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OPINION - The Standard View: Fashion is part of the capital's very fabric

The Fashion Power 100 List (Getty Images)
The Fashion Power 100 List (Getty Images)

London is fashion. And today, the Evening Standard reveals the Fashion Power 100 — our ultimate list of the industry’s power players, from high street to high-end.

Fashion is not just about looking and feeling good — it makes a vital contribution to the British economy. The industry employs almost 900,000 people and contributes £21 billion to the economy. Moreover, its wider contribution in influencing other sectors is valued at £16 billion, according to the British Fashion Council.

Indeed, the UK fashion industry is of similar size to the telecommunications sector and larger than the automotive sector. And while cars may get you where you need to be, clothes will do it in style.

Tonight, the Fashion Awards are returning to the Royal Albert Hall. More than an opportunity to congratulate winners for their innovative and creative designs, it is also about celebrating British fashion for the world-leading, economy-driving and taste-changing giant it has long been.

Fear of escalation

As the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas ends and Israeli forces appear poised to expand their operations throughout Gaza, the humanitarian situation in the Strip will deteriorate further still. On top of this, there is the ever-present spectre of regional escalation.

Two UK-owned ships have been struck by missiles in the Red Sea. The commercial vessels were reportedly fired on from Iranian-backed, Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen. Furthermore, a US warship faced an attack in the same region, while the US military has reportedly carried out an air strike in Kirkuk, Iraq, against pro-Iran militants.

A Houthi military spokesman confirmed that the group had targeted what it calls “Israeli ships”. An Israeli military spokesman said the two ships had no connection to the country. No mention was made of the incident involving the US warship. It is not difficult to imagine a miscalculation going terribly wrong. Any widening of this conflict would pose a danger to life and the global economy. World leaders must be alive to this clear and present danger.

Let them perform

It is a tradition that dates back centuries, threatened by perhaps an even more ancient foe: regulation. Covent Garden’s street performers may learn today whether Westminster council intends to enforce a licensing system which the artists fear will make it impossible for them to operate.

Covent Garden would not be the attraction it is today without its performers, acrobats and even the bronzed-up people levitating outside the Apple Store. This is a solution in search of a problem. Let’s keep Covent Garden chaotic and weird.