Sometimes, we don’t need to be told what’s going on out there. Just occasionally, a story unfolds in front of our very own eyes. Last Saturday, after a long time away, I took a walk along London’s Bond Street and it was very strange indeed. In the swanky stores close to Piccadilly – Celine, Gucci – the assistants stood at their doors, gazing out hopefully at the empty pavements; as I passed, I half expected them to hawk their wares, as if in some market or exotic bazaar. Meanwhile, in Fenwick, the “department store of note for shoppers of exceptional taste since 1882”, I was one of three customers. Yes, everything was on sale – up to 70% off – but there was no joy to be had in this. Even as I told myself that to spend must be a good thing (the economy, stupid), I had the sense that, if I did, I would only be benefiting from someone else’s misery. Fashion, it seems to me, is over, at least in the sense we’ve come to know it recently. No more flamboyant, wasteful shows. No more unnecessary collections. No more department stores in which “exclusive” versions of items from said collections – behold, an ugly zip you’ll find absolutely nowhere else! – may be sold. Read more at The Guardian.