The days of innocence, when we, the buying public, don’t give a Fendi where brands source their materials, construct garments, or whom they employ in which factories, are numbered. The big brands are quaking in their boots, anxious to prove their ethical/fair-trade/organic credentials. Finally, after Primark-gate earlier this year, it does seem as though the tide had finally changed for good. Yet, as Anna Wintour’s recent comments on fur have demonstrated, some folk just don’t learn the error of their ways.
For every angel in a handmade hemp dress that benefits the underprivileged, there will always be the devil diamond digger single-handedly ruining Namibia with their penchant for DeBeers. To wit, we’ve compiled a list of the best and worst behaviors to emerge to from fashion players in the last few weeks. Take this as an opportunity to judge, and be judged.
1. BAD TIMES: Hermes have started breeding their own crocodiles
Naturally, without a hint of remorse, Vogue has reported that Hermes has begun to breed its own crocodiles in order to produce enough skin to respond to demand for the iconic Kelly and Birkin bags. Waiting lists are allegedly up to 18 months long, which is an ever more bitter pill to swallow when you consider that Victoria Beckham has, like, a bajillion (really 100) of them, and almost certainly did not have to join the queue. We can estimate that given her extensive collection, she is probably personally responsible for the demise of a significant number of crocodiles, and have therefore decided to rename her Reptila deVil.
2. GOOD TIMES: Topshop giving away potted violets in honor of the Chelsea Flower Show
We were cheered by today’s announcement that Topshop’s continued love affair with florals has taken a literal turn: this weekend, for every purchase of more than £50, Topshop will delight their customers with some potted African violets to take home. As it is perennially raining in London town, Topshop’s little ray of sunshine is warmly welcomed and gratefully received.
3. BAD TIMES: domestic violence in the Lady Gaga video
To be honest, complaining about Lady Gaga and her dramatic over-the-top ways never gets old. Whilst her fashion choices may be daring and directional, her promotion of female sexuality and women’s rights is rather old fashioned and certainly leaves something to be desired. Jezebel, unsurprisingly, took a more serious view, whilst the Guardian offered a hilarious frame-by-frame run down of her video for the song Paparazzi,. The sharp-witted Anna Pickard dissects the pedestrian pop song and its video that manages to simultaneously offend the wealthy, women and the disabled: a triple-whammy for Lady Gaga.
4. GOOD TIMES: The Guardian‘s Hijab-friendly summer fashions
Despite claims of body fascism being rife within the fashion industry (just look at last week’s dire episode of The Fashion Show for depressing confirmation of this fact) there is growing evidence that a more inclusive, world-view of style is being fostered and celebrated globally. As Islamic fashion shows increase in popularity, the Guardian made the smart move of compiling a gallery of Hijab-friendly summer finds, allowing women to feel cool and chic in the summer heat.
5. WEIRD TIMES: Meat Dress
This image, of a girl wearing a dress she had made entirely out of meat, kind of stumped us. On the one hand, she’s using recyclable, edible materials — not exactly sustainable, but definitely biodegradable. On the other hand, if we are trying to be truly ethical individuals, we would shun this attempt for its lack of sensitivity to vegetarians, vegans and animal-lovers generally. Maybe good, maybe bad — definitely bizarre.