50 GREAT BRITISH FASHION MOMENTS

With London Fashion Week opening on Friday, The Information asked its expert panel to choose their 50 top British fashion moments. Holly Wood took notes as our pundits waxed lyrical, analytical and nostalgic over fashion's great figures, from Galliano and McQueen, to Chanel and Hartnell

THE PANEL: Rosemary Harden Curator, Bath Museum of Costume and Assembly Rooms (01225 477752) Tamsin Blanchard Fashion Editor, The Independent; Lisa Armstrong Associate Editor, Vogue, and author of the fashion bestseller, Front Row; Chris Moore veteran catwalk photographer; Tony Glenville fashion historian, European Editor, Nippon Vogue and Vogue Australia, and co-author of The Cutting Edge. Our thanks to them all.

NEXT WEEK: OUR EXPERT PANEL REVIEWS THE 50 BEST-SELLING BOOKS OF THE 1990S.

READERS WHO WISH TO SUGGEST THEIR OWN 50 BEST IDEAS CAN WRITE TO: THE 50 BEST, THE INFORMATION, THE INDEPENDENT, LONDON E14 5DL

1

RCA FASHION DEPARTMENT

The Royal College of Art in London pioneered the first training course for fashion designers in 1948. It has been led by a series of inspirational teachers including the legendary Madge Garland (above), Janey Ironside and Bernard Nevill. Graduates include such great luminaries as Ossie Clark, Bill Gibb, Zandra Rhodes and David Sassoon. This course paved the way for other fashion courses and gave young designer hopefuls somewhere to aim for in life.

Lasting effect? The British art-school system is unique and continues to provide the international fashion world with creative talent in all areas.

2

ACCESS-ABLE FASHION

"It's no secret that society's way of looking at disability is still all too often to shy away from it," reads the introduction to Alexander McQueen and Nick Knight's collaboration for Dazed & Confused in September 1998. "[It is] in a world where the mainstream concept of what is and isn't beautiful becomes increasingly narrow - you have to be young ... thin ... blonde and, of course, pale-skinned." There follow images of people with physical disabilities looking strong, proud and beautiful.

Lasting effect? Too early yet to say, but the hope and belief that there is room for many forms of attraction seems to be getting stronger.

3

BRITS IN PARIS

John Galliano, Alexander McQueen and Stella McCartney storm the ramparts of venerable French fashion houses. It all started when Galliano was appointed chief designer at Givenchy three years ago, after 10 roller-coaster years of spasmodic backing. That seemed to give the green light for other big French companies to sign up increasingly younger names. Galliano went to Dior and McQueen followed to Givenchy. Stella McCartney (above) then took up her position at Chloe.

Lasting effect? We still have to wait and see whether in 10 years' time there is another generation of Brits in Paris or if it has all vanished into thin air.

4

VIVIENNE WESTWOOD AUTUMN/WINTER 1989

This is a shot of Sara Stockbridge wearing a low round-neck flesh/nude- coloured bodystocking with frills with satin peach bows at the elbows and black-frilled heart at the crotch, a ruffle at the neck, large black ribbons and blond curls. I had always thought you wore your heart on your sleeve, but then Vivienne Westwood has a habit of turning conventions upside-down. Carry On Up the Catwalk.

Lasting effect? Sarah may no longer star in Vivienne's shows but there are still always a few stunners to grab the attention of the tabloids. Sex always has a place in a Westwood show.

5

NORMAN HARTNELL 1938

The all-white wardrobe for the State Visit to Paris in 1938 of the King and Queen. Three weeks before the trip, the Queen's mother died. Hartnell suggested white was the Royal alternative to black for mourning. The entire original wardrobe was remade, making the five ballgowns even more extraordinary. Paris was enchanted.

Lasting effect? In 1947, Dior showed his "New Look"; he admitted he had remembered Hartnell's clothes. More importantly, Hartnell encapsulates the British love of romantic splendour that has been a constant inspiration - from Victor Steibel to David Sassoon via the Emanuels to Westwood.

