whole new selection of clothes for us to choose from. The introduction of pre and resort collections into mainstream designer brands has escalated in the past five years. Once revered for the powerhouses amongst them, pre-fall and resort collections are now held longer in stores than the spring/summer and fall/winter collections. This means MORE LOOKS in the shows, to give the customer MORE CHOICE (Because let’s face it, we all NEED more choice).

But hang on, surely this means the clothes are more affordable, boosting the spring/summer and fall/winter shows to a demi-couture level? Well Sir/Madam…You are WRONG.

I recently discovered a coat from Look 44 from the Chanel Paris/Dubai pre-fall collection that retails at $145,400. It seems the expansion of mid season collections has meant the frontrunners like Chanel and Dior are hiking their prices up to an unfathomable amount, to a level, in some cases, as couture pricing. I understand Chanel is a very special case, and has the access to incredible craftsmanship, but this means the smaller brands think it’s okay to up their prices too. So where does that leave the rest of us? The rich get Chanel and the poor get…ousted?

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It’s common knowledge that the classic Chanel 2.55 has increased in price by nearly 50% in the past five years ($2,695 in 2009 versus $4,400 in 2013) and it is only set to go up. As I typed that last sentence I heard a buzillion teenage girls’ hearts break, as it’s now confirmed that their parents are not going to shell out the money for a bag, even if it is a special birthday).

With a mid-range designer handbag costing over a month’s rent in Zone 2 London, it’s hard to imagine where prices can justifiably go from here, but anyway, I’ll leave that in your knowledgeable hands… I’m off to marry a millionaire (R.I.P Lauren Bacall).

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