Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

An up-side to the banking crisis?





Harry poses a question.
Like many others the world over I have been mesmerised by the news over the last few weeks. News that keeps telling me , amongst other things, that the nest egg I amassed from all my years at the coal –face has been reducing on a daily basis.
This isn’t the forum to lament one’s personal lot.
But perhaps it is a forum in which I can admit to my detestation of bankers and financiers. And to the sway they have held over our consciousness for the last few years.
Deregulation of financial services in the eighties resulted in all those things we have become familiar with: obscenely high salaries and bonuses, sharp practice, and an end to probity and a celebration of avarice.
‘The City’ ( which is London shorthand but I refer globally) achieved such a critical mass in terms of its influence on the way we live ( the economy , stupid) that the axis of aspiration seemed to shift. And the cars and the houses and the restaurants and the resorts all seemed to be chasing the city dollar. Designed for them and priced for them. Macho, tasteless, and soulless. ( Dubai anyone?)
And so did fashion. Certainly for men.
There has been conformity in their avaricious behaviour and conformity in the way they dress.
I know this because every smart , formal shirt seems to be designed for a financier. Because you can’t get a tab collar shirt anywhere. Why not? Perhaps because a tab collar is just a bit too fancy/ racy/ retro/ non-conformist.
But back in the day you could choose a shirt by the fabric, the cut ( short or long tail included in the list of options) and the collar. But for the last twenty years the collars have all been city style. Just walk down Jermyn Street, (the street of shirts): T M Lewin, Hiditch and Key, Turnbull and Asser; and the upstarts Hackett and Tyrwhitt. Not a tab collar in sight.
Maybe now, collectively , we will get over our fixation with the money men and people will stop assuming that us blokes want to look like them. From this day on they are no longer the icons that they were.
Those ghastly cut-away collars and silly silk knots as cuff-links will now be seen as the uniform of the shyster.

5 comments:

WeThePeopleOfTheUnitedStates said...
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Duchesse said...

I for one would be happy to see those corny contrast cuff and collar shirts and their evil offspring, diagonally- striped plackets) go bankrupt.

Ms Baroque said...

Yes, but the collar in the picture is very pretty! Roll on, then, End of the City. I shall be doing my make-your-own-biscotti thing again.

Harry Fenton said...

Ah, but the picture is of a tab collar. Exactly the kind of collar that you can't get anymore. And yes it is stylish.

Anonymous said...

I think you can still get tab collar shirts or a passable facsimile to one in Vivienne Westwood and in a shop called Vertice in South Molton Street.