As a Jew who had been through the Battle of Cable Street and World War Two, WTF’s late dad used to worry about Jews in the limelight for the wrong reasons, what he called ‘Jews making a show of themselves’. His experiences had shown him that anti-semitism abounded without egregious conduct prompting any more of it. All WTF can say is that thank Heaven he missed Sir Philip Green. Green has been making a show of himself for decades, the quintessence of everything that is tasteless and crude. Sir Stuart Rose, a former boss of Marks & Spencer, whom Green once grabbed by the lapels in the street when his second attempted takeover of the beloved British institution was thwarted, described him in withering terms this week as someone who was always an asset strippper and had the foulest mouth he (Rose) had ever encountered. Over the years, Green bought low and sold on high, revelling in his enormous wealth and flaunting his increasing girth by the side of luxury swimming pools or bob-bob-bobbing around on ever-bigger yachts and living ing tax exile in Monaco. His son’s bar-mitzvah and his family’s birthday parties were displays of extreme vulgarity costing millions with pop stars warbling their greatest hits. And of course there was the little matter of the £1.2bn dividend paid by the company he ran, Arcadia, to Lady Green, its principal shareholder, in 2005.
But it all went wrong, not for him, but for the poor buggers who had the misfortune to work for him. First there were the ones who had worked for BHS for years, only to find themselves jobless when it collapsed in 2016 with very little pension available. Green had seen the writing on the wall and had flogged it to a shyster for £1. It later transpired that over the previous ten years, Green and family had received dividends, rent, and other largesse amounting to some £300m. The hole in the pension funds was some £571m. Following a huge outcry, Green, fearful of losing his knighthood, agreed to cough up some £350m after pressure from the Pensions Regulator.
And now the Arcadia group, well known High Street brands such as TopShop, Burtons, Dorothy Perkins, Miss Selfridge and Wallis, has gone the way of BHS, with 13,000 jobs threatened and another hole in the pension funds, this one some £35om. To have one hole may be considered a misfortune. Two looks like carelessness. Fortunately Lady Green had coughed up £50m last year and signed over £210m worth of property, as you do, and will pay another £50m, but it is thought that there will still be a pension shortfall as property prices have fallen. Yes Covid has hit retail hard, but those who know say that Green failed to keep up with the times and was being outfoxed by internet-savvy retailers. Now Christmas is only weeks away and Arcadia’s employees face the scrapheap with Green unwilling to put his pudgy hand in his pocket to bail them out, even for a short while. He remains in Monaco with his luxury home, and his £100m luxury yacht (of which he took delivery while BHS was sinking), and his very full bank account (or his wife’s, anyway). And while those former employees wonder how they will put a festive dinner on the Yuletide table, and buy presents for their loved ones, the Greens are not going without. Indeed, the only thing they have ever gone without is class. They will be holidaying at the One & Only Reethi Rah resort in the Maldives, where the best villas (and what else would be good enough for the Greens?) cost £30,000 a night. Ding Dong Merrily On High……T’is verily the season to be jolly.
We start our review of the week’s fashion flotsam at the GQ Awards with young actor Paul Mescal wearing Boss. Scroll down slowly…..
It was all going so well…..until you get to the ankles which are in a Mexican standoff with his ankles. That is bad enough, but the error is then bigly compounded by his wearing white socks. WHITE SOCKS!!!!! Like a tuxedo cat.
Next up we have SCD presenter Tess Daly wearing Galvan Mamounia.
Tess loves a one -shouldered dress and she loves a spangle, and this is both. It is very old-fashioned, although she does have terrific legs. But keen-eyed viewers were quick to point out that she blended right into the set. If only she had blended away completely….. and taken Claudia with her.
Next up, here is singer CeeLo Green
CeeLo is a big lad, and WTF understands that it may be difficult to find things in his size, but was it really necessary to strip a leather DFS sofa in order to provide him with his stage garb?
We switch to actress Tessa Thompson, wearing Christopher John Rogers.
Er…you what? What exactly is this supposed to be? If a set of tea towels went to a fancy dress party as the cast of Oklahoma, this is what it would look like…
Singer Paloma Faith has not been in this blog for a while. Here she is wearing Christopher Kane.
We have had loads of black sheer in this blog so that WTF cannot even be bothered to bother with it, but here is a whole new horror – red sheer with black bra and knickers. Kill me now. And not just sheer red and black bra and knickers but what l0oks like the sheer red plastic you used to wrap your books in at school. Horrible.
Now this one is admittedly not recent, in fact it is February’s New York Fashion Week, but WTF has only just come across it and it is far too appalling to ignore. Here is Everton footballer Dominic Calvert-Lewin in Manhattan wearing a lairy pinstripe suit with a Gucci bucket hat and a Louis Vuitton bag, teamed inexplicably with bright red and white trainers.
Sorry. No. What is occurring? He looks like Peaky Blinders’ Tommy Shelby gone fishing… and that bag is absurd.
This week’s It’s Got to Go comes from WTF aficionado David from the Barbican who is deeply unimpressed with Rita Ora’s 30th birthday party last week. This was held in what the Daily Mail called “a swanky Argentinian restaurant” in West London and broke lockdown rules by a lot. Rita paid up the £10,000 fine voluntarily, which probably only made a tiny dent in both the bill for the night and her not inconsiderable fortune. She has apologised for what her publicist decided to call a ‘serious and inexcusable error of judgment’.
David says that not content with inflicting a plague of fashion faux-pas upon us, Rita now tries her hand at super-spreading the virus around the Nation’s capital and beyond for her jet-set fashionsta friends. He is right. Irresponsibility coupled with “oh-don’t-worry-I-can-pay-for-being-naughty.” It’s Got to Go.
OK Readers, that’s your lot for this week. Your comments have started coming in again as well as some tip-top suggestions for It’s Got To Go so keep them coming, Let us meet again next Friday. Be good.