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Casinos and Haute Couture: It's all About what's Hot

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Haute couture and poker don’t ordinarily go together, so when they do it’s hard not to sit up and take notice. Ordinarily poker is an arena where the quality of your clothing doesn’t matter anything like as much as the quality of your decision making. But that hasn’t stopped Chanel’s distinguished dress designer Karl Lagerfeld latching onto the peculiar cachet that gambling carries with it to focus his latest Paris extravaganza around a mocked up casino.

Cards on the table, we’re not that interested in the finer points of the finery that were on show at Lagerfeld’s larger than life extravaganza. But the fact that one of the world’s most famous and most fashion-conscious designers thought that now is the time to bring the green baize of a gaming room to the catwalk is - we think - worth taking the time to discuss.

If Lagerfeld thinks that poker is somehow hot, then - the way these things tend to work - that means that poker is indeed hot right now. There has always been a certain glamour attached to the idea of casinos. You only have to take a peek at the lush and luxuriant websites of somewhere like the perennial award-winning 32Red, or Full Tilt where dark black backdrops and luscious reds are entirely evocative of rich, late night experience to see that all too vividly.

Of course, the great value of 32Red, Full Tilt and those sites that share their distinctly grown up, late night styling is that you don’t have to wait until late at night to play them, and you most certainly don’t have to dress up either. But of course, there has always been something distinctly alluring about the bitter-sweet shading that marks the difference between winning and losing on the turn of a card.


Image by  Chingster23 

Maybe it is that sub-text to the whole gambling experience that Lagerfeld was trying to tap into. Certainly, his collection of the world’s most sought after models and a string of celebrity A-listers, including actresses Kristen Stewart and Julianne Moore, musician Rita Ora and supermodel Lara Stone left nothing to be desired when it came to out and out showbiz glamour.

But Lagerfeld’s up front celebration of all things casino points in a different direction and one that has a wider significance for regular readers of these pages. Could it be that as the people who make up the regular poker playing community that we are somehow at the cutting edge of contemporary fashion?

It’s certainly not how most of us would tend to think of ourselves. And as far as playing online is concerned it could hardly be less of an issue. But here’s the thing. Could it be that what Lagerfeld is celebrating is that very act of playing?

There have been those who have tried to read some sort of political message into the way Lagerfeld staged his show - as if it were something to do with the Greek crisis or something similar. That seems like a leap too far from where we’re sitting; a case of two plus two equalling five. Even in the crazy world of high fashion, that does seem a stretch too far.


Image by  david_shankbone 

But we’d like to think that there is something else that the long-standing king of Chanel was tapping into. It goes without saying that as lead designer at an organization like Chanel Lagerfeld has the peculiar knack of being able to filter through the zeitgeist and to capture the essence of what is trending at any one point in time. It is tempting to suggest that that singular ability is the unspoken, key credential to his job.

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