If You've Got It, Flaunt It

Karl Lagerfeld is used to being imitated. "Chanel called it flattery," he shrugs. "For me, it's good because it pushes me to things they can't copy." By Chanel, he means Coco, the founder of the label Lagerfeld has headed for 22 years. "They" are the fashion chains, whose skill at reproducing luxury looks at affordable prices is driving designers to new extravagance in their ready-to-wear collections. At the shows in Milan and Paris over the past two weeks, even the most jaded front-row fashionistas leaned forward for a closer look at the swathes of excess. On Chanel's runway, there were tweeds...

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