Judging from the glamorous parties and store openings in Paris last week, you would be forgiven for thinking the economy is thriving–prompting some observers to say the fashion industry is fiddling while Rome burns.
As harried retailers stay glued to their Blackberries for hourly stock market updates, partygoers thronged trendy nightclubs and upscale boutiques.
New York Times reporter Guy Trebay commented on the mob scene at Tuesday’s opening of a new Bulgari store in an article headlined: "Fashion Has a Marie Antoinette Moment."
Glenda Bailey, editor-in-chief of the U.S. edition of Harper’s Bazaar, justified this effervescence by saying fashion offered a glimmer of hope.
"In troubled times, historically, fashion has always shown its most glamorous side. Every person wants to dream," she told The Associated Press. "Having said that, fashion is also a business and it’s very important to run an efficient business. I think what people want right now are ideas."