Also, from Arts & Letters Daily: Status for Sale: How Luxury Lost Its Lustre
This was still "luxury", we were told, but luxury we could all have. Any Ch'in noble knew a universal luxury is no luxury at all, but every glossy magazine says different. If you can't buy the Yves Saint Laurent frocks, get a handbag (handbags are the profit centre of the fashion trade nowadays). If you don't need a trunk, buy the perfume. If you can't afford the suits, get a T-shirt. Cover yourself with the right badges to show you have exactly what you deserve (and, no, there is no irony in this trade).