6

VIVIENNE WESTWOOD

The early Eighties saw the arrival on the mainstream fashion stage of a major talent and player. The Savages, Buffalo Girls and Hobo collections in 1981/1982 set a tone of historical reference and wild sub-cultural mixing that created a new way of looking at fashion which was totally innovative. These collections look as fresh now as the day they were shown.

Lasting effect? From the earliest days, in partnership with Malcolm McLaren, Vivienne Westwood has been both an inspiration and an irritation. Her rocking of the establishment and her wild creativity is still a major influence on an entire generation of designers.

7

LEIGH BOWERY

In his short life, Leigh Bowery made quite an impact. His costumes were often disturbing, occasionally beautiful, but always had a sense of humour. Four years after his death, his influence on fashion and design has finally been appreciated with a coffee-table book published this month by Violette Editions. Without creativity like his, fashion does not move forward.

Lasting effect? Bowery made us look at what we think is attractive and made us stop in our tracks. He played with padding and distortion to alter the shape of his body long before Vivienne Westwood and Comme des Garcons did.

8

PUNK

The punk years were the last time we had a genuinely shocking fashion. Every rebellious trend since has seemed manufactured or a pale imitation. Punk was a genuine explosion of music and attitude. Ripped clothes, safety pins and mohicans were an effective way of displaying disaffection and anarchy. Needless to say, some of the elements of punk - the slim silhouettes, the leather and the deconstruction - have become classics.

Lasting effect? It was a flash in the pan as far as trends were concerned. Trying to make the iconoclastic chic and mainstream is a big mistake.

9

SONNENTAG AND MULLIGAN SPRING/SUMMER 1995

This event should have propelled the highly talented Sonnentag-Mulligan design duo to business success but, instead, it encapsulated a very British dilemma: plenty of dash - no cash. Unable to meet demand, their partnership broke up. Tracey Mulligan has now relaunched her own label, enriching London with a long-overdue comeback.

Lasting effect? The continuing story of talent clashing with a fashion industry unwilling to support new designers means this kind of story will continue.

10

TOMMY NUTTER

And all the great tailors for both men and women that we have produced - Charles Creed, Hardy Amies, Digby Morton and Richard James. They all use Savile Row style as the launching pad for their work, even if they have never been there. We understand formal city dressing in very different way to, say, Armani in Italy or Brooks Brothers in New York, it is part of our heritage.

Lasting effect? Not only is Nutter remembered for his own clothes, but he made it acceptable for design to be used with traditional techniques in a completely new way.

11

GALLIANO TO GIVENCHY (1996)

Paris, the home and bastion of haute couture, needed the ideas and talents of young British-trained designers in order to survive. It worked, and started a snowball effect. John Galliano has always had a love of the past, both in historical references and technique. His innovative cutting and construction was never the basis for low-price High Street clothing. The move to high fashion released him from the need to feel commercially constrained and allowed him to create for customers with high style values.

Lasting effect? Both in his approach to design and its often lavish presentation he has very much influenced those who came after, although this could be on the wane. However there is no doubt that his appointment opened the floodgates for other British designers.

12

CLARK'S DESERT BOOT

The desert boot was designed by Nathan Clark, now in his eighties, almost 50 years ago, but the boot remains as clean and timeless as ever. Clark was inspired to design the desert boot after he was posted to Egypt in the Second World War and saw the crepe-soled boots soldiers were buying from local bazaars. As with all the best designs, form followed function and with their two-hole lace-up design, they are simplicity itself.

Lasting effect? Desert boots are a classic and even if they "go out of fashion", they will always be a great design and continue to inspire many variations on the theme.

13

AUDREY HEPBURN

I think she was actually Belgian and Dutch, but the accent was 100 per cent British, by way of Hollywood. She had monumentally influential style; the pedal pusher/ballet shoe/black polo-neck jumper ensemble still feels contemporary, partly because Hepburn had a very modern, androgynous look. Unlike Grace Kelly, it seems her style was her own and not manufactured for her by movie designers. Funny Face and Breakfast at Tiffany's were among fashion's defining moments. Of course she was impossibly thin which in pictures, always helps.

Lasting effect? Still one of the greatest style icons of all time, both on and off the screen.

