Since the financial crisis left them shaking in their Cleverley bespoke shoes and Christian Louboutin heels, bankers say they have started dressing for work more casually.

Some 59 per cent of bankers said their colleagues dressed less smartly than in 2009, with just under half of respondents saying that colleagues did not wear ties to the office, according to an FT poll of 135 bankers in response to the news that Savile Row tailors were feeling the effects of US tax crackdown. Read more

By David Hayes

With all the ballyhoo of a major Hollywood production, the Gucci-founded charity, Chime for Change, today launched its headline event for 2013, The Sound of Change Live, to be held at Twickenham on June 1.

Hosted at the screening room of a swish central London hotel, the media event didn’t hold back on pizzazz: Salma Hayek Pinault (wife of PPR’s François-Henri Pinault, resplendent in a figure-hugging deep red dress), Oscar winning documentary maker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (in a waft of oyster chiffon and satin), Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter John Legend (in sensible leather jacket) and, drum roll, a larger-than-life on-screen Beyoncé delivering a special heart-felt message.

What was all the fuss about? The recently created charity, Chime for Change (say it with a comedic Italian accent and, geddit, it almost sounds like “time for change”), with Gucci’s Frida Giannini, Beyoncé and Salma on the founding committee, is a new global campaign to raise funds and awareness for the empowerment of girls and women in the developing world. Read more

Saint Laurent's 'skinny' look. Getty Images

The other day I dropped into Saint Laurent Paris on 57th street, between 5th and Madison (ie, a new-look YSL shop, which I guess we now have to abbreviate as SLP – bears an unfortunate resemblance to “slip”). I wanted to check out the pre-fall men’s collection that had just come in – new designer Hedi Slimane’s first – with my real-life menswear tester (my husband). It’s one thing to see a line on the runway, another to see it on normal businessmen types, a category in which I include my beloved.

Put another way, he’s in his fourties, just under 6ft, played college sports and is still in relatively good shape without being a workout addict, so pretty representative of the mean. But what we found knocked me for a loop.

There we were, browsing the suits, which were typically elegant, and my husband asked the quiff-coiffed salesman if he could try one on. The salesman looked at him and said: “Well, you are probably our largest size, which is a European 54.” (He is, for the record, a US 42.) Read more

Tiffany & Co. Getty Images

The post-Christmas gloom in parts of the US retail sector deepened on Thursday as Tiffany & Co, the jeweller, and Aéropostale, a fashion retailer, reported weak sales that sent their shares falling.

But, in a reminder that the sector still contains some winners, two other stores that sell fashion to young people – American Eagle and Urban Outfitters – reported strong sales growth.

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Strong sales of men’s suits boosted business at Ted Baker by more than a fifth over Christmas.

The British fashion retailer reported a 20.9 per cent uptick in total sales for the eight weeks to January 5 compared with the same period last year, while its store footprint grew by 13.9 per cent to 273,340 square feet.

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Hong Kong’s sizeable British expat community is getting excited about next year’s opening of Topshop in the city’s central business district.

But they are not the only reason why Sir Philip Green has decided to open the British brand’s first permanent outlet in greater China.

The city is a favourite holiday destination for mainland China’s growing middle class, who flock to the tax-free special administrative region to shop, and also an international financial centre passed through by many visitors already familiar with the brand. Locals also have among the highest spending power in the region.

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Vince Cable will on Friday throw his weight behind an industry-led scheme to resurrect the UK textile industry by creating up to 200,000 jobs in the next five years, in what could turn out to be a prime example of manufacturing “rescoring”.

The business secretary will lend support to a plan to open clothing plants in the UK to exploit retailers’ desire to shorten their extended supply chains by replacing at least some of their Asia-based production.

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Just days after returning from styling Madonna on her MDNA tour – a certain wardrobe slip-up in Istanbul notwithstanding – Arianne Phillips visited the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, New York, to see her work celebrated in a new exhibition. ‘Magnificent Obsessions: 30 stories of craftsmanship in film’, sponsored by Italian sunglasses brand Persol, brings together actors, directors and designers deemed by curator Michael Connor to demonstrate “the fierce passion behind cinema”.

