Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Another one bites the dust

Far be it for me to perpetuate the ever rolling ball of gloom and doom that is the continuing threat of recession, but the closures and rumours of closures on the high street just keep pouring in. The latest casualty is Viyella, whose clothes I am only familiar with from department store House of Fraser. I kind of liked their stuff but rumours of their demise are not surprising considering how they are not the most distinctive of brands.

In other news, Mosaic (owner of Karen Millen, Oasis and Principles) are said to be perilously close to being lost, which would be a shame. Oasis is a brand that I particularly like but they are yet to learn the fine art of blowing their own trumpet. For instance, how could they have let this event go unheralded? You just know that if it had been Topshop you wouldn't have been able to move from hearing about it.

M&S is also axing 1000 jobs this year. Again not surprising. Despite the brouhaha, the Patricia Fields experiment didn't go down too well with fashionistas. Moreover, the initial boost that they got from those Vogue spreads and the model/celeb endorsements - a combo of Twiggy, Myleene, Erin, that Jagger offspring, that French bird who's always in her knickers and, recently, even Take That, had started to wane last year.

Anyway, the M&S will-they/won't-they story is as old as time but they're still here. My question is, why are they still insisting on selling the dismal Per Una range. If their regular clientele consisted of Nancy Dell'Olio leading a million-strong army of poor eurotrash, I could understand it. Otherwise, why? I think, if they don't get rid of this line soon, it might just turn out to be the last albatross that broke the camel's neck (yes, I know I'm mixing all sorts of metaphors there, but you get the picture).

With punters becoming more and more reluctant to spend, the rise of sustainable/ethical/ recyclable fashion, DIY and vintage and a real punk ethos towards clothing, the likes of which haven't been since the 70s, 2009 is going to be the year that the High Street wheat will be separated from the chaff. There will be no time for the middle-of-the-road or the also-rans. This is the time to throw-down or go down.

Yeah, I'm talking to you Warehouse, French Connection, Monsoon and New Look. You better be ready.

Sing it Freddie:

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I like pretty dresses, high heels, the colour red and good writing.