14

RIFAT OZBEK AUTUMN/WINTER 1992

Always breaking new fashion frontiers, Rifat Ozbek is the only designer to have shown his collections in all four fashon capitals - London, Milan, Paris and New York. This powerful pow-wow of a show was the real forerunner for the "Big Knicker" craze which slapped us on the cheek some seasons later.

Lasting effect? If most women failed to carry off leggings with style, let us be thankful that big, visible knickers stayed on the catwalk. As with grunge, thumbs-down was the main response from customers.

15

JOHN FLETT

Aids and fashion were always going to be partners, but in a strange way it has been the subtle wearing away that is the worst part. Rather than one or two famous people dying with massive publicity, the effects of the disease have been insidious. People have just disappeared. We will never know how many would have had a wonderful future. Flett's last collection in London was exquisite, watery, shimmery and full of ideas.

Lasting effect? I've still got one of his shirts that I can't bear to part with - he was and is just one of too many to be lost.

16

UTILITY SCHEME 1942

A group of British fashion designers, including Hardy Amies, Norman Hartnell and John Cavanagh, worked with the Board of Trade to produce a fashion collection governed by Utility restrictions. The idea was to show that style need not be compromised by the restrictions of wartime Britain. While regulations stipulated the number of pleats in a skirt and the widths of seams and hems, designs by the Queen's dressmaker, Hardy Amies, were suddenly available to ordinary women, priced at around 30 shillings for a dress.

Lasting effect? This need to work together for the good of the British fashion industry formed the basis of the London collections. British designers have also continued to be resourceful with very little.

17

THE PIRATE COLLECTION (1981)

Vivienne Westwood and Malcom McLaren put together one of the first collections to mix historical costume and cutting-edge styling. Westwood recently explored her archives for Anglomania, which revived the squiggle print from this collection. The Pirate Collection was part of an explosion of music, energy, and theatrical styling, behaviour and fashion. A look for women, men and androgynes. The collection was a turning point for British fashion and the London scene.

Lasting effect? Like anything Westwood designs there is more to it than first impressions. They are collectors' items in their original form and continue to fascinate.

18

LEGGINGS

The death of leggings. I wore them. I loved them. I couldn't imagine life without them. May they rest in peace forever. No one seems to know where they came from; there was no great catwalk leggings season when we all thought that they were the "Must Have" of the season. The biggest problem was that, like Frankenstein's monster, leggings refused to die when we told them to. Big money was at stake on the high street as millions of pairs were sold. Women refused to give them up, "easy" and "comfortable" being the two key words used in their defence.

Lasting effect? Please tell us that they will never be revived.

19

ALEXANDER MCQUEEN SPRING/SUMMER 1998

The Alexander McQueen spring/summer 98 show pursued his Earth, Wind, Fire and Water themes to achieve the ultimate in Wet T-shirt competitions. James King stares placidly through running mascara as though "everyone should disco in the rain, darling".

Lasting effect?McQueen and the elements seem to be an unlikely combination. Not at all, strength and drama are key parts of the McQueen oeuvre. Even when the setting for Givenchy couture was a pair of Japanese Gardens they both featured streams and waterfalls. Next season the whole show may be underwater.

20

LUCILE

Lady Duff Gordon (the person behind Lucile) may not have been the greatest designer in the world. In fact, many Lucile collections were designed by a studio team. But she forged a reputation for British fashion when we didn't have one. Houses in London and New York. Designs for the Zeigfield follies. Costumes for Irene Castle around the world and for Lilie Elsie in the original London Merry Widow. Girls whom she discovered and moulded to show off her clothes in the salon eventually became famous-name showgirls. From catwalk to stage was in those days equivalent to catwalk to movies today.

Lasting effect? She linked fashion and showbusiness and created celebrity models.

21

BAZAAR

Mary Quant opened Bazaar on the King's Road in 1955. This was a completely new way of selling fashion - a retailing revolution. From this followed new clothes, new styling, a new area for fashion in London - a whole new dynamic. The gradual move into what became the Sixties London explosion began with this one shop. Given the need of the postwar generation to make their mark in style, Mary Quant saw that "Madame Shops" and posh department stores were not the places for the newly trendy to shop.

