The financial reality behind haute couture

Over at the website Law and Liberty you’ll find my short essay on tax havens (http://www.libertylawsite.org/2017/06/30/in-trusts-we-trust/). I have no idea of the true percentage but I would not be remotely surprised if pretty much 100% of all haute couture was purchased with monies drawn from tax havens.  My essay examines the tricky morality of tax…

Dr. No cuffs: Turnbull & Asser also contenders

A few posts back I formalized my commentaries this last year on the moral character of various fashion companies’ business plans as the Best Dressed Company Award. This article on Turnbull & Asser spends time talking about the factory conditions and the tremendous loyalty of the workers who make the legendary shirts (https://therake.com/stories/craft/turnbull-asser-british-shirtmaker/).  The company…

New archaeology points towards Laver’s thesis

*A big thanks to reader Chris W. for sending this article my way. Archaeologists think they have found confirmation that early “modern” humans — but seemingly not Neanderthals — adorned themselves with polished shells (http://theconversation.com/decorated-snail-shell-in-a-cave-in-iraq-could-be-evidence-of-paleolithic-bling-79380). James Laver is one of my favourite writers and is known for stating that the earliest clothes were likely shells…

Gainsborough Silks: candidate for Best Dressed Company Award. Updated.

Best Dressed Company Award is a conceit for ranking which clothing and design companies are the most moral.  Brunello Cucinelli comes out top and companies like H&M come out bottom.  This read was an exciting discovery today (http://www.anothermag.com/fashion-beauty/9944/inside-the-factory-producing-silk-for-fashion-royalty).  Gainsborough Silks is a contender for top spot! To be top, a company must conform to Max…

The anarchist who loves a pope

Readers of V&R know that the anarchist Agamben, the Jesuit Przywara, and the “fashionable” pope Benedict are important touchstones for thinking about the moral and political significance of fashion.   Taking up Plato’s skepticism towards fashion, Agamben believes that fashion is one cause of the crisis in Western democracy. We are in thrall to the…

Top bloke Beckham and British fashion

The last image of V&R is a play on the Madonna and Child motif of Western art: David Beckham holding Harper. Becks is a national institution in Britain.  Regarded as a “top bloke,” he is well-known as a proud Briton.  Something of a clotheshorse for classical British tailoring he is also a style mentor to…

YSL: Establishment

This article contains wonderful images of YSL clothes and drawings, as well as the beautiful museums being built to house his archive (http://www.vogue.co.uk/gallery/suzy-menkes-pierre-berge-ysl-should-fashion-legacies-be-controlled). The article is misnamed somewhat: Suzy Menkes only arguing that the museums need to offer the context in which YSL’s creativity flourished.  This might be right but I imagine there are arguments…