UK news Archive

Children's fancy dress costumes still a danger, say British fire chiefs

UK fire chiefs are warning parents of the potential dangers of children’s fancy dress costumes in the run-up to Halloween and Bonfire night. The Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) claimed there have been no improvements to safety legislation over the outfits – still classified as toys rather than clothing – despite the torrent of negative publicity triggered by the 2014 fire that seriously injured the …

'Clock is ticking' on companies exploiting 'gig economy' says Labour MP

Influential Labour MP Frank Field has said the “clock is ticking” against companies who exploit workers trapped in the gig economy. On Thursday ministers ordered a crackdown on companies using large numbers of self-employed or agency workers following an investigation by the Guardian into low pay at the delivery company Hermes. Field warned that other firms could now face scrutiny, revealing his office had been …

Brexit is a disaster for British fashion

Hadley, you’ve written on Brexit elsewhere in the paper, but not in your style column. Why is that? Robert, by email You’re right, Robert! I have stayed away from Brexit in this column because that would mean looking at what it means for the fashion industry, and the answer to that is, well, no one knows. Confusion over Brexit, how strange – don’t see that …

After the hipster: are you a createenager or a hugger mugger? Let's hope not

After 10 years of media stories on The Death of the Hipster, the powers that be at the ever-relevant BBC4 finally decided that they should look into this hipster thing. Clare Balding being unavailable, they alighted on Peter York, 72, author of 1982’s The Sloane Ranger Handbook and former chairman of a DTI committee. The resulting documentary is due to air later this year. Unfortunately, …

Barbican exhibition delves into 'vulgar' fashion

What constitutes good – or bad – taste? That is the central question posed at the Barbican’s new exhibition, The Vulgar: Fashion Redefined. Taking in 500 years of fashion, and featuring over 40 designers, it brings together garments that were, and are, considered “vulgar”, but the connotations are not necessarily negative. Co-curator Judith Clark said: “It’s meant to celebrate, not to humiliate.” Clark’s fellow curator …

Take to the barricades, office workers! And don’t forget your suits | Stefan Stern

The last time I tried to buy a suit I came away hot, bothered and empty-handed. I blame myself: body mass and excessive curvature made demands that could not be met by the straight-cut fabrics of high street retailers. But I needn’t have worried. The suit, you see, is positively uncool these days. Earlier this year 400 jobs went at Brioni, the luxury Italian suit-maker, …

Italian brand that dressed 007 is latest victim of shift to casual office wear

It has defined everyone from James Bond to Don Draper, but is the tailored suit dead? With changing tastes and office dress codes, it is going through an identity crisis that brands are struggling to resolve. Last week Justin O’Shea, the creative director of Brioni who was brought in to modernise the luxury Italian brand, left abruptly after just six months in the job. Brioni …

Is celebrity jewellery worth more than normal jewellery?

First reactions are instinctive, not intellectual. So when we first learned that Kim Kardashian had been robbed at gunpoint in her Paris hotel suite, everyone – except the swivel-eyed trolls who said she deserved it – was horrified. But later, we started thinking. We couldn’t help it: the five-strong band of thieves reportedly took jewellery worth more than $10m (almost £8m), including a ring reputedly worth between $4m …

British Vogue's 'real people' issue is a one-off, but it reflects a shift | Morwenna Ferrier

In one sense, the new issue of British Vogue is on the money. A whole issue with no actual models. In 2016. And after Alexandra Shulman previously said no one wants to see real people on the front of her magazine. Non-models are increasing on the catwalk to the point that they have a name – nodels – and they are becoming the norm. Eckhaus …

'I’m a work in progress': feeling the buzz at the London Tattoo Convention

“Oh, of course I’m obsessed,” says Robert Lahr with a wide grin. “It’s an addiction, clearly it is. If you come to a place like this, it’s the sound, the smell – that’s what gives you the kick.” The place in question is a large exhibition space in east London, where for three days this weekend, tens of thousands of Lahr’s fellow tattoo enthusiasts are …