Italy’s Chinese secret, Fairtrade fashion, Sir Philip Green’s plans, Balanciaga retrospective, Master plumassière

Two young women walk past a fresco in Prato | Source: Guardian

Made in little Wenzhou, Italy: the latest label from Tuscany (Guardian)
“Pronto moda involves importing cheap fabric, usually from China, and getting it made up to order at breakneck speeds into high-fashion garments that are then sold with ‘made in Italy’ labels.”

Fairtrade goes fashion (Telegraph)
“The bods at Fairtrade have upped the fashion ante for Fairtrade cotton’s fifth anniversary this month by embarking on a re-brand. Their aim? To attract more fashion-forward high-street retailers and designers.”

Arcadia group will be debt-free by end of 2012 (Independent)
“Sir Philip Green, the tycoon behind the Topshop to Bhs retail empire, vowed his group would be debt-free in two years’ time as he unveiled a “solid” 6.4 per cent rise in its profits.”

Balenciaga Exhibition Opening on Park Avenue (On the Runway)
“It’s astonishing… to realize how much one country shaped the ideas of Cristóbal Balenciaga. The country, of course, is Spain, and the period of influence was from 1937, when he opened his Paris house, until he retired in 1968 and returned to Spain.”

Designing With Feathers, the Old-Fashioned Way (NY Times)
“Working alone in the atelier that she also calls home, Ms. Saunier, a master plumassière, is one of the few remaining feather designers in France practicing with exceptional skill a craft in danger of extinction.”