I went shopping in Edinburgh today amidst huge discount signs; everything is on sale already. Something about the abundance of clothes on the racks gives the shops an almost jumble sale feel, which I must admit fills me with torpor. I particularly resent the implication that consumers are somehow expected to spend our way out of the recession. Why is no one suggesting that it might be no bad thing for us to stop consuming? Before the crisis started to become inexorable Ben Bernanke said that "the main source of imbalance in the global economy was not excess spending at home but, rather, excess saving in China and other developing countries, where consumption was artificially low". This sort of self-deluding myopia is what caused all the trouble; and I am definitely liking neither the idea nor the reality of consumption at the moment. But nonetheless, in the kind of contradictory gesture I'm often guilty of, here are some more ideas for my trenchant critics to get their teeth into:
Alexander McQueen, from Net-a-Porter: sky high heels to make anyone feel good;
Issa, from Matches (something about the casual way they display the clothes is accessible and at the same time a bit downbeat); and
Vivienne Westwood from Net-a-Porter.