Just as the Chinese government cracks down further on luxury spending at home, and more company results demonstrate a flattening of the local market causing fear and trauma in heritage luxury brands with major capex in Asia, enter Antonio Tajani, EU Vice-president and commissioner for industry, to attempt to stem the pain. Their hero! Mr Tajani, aka luxury’s friend in Brussels, has “an action plan on the competitiveness of the European fashion and high-end industries”. Or a kind-of action plan. A beginning action plan? A small movement plan? You know what I mean. The point is: there’s a plan.
Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic were not the only two men working at Wimbledon yesterday; Prime Minister David Cameron (left) and Labour leader Ed Miliban (below) were on the job too. At least they looked as if they were: in dark suits and their respective party-tone ties (light blue and red), they seemed as if they were on their way to Prime Minister’s question time, not the hottest men’s tennis final in years (and I mean “hot” in both senses of the word). What to conclude?
If anyone is in doubt about how President Obama will look tonight, during the last debate of this increasingly close election, here’s a clue, courtesy of Michael Lewis’s Vanity Fair profile.
And so, enter George Osborne with the 2012 UK budget in its little red box (at least symbolically). It strikes me that this photo op has to be one of the weirder moments in UK political imagineering.
There is a tendency, among political leaders, especially of the UK-US variety, to engage in sartorial covert diplomacy during state visits; for the visitor to effectively mirror the dress of the visitee in order to suggest a discrete sort of understanding of the agenda — at least as far as photo ops go. Yesterday, however, when David Cameron showed up for his current US trip, the changed nature of the relationship seemed to be reflected in his wardrobe. One day in, there’s been zero matchy-matchy.
So David Cameron has given an interview to Grazia UK in which he attempts to display his soft, feminine side by admitting that he finds Prime Minister’s Question Time an aggressive, testosterone-filled experience, and he doesn’t like it. Awww. He might have been better served, however, to sit down and take tea with Carlo Giordanetti, creative director of Montblanc, which is likewise engaged in a campaign to woo women.
At the make-or-break Eurozone economic summit in Brussels yesterday, there may have been vociferous debate about what to do to solve the EU’s financial problems, but on one subject at least there was surprsing unanimity: what to wear to telegraph your feelings.
So: for Rupert Murdoch, dark blue pinstripes, white shirt, blue tie with small pattern. For James, blue suit, white shirt, light blue tie with diagonal stripes. If I had bet on this, I would have done pretty well in the “what will the Murdochs wear?” sweepstakes.
Last Saturday I wrote a column about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and the way he dresses, looking at his decision to stick with the hoodie uniform even as he becomes part of the establishment, and ever since it was published letters have been pouring in, at least half of in his defense (even though, to be fair, I never criticized how he looks; I simply noted it).
And so the frenzied speculation about who will make the next royal wedding dress — and reap profits from it — begins. Today’s official announcement of Prince William’s engagement to Kate Middleton may have romance novelists swooning and traffic cops in a frenzy, but British fashion designers have pound signs in their eyes and ka-chings in their ears (Ms Middleton has to wear British, after all).