Lasting effect? This was the start of it all for British fashion. Our classic tradition was joined by quirky, young clothes that no one else was making. In terms of design, the simple 1920s style that she favoured is still popular as a basis for many collections for the junior market.

22

BIBA

This landmark store was opened in 1964 by Barbara Hulanicki, who was given instant credibility when Cathy McGowan, Mod Queen, started wearing her clothes. It was the first shop to represent a whole lifestyle, from the hangers to the antique coat racks. In the Seventies, it settled on Kensington High Street, becoming a tourist attraction and a major part of Swinging London. Hulanicki now runs a shop in New York, called Fitz & Fitz, with her husband.

Lasting effect? Sadly no. We remember Biba with love and affection in all its locations. The label has been revived in name only. The spirit is gone forever, a relic of another era.

23

REI KAWAKUBO

About five years ago, I finally got to interview Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcons. I was a great fan and rather in awe. She doesn't speak English and we had to have an interpreter, which always puts a dampener on things. To boot, I'd heard she never smiled. She talked for a very long time, very thoughtfully and very slowly. Then I asked her if it was true she never smiled. Suddenly she broke into this lovely, toothy grin. I think it may have been a first.

Lasting effect? Like Vivienne Westwood, Rei Kawakubo is controversial in both her diktats and her creations. Without the former there is no true creativity. If it seems at times that Comme des Garcons is pulling our collective legs, a few seasons later, the influence often becomes apparent.

24

KATHARINE HAMNETT AUTUMN/WINTER 1989

Katharine Hamnett has always listened to the street beat, her slogan T-shirts echoing popular political opinion. This environmental statement, "Clean up or Die" however, could easily have been directed at British fashion, already at a low ebb since its Eighties revival. Someone out there was listening.

Lasting effect? Street fashion is what it says - a look put together by those living life out in the world. The moment this is translated into designer fashion at top-notch prices it becomes suspect. Recently Hamnett has concentrated on softer, more retro styles in both mens- and womenswear.

25

JEAN MUIR

Self-deprecating, perfectionist and as she called herself, a dressmaker not a couturier. Her clothes were meant to be worn, to be kept, to wear out and to disappear. But they won't wear out and they won't go away. They stay wonderful - sometimes at the back of the wardrobe - for three or four seasons and then re-emerge just as fresh as before. The team that worked and trained with her carries on in Bruton Street as though she had merely gone away for a business trip and is keeping an eye on her collection from afar.

Lasting effect? Her customers come in all sizes and ages and they buy and wear each collection as it appears. Isn't that the role clothes are supposed to play?

26

DORIS LANGLEY MOORE

Langley Moore set up the Dress of the Year scheme at the Museum of Costume, Bath. This crystallised the moment when everyone (not just dedicated collectors who made it happen) realised that, yes, fashion is ephemeral, but it is worthy of collecting. A collection of historic and contemporary dress not only enables examples of good design in a Cinderella art to be saved and used as inspiration, but it also says something about the way we are now (and were then) in a way that nothing else can.

Lasting effect? The interest in 20th-century fashion in museums is now a given. The Met in New York, The Powerhouse in Sydney all regularly update their collections and welcome gifts from great designers and craftspeople.

27

HUSSEIN CHALAYAN'S PAPER DRESS (1995/96)

In February 1994, Hussein Chalayan was given the coveted window of Browns in South Molton Street. Caroline Collis of Browns said at the time: "What he's produced at this stage is very free, searching and exciting." Chalayan's collections have gone from strength to strength since then, achieving commercial and critical success. His paper dresses are key Hussein pieces and tailoring. Bjork wore one of the airmail-envelope pieces for the cover of her album called appropriately enough, Post.

Lasting effect? Now that Chalayan designs the Tse New York collection, and a range for Top Shop, there will be greater access to his creativity.

28

GALLIANO SPRING/SUMMER SHOW 1993

It was at John Galliano's Spring/Summer show in Paris in 1993 that he showed Crinolines made from telephone wire. It was the first time all the supermodels did the show and it was an international breakthrough. I remember Helena Christensen wafting up the catwalk in a stripey ball gown and Regency ringlets, overacting like crazy but looking ravishing. At the time I thought it was the most beautiful show I'd ever seen.

