Disruptive luxury is a recent addition to the lexicon of luxury. Understood as both a practical and philosophical antidote to luxury’s entrenched patterns of production and consumption, the term disruptive is proving to be as indeterminate as the word luxury itself, with its complex historical and cultural formations. This article will briefly explore some of the possible meanings of disruptive luxury, before focusing on new technology, especially rapid prototyping or 3-D printing, as a possible route to luxury’s disruption. Utilizing a fashion spread from American Vogue of 1977 to bring into focus the traditional alliance between the luxury trades and new technology, the article will then explore the cultural, economic, and aesthetic similarities between the current “gilded age” of luxury consumption and the art nouveau designers and clientele of the belle epoque and ask whether established luxury will even notice, let alone “feel the force” of, the disruption.

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