Many of the items on display might never have been discovered if Connor hadn’t tracked down the artists and gained their trust. Pages ripped from the diary of actor Ed Harris explain the emotional cost of his transformation into Jackson Pollock for the 2000 movie ‘Pollock’, and complex sketches by Alfred Hitchcock map the camera angles in the desert scene in ‘North By Northwest’. A series of colour charts created by director Todd Haynes to guide the actors in ‘Far From Heaven’ had to be rescued from a box in his basement. Read more

By Carola Long

Stella McCartney with athletes in the Adidas British Olympic kit. Image by Getty

Stella McCartney with athletes in the Adidas British Olympic kit. Image by Getty

The unveiling of Stella McCartney’s kit for the British Olympic team today was billed as the “official reveal.” With flashing lights,  heartbeat, baseline music and a podium-like set — all designed to build up suspense — there was a whiff of the TV game show about the event. Specifically, the 1990s British TV show Gladiators.

Staged in a marquee in the Tower of London, the tone veered from an incredibly slick marketing campaign to a moving celebration of British talent, to moments of slight absurdity ( a gymnast rising from inside a podium on a horse- the gymnastic,  not equestrian variety.) Read more

Alastair Carr, design director, and Benoit Duverger, managing director, at Pringle of Scotland talk to Carola Long, FT deputy fashion editor, about the rebel teenager who inspired their Autumn/Winter 2012 look, the brand and the commercial importance of showing at London Fashion week.

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Amid the frenzy backstage prior to their NY fashion week AW/12 show, the designer duo behind the industry favourite tell the FT’s Vanessa Friedman about the inspirations, outside input and design processes that have gone into the latest collection.

Last week Altgamma published a report aiming to get a handle on the digital life of 187 luxury brands, which together have revenues of E60bn. The conclusions are pretty jaw-dropping. Read more

Pirelli – it’s not just about tyres and tastefully sexed-up calendars anymore. As of this week, it’s also about fashion, as a new 1,500 square metre store, on prime real estate off ur-shopping drag Montenapoleone, demonstrated. It features rubber! A lot of it.
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By Isabel Gorst

Our nominee for oddest moment of the just-ended New York Fashion Week came courtesy of an Uzbek.

Although the city has largely embraced foreign designers — Victoria Beckham and Preen, both British labels, show here, as do Brazilians Carlos Miele and Alexandre Herchcovitch and there was a special Korean fashion show this season — it was interesting to see IMG, the organizers of the week, buckle under pressure from human rights groups and cancel a show by the designer daughter of Islam Karimov, the authoritarian president of Uzbekistan. Read more

Clamour for British brands among emerging market consumers has been the making of luxury brands like Burberry and Mulberry. The long-established British fashion houses have seen their share prices rise 93 per cent and 500 per cent respectively in the past year as overseas revenues soar.

Now another group of British entrepreneurs is looking to cash in. Known as The Brand Cellar, the London and Hong Kong-based group is busy snapping up what is calls “much loved, but dormant” British brands.

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São Paulo has just wrapped up its 30th fashion week, predictably notable for both its bikini offerings and celebrity appearances – film star Ashton Kutcher made it, but model Gisele Bundchen did not. Read more

Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli, the wife-and-husband team behind Italian luxury goods group Prada, will next week throw a party in Hong Kong they have been a decade in organising.

The occasion is to mark the launch of the fifth attempt in 10 years by Prada, the group behind Prada, MiuMiu and Church’s brands, to list a minority stake. The guests are top investors in the region; the entertainment will be a private catwalk show. Read more

South Korea has a dismal reputation on animal rights. Filthy, unregulated farms where dogs are slaughtered for their meat and black bears are tapped alive for their bile are harrowing yet widely tolerated. Read more

By Carola Long, FT deputy fashion editor

Cannes is on the brink of film festival fever. The superyachts are lining up in the harbour, film posters are being slapped onto the sides of hotels and a giant pair of pirate boots have appeared on the pier outside the Carlton hotel – presumably to promote Pirates of the Caribbean 4. Read more

When French billionaire François-Henri Pinault arrives on Monday night at the fashion industry bash at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, photographers will likely be keen to take solo shots of his glamorous film star wife, Salma Hayek.