Lasting effect? This was the first of Galliano's really strong storyline shows and this trend has developed over the seasons. But it could be turning into an albatross as he strains for effect.

29

JASPER CONRAN/ NAOMI CAMPBELL 1989

Although not her first catwalk season, this was the one where Naomi Campbell first stood out. Here wearing Jasper Conran's minimalist, floating chiffon, she assumed that now-familiar balletic pose with the "I'm too good for you" expression she made her trademark.Conran went on to design for the Scottish Ballet, as well as continuing his own collections.

Lasting effect? Both Campbell and Conran are survivors. In spite of off- seasons, Conran's designs are, at their best, in the great British tradition of quality and discreet chic. And despite ill-advised literary and musical forays, Campbell still dazzles on the catwalk.

30

`MY FAIR LADY' AND CECIL BEATON

Style, substance and camp. This is the great trend in British style that goes from the Royal Pavilion at Brighton to Round the Horne to Sir Frederick Ashton, Sir Benjamin Britten, Sir David Hockney and Sir Ian McKellen. Theatrical swagger is combined with dedication, drive, ambition and genius; being gay is not enough and camp alone will not do. The arts would be bereft without it. In fashion there is masses of camp around but to be absolutely stunning is rare indeed. Sir Cecil and My Fair Lady was one rare embodiment of it.

Lasting effect? Still one of the great visual feasts of the cinema, it inspired McQueen to do an Audrey-as-Liza dress for Givenchy.

31

BILL GIBB

Dress of the Year 1970. Beatrix Miller chose a long knife-pleat tartan skirt and printed-cotton blouse by Bill Gibb, teamed with a knitted waistcoat by Kaffe Fassett as the Museum of Costume's Dress of the Year for 1970. Firstly, this marks the emergence of a major talent (still largely unsung). Secondly, this summed up the romantic eclecticism emerging in British fashion over the next few years as well as the move of knitwear away from something your granny did to a major medium for fashion. For the first time, crafts were integrated into fashion.

Lasting effect? The British love the eccentric and the exotic. Bill Gibb combined these elements with tradition and both wit and beauty.

32

NOVA

When Nova launched in 1965, it was a new magazine with a completely different attitude to women's lives and to fashion. For the first time, fashion had sex appeal. A fashion picture could mean a girl sitting on the toilet, brushing her teeth, or riding a bike. Wearing fashion - and not just designer fashion - did not have to mean you became a posed, static fashion-plate. As such, Nova communicated a new attitude in fashion to the woman on the street.

Lasting effect? Almost every magazine today owes a debt to both Nova and Queen in the early Sixties when they pushed the boundaries of fashion, layout and photography to reflect emerging attitudes and lifestyles.

33

MANOLO BLAHNIK

When I got to Vogue, it was obvious that the first thing I was going to have to invest in was a pair of Manolos. Buying my first pair seemed like a significant rite of passage, fashion-wise. They were midnight-blue slingbacks - very high, very difficult to walk in; fantastic and the start of a very expensive habit.

Lasting effect? What more is there to say about the shoes created by Manolo Blahnik? They deserve to be framed, to be placed on a pedestal, to be handed down from mother to daughter as family heirlooms. They are simply the most beautiful shoes you can imagine.

34

FLYING THE FLAG 1993

We had to wait three hours for it to start, but it was probably the most important event in modern British fashion. British bad boy comes good in his debut Parisian show. Under his star the ultimate supermodel - Kate Moss - was born, swathed in the Union Jack. The message was clear: "the Brits are coming". Lasting effect? This was the collection backed by Faycal Amor after Peder Bertelson and Galliano parted company. The three-hour delay eventually resulted in the loss of this new backer, while the Union Jack went on to swathe Patsy and Liam and define Cool Britannia.

35

LADY DIANA COOPER

Never a plain day in her life, the always sensational Lady Diana Cooper combined the reality of a woman who could run a farm during the war, become a writer and marry a politician with the style of a fashion doyenne. To this day, shoot after shoot in magazines bears the shadow of her eclectic style and her nonchalant chic.

