The article speculates that fashion designer John Gailliano actually aims at making a statement about our own modern times through his use of the Tramp. More interestingly, it seems to fit in with a current trend in the world of high fashion- the use of "post-industrial" backdrops and themes.
Is the prevalence of these gritty, concrete spaces intended as commentary on the state of the industry or simply a matter of cheaper venues?
It's probably a little bit of both.
I like that Chaplin was mined for both his political commentary and his knack for creating a visually striking "look" for himself. I could write more about how much I respect this man, or about how the first time I ever fell out of my seat from laughter was at a Chaplin short, but I think I'd rather let him "speak" for himself.