Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Fashion and Politics

Although fashion and films are my first loves, politics, books and sport are my second tier of interests. Growing up in a liberal socialist household I could hardly have escaped politics, why even the paper boy once wrote 'commie' in the ice on my dad's car upon his weekly delivery of the News Statesman. He seemed to have overlooked the fact that The Times was the daily. He thought he was being a wit, I didn't speak to him for years. Which was actually a good thing because he was a lothario of the area so my steadfast ignorance of him saved me his so called charms.

In fact fashion and politics have never been easy bed fellows. On the one hand fashion adopts the politics of the street at times to make a social point ( Katharine Hammett) on the other fashion likes to be included in the main stream and upper echelons to be seen as aspirational. Youths or tribes have long adopted fashion to make a statement, mods, rockers, skinheads and punks are easy cultural instances of male fashions setting. But all this pomp and preening is still mainly fashion, the way fashion attempts to change, confront and move things on. After all fashion isn't about committees and treaties is it?

Or maybe it is but not in an obvious bureaucratic way. Fashion does have councils and bodies and these are not completely outside of the wider political machines of governments. I'm not going to go into detail but look how Mary Portas is currently working with the government regarding high streets and the most famous fashion organisation has to be the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture.

But all administration aside last week David Cameron took a decision which has massive ramifications for the UK. I'm not going to discuss it in detail but it will have a big impact on fashion in the UK - mark my words. Put it another way Paris and Milan. The French are spitting over what he did and the Italians well they won't be happy. If we look at it objectively rapport and cordial relations are key to good trading conditions. Believe me I'm a freelance and only once have I ever fallen out with a company and that wasn't even of my making but they were so rude to me I decided to answer back! I know everyone has their reasons for how they react in situations and what will be will be, but what it means for fashion is probably the death knell for London Fashion Week (again). It has been riding high but Milan is not going to change its schedule now after this and the French will be pulling back the French backed labels pronto to Paris and the rest.

So cheers Mr Cameron, even the City are pretty worried but us fashionistas think you can shove your Smythson's diary up your....


  1. I hadn't even thought about that aspect! As a child of the EU (from Luxembourg) I am taking it quite personally. I really fail to see what the benefit of all of this was. Regardless of your views on the EU, vetoing a decision and then everyone else taking it anyway, without your input, but still affecting you, is just about the worst possible outcome, isn't it.

  2. I really wish you had gone into at least a bit of detail, because I've had my head buried in the sand for a few weeks, and have no idea what you're talking about. Oh well.

  3. Elizabeth - hahaha actually probably best to keep it that way!

    Franca - you have given me a completely different perspective and if it is any comfort I really think in the hour of need people should step up to the mark not pull the old well I'm ok type selfishness.

  4. You're absolutely right about needing to build good relations. It's so sad that we have too many 'politicians' but hardly any true diplomats. And don't get me started on so called 'Trade Envoys'!


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