Lasting effect? As well as defining her own style, she was among the earliest of the aristocratic beauties who worked for her living, making things that much easier for toffs like Stella Tennant to become a model.

36

ALEXANDER MCQUEEN

The Water Collection or the Church Collection. A designer who shows that there is an aesthetic in the shocking, who challenges the conventional idea of beauty and comes up with something new. McQueen constantly pushes back the boundaries, and, most importantly, all his work is based on a sound knowledge of materials and techniques.

Lasting effect? The messages that McQueen sends out in the six collections a year that he now designs are beginning to be very clear. Sharp tailoring, slim frock coats and geometric patterns are amongst his constants. If it happens to match the trends, all well and good. If not, McQueen really doesn't give a damn.

37

JOHN GALLIANO'S GRADUATION COLLECTION (1984)

When Galliano graduated from Saint Martin's School of Art in 1984, with his collection, Les Incroyables (influenced by 18th-century France), he caused a stir. The collection, with its layerings of romance, history, and cutting-edge fashion, quickly sold out. He become the first British designer since Worth in the 1860s to become designer-in-chief of a French couture house. His initial collection was such a burst of creativity and energy, it was to give him cult status from the word go.

Lasting effect? The New York Costume Institute currently has an 18th- century exhibit

38

LONDON

Watching London progress from a fashion capital that was about to give up the ghost - 1993 - to one that's internationally recognised as the best source of original talent and watching designers such as Matthew Williamson, Clements Ribeiro and Hussein Chalayan take off and fly has been really satisfying. It will always have huge problems competing with other capitals, which exert huge power through their advertising budgets, but creatively, it has proved itself.

Lasting effect? London is stronger now than ever before. It is a city where new talent is allowed a unique platform to grow.

39

HUSSEIN CHALAYAN AUTUMN/WINTER 1998

Hussein Chalayan's autumn/winter 98 collection proved that McQueen isn't the only magnate drawing fashion's big-wigs to London. He's a man who takes his art seriously and always sends out a surreal performance. Here, paired models paraded through a mirrored hall and he had at least one catwalk photographer humming to "the animals came in two by two, hurrah, hurrah..."

Lasting effect? A Chalayan show is a performance, but in a very different way to McQueen or Galliano; it's less theatre and more art gallery. Special by any standards.

40

CHANEL

She came, she saw, she was inspired. Our tweeds, our yachts, our races, our tailoring. Coco Chanel plundered not only her lovers' wardrobes for clothes - she used the entire British Isles as one vast design studio to inspire her career. The influence of both British formal attire, sophisticated sportswear and active sportswear made real sense to the practical side of Chanel's designs.

Lasting effect? I call as evidence Mr Ralph Lauren, who is inspired by Britain so much that he is buying it and transporting it piece-by-piece to shops all around the world. His clothing is based on all the elements which inspired Chanel.

41

PHILIP TREACY

The designer who brought accessories in from the cold. For Treacy, hats and bags are not just accessories, but major pieces of fashion in their own right. A big black Philip Treacy bonnet is now part of the collection at the Museum of Costume and is currently on display in the "Catwalk Classics" exhibition at the museum.

Lasting effect? The British love of the eccentric means that Isabella Blow wearing Treacy is the tradition of Edith Sitwell in her gold turban. He is a very British milliner, designing both for the international catwalk, and for the high street; he currently designs a diffusion line for Debenhams.

42

58% DON'T WANT PERSHING

Katharine Hamnett wore this T-shirt to Downing Street to meet Margaret Thatcher in 1984 and thereby showed that politics and fashion can mix (or should I say clash?). Hamnett has made many contributions to fashion - from her parachute silk to her functional workwear - but her most imitated and most highly visible is her protest T-shirt. Slogans have included "Passports for Pets" and Hamnett is happy to see imitations spread her message.

Lasting effect? The front of a T-shirt makes everybody into a sandwich- board carrier. Sometimes the words are serious but the moment passes too quickly.

