Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Conspicuous Consumption, Oom-pah Style

 A short while ago, I was cranking about the upsurge in the ultra luxury goods market that caters to the rich getting richer. $700K pens. $40K pocketbooks. $90 bottles of water.

I am certainly not naive enough to believe that this is an American phenomenon, what with all those stories about empty Saudi flights to London that come back chocked full of stuff, etc.

Still, I was a bit surprised to see that our German friends are getting into the "hey, big spender" act, too - and with custom lederhosen, of all things.*

A recent AP story let us know that Christian Wohlmuther, an Austrian designer, can stitch you up a nice deluxe pair of lederhosen for you. Wohlmuther recently kitted out a German with deluxe pair for $114,000.

I'm not a particularly big fan of lederhosen, since I think they look odd on anyone too old to be modeling for a Hummel statue, but to each culture its own, I suppose.

The $114K lederhosen are studded with 166 diamonds, and were shipped to their German owner in Dubai, where he lives and works. Now, there's a reason why men in Dubai tend to wear long, loose white robes, but lederhosen in Dubai are what air conditioning was invented for. And the German can wear them apres ski at Dubai's indoor ski slope. (And why am I thinking of Richard Nixon at Camp David with the air conditioning cranked up so that he could have the fireplace on in the middle of summer. Well, at least Nixon wasn't wearing diamond studded lederhosen. At least not that we know of.)

It's sweltering in Boston as I write this, so just the thought of lederhosen makes me break out into a sweat. But I guess if you're rich enough to afford $114K lederhosen, you can afford to crank up the AC.

So if you have a fancy dress occasion coming up, and you've had it with black tie, and you're not enough of a Scotsman to wear a kilt, you could try a pair of Woldmuther lederhosen, for which you can:

...choose from an array of stones, including garnets, rubies, emeralds and diamonds, that are then mounted on buttons made either of sterling silver, gold or platinum.

In any case, I'm a bit relieved to know that all of the Western world's conspicuous consumption isn't on our tab. We may be Richistan,*but it looks like there's a reiches Reich out there, too.


*Blanking on lederhosen? They're the leather overall-style shorts that the guys wear in the oom-pah bands that play at Oktoberfests.

**And how's this for weird? The spell-checker just suggested Reichstag for Richistan. Ach du lieber Augustine.

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