However, some doubt that luxury and environmental matters will prove a winning relationship. 'It is wishful thinking,' argues Black. 'If these are things that we are told to do, then I'm not sure they remain as luxurious to be involved in.'
Much of luxury's growth is expected to come from the scaling up of more regular items to create a Discount Cartier market, positioned a level below luxury. Tim Delaney, chairman of Leagas Delaney, points to brands such as Nike and Alessi, which 'command a premium because of their style or attitude'. This is upsetting to luxury brands concerned with the trend of 'masstige' - mass market and prestige. 'If retailers such as Tesco are creating premium products, it leaves labels asking: "What is our difference? Where do we stand?'" says Savigar. 'They can't democratise too much - it is part of the rarity agenda.'
Indeed, new luxury is about experiences as much as tangible objects. To create an emotional touchpoint with a brand, service and point-of-sale experiences must be exceptional. 'If the luxury element is limited to the product, people will make rational decisions and opt for something that is equally good but less pricey,' says Black.
If the future of luxury is about greater exclusivity, an impeccable customer Discount Chopard and ethical production, then fake items sold on street corners fail on all counts. Almost two thirds of UK consumers - an increase of 20% on 2006 - claim they are 'proud' to have bought fake luxury clothing, footwear, watches or jewellery, according to research commissioned by Davenport Lyons. But Delaney believes fake goods 'serve as an appetiser'. 'In a funny kind of way, they feed the myth. To be worth knocking off, an item must be special,' he says.
If a recession is coming, such fakes could become more appealing to the occasional luxury consumer. However, a downturn is unlikely to have an impact on the tastes of high net worth individuals, reason enough for many brands to shift their focus to these lucrative customers.
Anna Sui: The Aesthetic Movement was very much on Anna Sui's Discount ChronoSwiss as she designed her fall lineup, a characteristically eclectic mix that called upon everything from pre-Raphaelite paintings to Gustav Klimt to, as Sui put it after the show, "the colors of a Tiffany glass lamp." A disparate mlange, yes, and though at moments it veered toward too much, for the most part the collection worked. Sui started with an ode to Native American living, fringing a black faux-suede jacket with a geo-patchwork velvet dress, which was followed by another fringed number, a basket-weave chiffon dress in bright marine blue. Caftans and ponchos were designed to great effect in popping colors and patterns - ikats, paisleys, the aforementioned patchwork - while the more subdued looks, such as a watercolor floral-print velvet dress and a wonderful crepe-de-chine deer-print one, brought to mind what Sui does best: cheerful cocktail fare with a hint of quirk.
Tory Burch: Ladylike with a relaxed sensibility was the premise of Tory Burch's Discount Concord, and by the looks of the effortlessly mixed fabrics - metallic tweeds, cotton burlap, even gold jacquard - this lady also has a serious, luxurious sense going on. Burch turned out classic staples (imagine packing for October in Palm Beach), with most working a narrow silhouette. Unexpected finishings were prevalent, as on a bright yellow shift with braided edging and a sleek black tank dress with mirrored crystals running down its front and across the hem. While the patent black booties veered a bit into bondage territory, Burch proved she can work a feminine, preppy aesthetic that doesn't get tired. Sleeveless blouses with voluminous neckties, and a sharp tweed coat with a black bow at the collar amped up the ultraslim shape - one that would have made Hitchcock proud.
Zero + Maria Cornejo: Each season, Maria Cornejo's clothes become more varied and adventurous, always resulting in a quietly fabulous collection. This time, her color blocks and fabric combos were as painterly as they were architectural. Consider a mix of indigo and black on both a shaped lean dress and a concave charmeuse top over a pintucked taffeta skirt. The designer has a talent for keeping things stark - as in her beautifully contoured leather coats - while also creating some fanfare with detail, such as a wool waistcoat over a Discount Ferrari taffeta dress. All of it with that quirky Cornejo touch.