Vetements and the gnomes of Zurich

This post is about the disturbing link between fashion and tax havens.   Vetements has just moved to Switzerland to benefit from the gnomes of Zurich. A phrase coined back in the `60’s by a British socialist politician, George Brown (, the gnomes are the bankers of Switzerland who ably and secretly shield family wealth…

Pure Huizinga

A first-rate piece on the costume design of Christian Lacroix for Balanchine’s ballet A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream:   I discuss Huizinga’s thesis that civilisation develops in and through play at V&R Chapter 6.  From this article, it seems Lacroix is well aware of this himself.

So very Max Scheler

Surprisingly, the shoe above dates to 1938 and was made by Salvatore Ferragamo.  It is featured in an excellent article about the use designers make of the archives in Italian fashion houses ( This very much matches Scheler’s estate as a model for business practice: tradition and creativity linked.  Please see V&R Chapter 5 for…

Me on the radio

Here is the audio file from my speaking about the ethics of fashion on Sirius XM Radio a couple of weeks back. Doing radio is hard, so hopefully it makes sense!  Just click and the programme actually kicks in at a minute and a half. You first hear me around the 11th minute mark.…

Design genius

Sir Alexander Arnold Constantine Issigonis designed my first car, the Morris Minor 1000. He also designed that most iconic of cars, the Mini. Here is a beautiful short film about a stylish young man reengaging with the genius of Sir Alec: