CANNES, France--The Cannes Film Festival wrapped up this weekend and I joined the throng of media shuffling wearily through the Nice airport and away from the perfect sunshine of the French Riviera--but not before having had a look at the obscenely expensive toys of the proverbial nouveau riche.
When not attending screenings, I had a chance to skulk around the Plage de la Croisette along the Mediterranean shore to spy big-ticket items soon to be for sale to those with the most disposable incomes.
I could not avoid the gold- and diamond-encrusted smartphone and tablet cases. In every case, no photography was allowed inside the elite boutiques featuring such accessories. Anyone taking a snapshot of an emerald-studded BlackBerry kit would only be scouting trouble.
So how much were these decorative doodads? A single refrain rules in shops like this: "If you have to ask, don't bother."
But not everything was under wraps. … Read more