43

GUCCI

A few years ago, when Gucci was just getting hot, a fashion editor - who shall remain nameless - booked the earliest flight to Milan so she could hit the Gucci shop there before anyone else and buy up the essential pieces. This gesture seemed pretty much to sum up the fashion world - the passion, the dedication... the insanity. How could you not enjoy working in a world like that?

Lasting effect? Either you are like the mad shopper flying in early to grab the best or you should never join the fashion world. Gucci is a sought- after classic.

44

ISABELLA BLOW AND ANDRE LEON TALLEY

Issy Blow, the High Priestess of fashion, brought Druid Chic to Galliano's front row at Dior Haute Couture's Spring/Summer show in 1998. We didn't hear the joke she's sharing with Andre Leon Talley but this timely snap will always make me laugh out loud at the driving force of fashion - its people and its excesses. By the way, her chapeau is a crab!

Lasting effect? Taken too seriously, fashion can damage your health and reason. When waiting for shows to start or when viewing some mad moment on the catwalk there is only one thing to do - have a good laugh or else the laugh is on you.

45

NOeL COWARD AND GERTRUDE LAWRENCE

The British are not very keen on hard-edged chic and real diamond-encrusted glamour. Look how they never really warmed to the style of Wallis Simpson. However, for a brief encounter of British glamour at its most Molyneux- and Sulka-dressed best, look at Noel and Gertie. It is difficult to think of another time when glamour was such an influence on British style. No wonder the pair took the entire thing straight off to New York.

Lasting effect? No. We rather despise gloss and newness in fashion and would much rather exclaim "This old thing! I've had it for years and it only cost me 50p."

46

TWIGGY

Twiggy was the first of the model girls with the look of the streets. As such, she epitomised the fact that headline fashion, the stuff you read about in magazines, really was for everyone. From now on, models with strong personal images who were not distant beauties (from Penelope Tree to Kate Moss) were an essential part of fashion.

Lasting effect? The British model is everywhere. Twiggy was really the first of the new generation of models who flew all over the world to work. As a personality in her own right, she easily moved from model to movie star. She could only have been British.

47

i-D

When i-D launched, there was nothing else like it. It marked the power of street style as opposed to designer fashion, acknowledging individuals who were making their own fashion, both in London and up and down the country. The accent was on customising your clothes and standing out from the crowd rather than telling people what they should and shouldn't be wearing. Lasting effect? There are far fewer new cutting-edge magazines now than there were back then, but i-D was always the best. Gritty at the moment when New Romantics were in power, it has never weakened. Truly the one and only.

48

KATE MOSS

Kate Moss is one of our best ambassadors. At 24, she has almost retired from the catwalks but has never lost her cheeky Croydon spirit and has been a great supporter of British talent. She was first photographed by Corinne Day and graced the Summer of Love cover of The Face, June 1990. That cover touched a nerve and marked the beginning of a new relaxed and laid-back decade after the ostentatious Eighties. Whether she is modelling for Versace or Calvin Klein, she somehow makes a brand look very London.

Lasting effect? Household name, international supermodel, advertisers dream. Moss has inspired a million dreams of stardom.

49

ALEXANDER MCQUEEN SPRING/ SUMMER 1997

If it doesn't hurt, it's not working.

This image tells everything about suffering for someone else's art. McQueen's Spring/Summer 1997 show brought catwalk into the realms of performance art. God he may not be, but it is not everyone who can make supermodels walk on water. The ultimate catwalk show? Well, until he returns next season.

Lasting effect? Like Mr Galliano there must come a point where there are no more special effects to call on. Perhaps one day we will watch their shows in silence seated on little gilt chairs in a tiny gilded salon. Until then, I'm hoping for a volcano.

50

OSSIE CLARK

Starting with his graduation show at the RCA through to his death, Clark was a star. His clothes made women feel like stars. They were sexy and romantic - Hollywood satins and crepes. Every piece technically superb. These clothes have been kept by most of the women who brought them.

Lasting effect? Ossie Clark was one of the first of the British designers to be interested in the past as a way forward. He used bias-cutting and soft tailoring to great effect long before anyone else.

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Star Wars Director JJ Abrams: key character's names have been revealed
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Pharrell Williams won two BBC Music Awards for Best Song and International Artist
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Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

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Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

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Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

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