You can't help but be a little underwhelmed with Vogue's forty-item gift guide, which, with a total price of more than $900,000 (that's probably a little higher than Somalia's non-pirate-booty GDP), doesn't even include the limited-edition polar bear skin bedspread that the World Wildlife Fund is selling this Christmas to raise awareness about the bears' eroding Arctic habitat. Still, even without the endangered animal pelts or vouchers for the terminally-postponed mission to Mars, the guide is impressively pricey, offering everything from wave runners to eight-dollar Bulgari-branded bottled water, presumably distilled from the bittersweet tears of Olympic silver-medalists. "Order it by the case!" commands Vogue, to taste the subtle undertones of dissipated dreams.
Some of the more outrageous items on Vogue's list include the $1,525 Chanel beach bag that's weighted at the bottom to keep the valet mindful of the impermeable boundary between master and servant. (Comes with one Chanel beach towel!) There are also the $700 Dior Homme leather and canvas high-top sneakers, the $2,400 Cartier clock, and the "James de Givenchy for Taffin diamond, baroque spinel, white-meerschaum- and black-rhodium-plated 18k white-gold deer-head brooch," which can be yours for $145,000. Though you might think that this guide proves that the rift between rich and poor in America is growing, it actually offers a way to relate to the super rich whose basements we now know are filled with just as much useless and impractical crap as your basement is, only where they have rusted Sea-Doo wave runners ($54,495 used), gold-leaf encrusted sunglasses ($500), and seldom-worn diamond filigree chains ($19,500), you have special-edition Monopoly games, empty CD jewel cases, and an army of vaguely menacing nutcrackers.
Vogue's list includes the (exorbitant) prices for most of its designer treasures, however, prices of the absolute fanciest items have been discreetly excluded. Fashionista found out the true cost of some of the items Vogue calls Price On Application, but I thought I could contribute some additional research. Pro-tip: if you want to know how much that gilt bronze bronze Riemann chair from Craig Van Den Bruelle costs, you have to call and listen to a guardedly optimistic salesman tell you, "That would be one-ten," as in, I found out after I preemptively blurted, "Dollars?", one-hundred and ten thousand dollars.
The bronze chair was my first inquiry, and I quickly learned that if I was going to call about the price of things like the David Webb Juno 18k gold, platinum, diamond, and kryptonite bracelet, I had to sound like I had $98,000 to spend. By the time I called Neiman Marcus about the 18-karat yellow gold ring ($30,000), I'd perfected the aggressively imperious tone of the nouveaux riche. When I called Louis Vuitton about their diamond watch, I was more delighted to learn that it was the only one left in Manhattan than I was dismayed at its $17,200 price tag. I gave the salesperson at Bergdorf's a stern talking-to for keeping me on hold for fifteen seconds before I could learn that the Pomellato's Tango Cuff bracelet in 18k rose gold had a $29,500 price tag. Bit by bit I became inured to the astounding prices until, by the time I called Chrome Hearts claiming to be a whimsical plastic surgeon interested in a sterling silver stethoscope, I was genuinely surprised by how reasonable $3,795 sounded, which is really what Christmas in America is all about — warping your rudimentary sense of economics. Good work, Vogue — you've truly capture the holiday spirit.
The full price tag of Vogue's gift guide? A whopping $940,715.
And that's not even accounting for the one item I was unable to find out the price of — the "gold meenakari necklace set with large rose-cut diamonds," which is sold by something called The Gem Palace. The necklace is in India, see, and the sales assistant who (rather eagerly) took my call told me she couldn't give me a price for at least a week. It'll surely make a nice gift for someone. As Vogue pointed out, it's got "A diamond drop for every day of the week." Say it with me now, members of the 0.00000001%: "Darling, you shouldn't have."