Letter from the i editor: Let’s enjoy the show


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The Independent Online

It would be remiss of me to let pass your extraordinary level of support for our columnist Johann Hari after his lengthy mea culpa yesterday.

It seems that the majority of you do believe in giving someone a second chance. For which, on Johann’s behalf, thank you. We hope Johann will be back writing for us in the new year.

Judging by the political undertone of many of the letters, you might not be feeling so kindly disposed to the more famous “second-chancer” of the year: Andy Coulson – no matter how often the Prime Minister repeats his mantra. It is a Marmite philosophical issue. There were not many people, for example, who felt that the disgraced designer John Galliano was deserving of another chance after his horrible racist outburst at a Paris bar. More accurately, that should read, not that many people outside of the fashion world. The reluctance of the fashionistas to condemn Galliano for what to the rest of us was inexcusable vitriol was yet another occasion in which that fashion world appeared to inhabit its own little bubble.

Twice a year it becomes a caravan that snakes across the globe visiting New York, London, Paris and Milan. Today it lands in London and i’s fashion editor, Susannah Frankel, and her team will be covering every tottering runway sashay and air kiss until next Wednesday. This community is far too easy to mock, vulnerable to being both stereotyped and, in the UK, underestimated.

The British fashion industry is to be celebrated. It is one of the creative industries at which we excel, both in terms of innovation and as a growing revenue generator for UK plc. It is an old cliché, but nonetheless true, and, more than in the other cities, British fashion continues to evolve from the street up, not the catwalk down – although that street style is reflected on our catwalks. Let’s enjoy the show.