The 2021 London Fashion Week concludes today. It has very much been an occasion for our times. In order to secure a socially distanced seat on the front row beside the catwalk, attendees had to show they had been given two shots of a covid vaccine or present proof of a negative lateral flow test. Think of the fashionistas as being like grounded airline passengers.
The show had got underway last Thursday, the same day that Boris Johnson had revealed an alliance with the United States and Australia which would provide the latter with nuclear-powered submarines. The word ‘China’ was never uttered by any of the parties concerned but in China itself this has been seen as a militarily provocative action. And this has what do with fashion, I guess you are thinking? Simple: China has been seriously upset in the recent past by the propaganda of western nations in the form of their fashion houses.
In November 2018, D&G opened a social media campaign under the tagline of #DGLovesChina. The thing was, China did not love it. Perhaps not a shock, all considered. The promotion featured a Chinese model with exaggeratedly narrow eyes, dressed in D&G clothing and ham-fistedly trying to eat pizza and cannoli (D&G is an Italian fashion company) with chopsticks. The fall-out was rancorous, the allegations of racism were furious, and it led to a boycotting of all things D&G by celebrities who had until that point been thrilled to be associated with the brand.
However, the healing process may have been seen to have reached some sort of closure earlier this month with D&G’s Alta Moda show in Venice. Among those lending their support were Jennifer Lopez, Sean Combs (Puff Daddy), Heidi Klum, Christian Bale and Helen Mirren. Pretty A-list, I think one would have to say, and a long way on from the company’s founding in 1985 by Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana. Their first women’s collection was shown in Milan in 1985; their first perfume range in 1992 – almost 30 years ago and no doubt it had a finer aroma than the stink created by that ill-advised campaign of 2018.
Finally, I draw your attention to the item displayed on the home page. It’s a ‘patchwork jacquard, brocade and twill blazer’. It’s priced at £3,550. I doubt it’s worth waiting and hoping that one ends up for sale at a TK Maxx.