Lifestyles of the Rich and Russian

amywinehouse061308.jpgRussia has become very wealthy in recent years, and wants you to know it. We’ve seen bold forays into fashion and design, and even the emergence of “mobster chic” and the Kalashnikov bedside lamp. We’ve seen the world’s first “Millionaire Fair” of jaw-droppingly expensive luxury goods, and a spate of SUVs and sports cars clogging the driveways of Moscow’s elite hotels and restaurants. We’ve seen 17-year-old kids rent out £5,500 VIP booths at nightclubs, and well-heeled socialistas (no, the other kind) ordering $30,000 “champagne chariots” in London hotspots. So much money is being thrown around that the word “Snob” has become a compliment. In this never ending competition among the nouveau rich, the latest and most curious trend is the costly import of well known Western pop music stars to play private concerts. The most famous of these was of course Gazprom’s hiring of the aging rock band Deep Purple to play a show for Dmitry Medvedev, and other private concerts have brought over George Michael, Christina Aguilera and Beyoncé. Even Paris Hilton was once brought over for a 15-year-old’s birthday. The latest? Roman Abramovich’s girlfriend Daria Zhukova has hired the trashiest British diva that money can buy to play for her ostentatious art gallery opening: Amy Winehouse. There’s just something about bringing the frequently rehabbing but talented singer to a scene overflowing with champagne, vodka, and cocaine that doesn’t seem like the greatest idea in the world…

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