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France is reeling from the luxury goods market slump. But there is "paradoxically, an underlying satisfaction here that an era of sometimes vulgar high living is over and that a more bedrock French way of life will emerge." 'This whole crisis is like a big spring housecleaning — both moral and physical,' Karl Lagerfeld, the designer for Chanel, said in an interview. 'There is no creative evolution if you don’t have dramatic moments like this. Bling is over. Red carpet covered with rhinestones is out. I call it ‘the new modesty.’" [NYT]