Register Sunday | October 1 | 2023

Baby Got Birks

The London Fashion Files

"Charity bracelets are all the rage," my father told me when he picked me up at Heathrow. I was visiting my family overseas and, as usual when I am in the UK, I was taken aback by how many people buy into the local fads. My track-pants-loving Dad is "not fussed about trends," but in England they're unavoidable. The countless tabloids and celebrity magazines ensure that the entire country knows what's what-from the Crazy Frog ring tone to the cast of Big Brother UK to Kylie Minogue to St. Tropez self-tanners. When it comes to clothes, fast-fashion outlets like H&M and Zara catch on to what's been touted as "the look" and new items go from concept to sales rack in a matter of days.

With such retail velocity, irony often becomes the first victim of fashion. Like those rubber charity bracelets that every starlet has ...

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