Recession-conscious socialites prove all that glitters is not sold

PUBLISHED : Monday, 06 April, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 06 April, 2009, 12:00am

It's getting harder to keep track of all the brand extensions. Just as the Las Vegas-based CSI show spun off Miami and New York versions, fashion labels create all sorts of divisions too. On Thursday the signature Giorgio Armani line - not to be confused with Armani Collezioni, Emporio Armani or Armani Exchange - hosted a swanky dinner at the Four Seasons to show off its spring/summer collection.

The collection is a collaboration with Crystallized Swarovski. That's Crystallized Swarovski, the division that sells their blingy beads directly to other labels and manufacturers, not its sister retail division Swarovski, which sells the glass animals and crystal trinkets. Obviously we had been confused previously, because the event PR people made a point of explaining the difference to us.

The sales show was presented before dessert and after everyone was given a checklist of the clothes and a pencil to mark any orders. Naturally, the dresses decorated with crystals were exponentially pricier. One dress reached HK$119,000 and a jacket topped HK$138,000. Perhaps it's a sign of the times, but we didn't notice many socialites making checkmarks when those pieces were paraded. Not even when they could get two brand names for the price of one.