Fashion: Clothes Line

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The Independent Culture
Who's Hot?

sara daykin, the new face of miu miu

NEW FACES in modelling seem to pop up every five minutes these days, but one of the newest, 15-year-old Sara Daykin, could well stay the distance. Daykin, from Swinton, was initially noticed by Select booker Sarah Leon because she was having a blazing row with her Mum, Barbara, in Manchester's Arndale shopping centre. Within weeks, Steven Meisel had whisked her away to photograph her for American and Italian Vogue.

Then David Bailey called her "the new Twiggy", and it took off from there. Now she is the star of Miu Miu's latest advertising campaign (pictured above).

So what is it about her that has captured the fashion world's imagination? "When I first saw her with her mum," says Leon, "I walked around them three times; Barbara thought I was mad, Sara probably did too. She had never thought of herself as model material." Photographer John Akehurst, who shot the Miu Miu campaign, thinks her appeal lies in the fact that "you can't stick her in a box. There is something behind her beauty that is quite haunting." Refreshingly, Daykin has already turned down big money in favour of schoolwork, being with her mates, and most recently she swapped a pounds 2,000 job for a night in the local disco.


Hot Thing

Manhattan Portage Rucksack

LONG GONE are the days when rucksacks were firmly strapped only to the backs of climbers, campers and day-tripping hillwalkers. Now they are both fashionable and functional, a necessity for any student embarking on a college career. Manhattan Portage provides one answer to the dilemma of how to stylishly heave books, files and mobile phone from library to lecture to digs and back again.

Set up 25 years ago in New York by John Peters and Rob Hanson, Manhattan Portage manufactures rucksacks in various shapes (traditional two-strap; asymmetric "J-Bag"; and courier despatch style), sizes and colours to suit even the fussiest of freshers.

Susie, a devotee for the last six years says, "they're super-well made and they last and last. I still use some I had made to order in New York six years ago". Her current favourite is an eggshell-blue J Bag: "the colour to have, and it holds all essentials."

But,she says, a problem for girls with the J-Bag style is that "the single strap tends to cut into your boobs, especially if worn with a T-shirt, but it's not such a problem when you're wearing a denim jacket or coat". Susie has overcome this by re-adjusting the straps to make an oversize bumbag (this could be a problem if your rucksack is full of rock-hard books).

The rucksacks are not cheap - prices start at around pounds 55, and the J-Bag pictured is pounds 60. But consider it an investment purchase which, with a little tender loving care will last through the rigours of at least a three-year course. Jean-Marc from Da Regular Store says: "People buy more for durability than for design. There are so many bad brands around but these can last up to ten years if they're treated right." Set aside part of that meagre grant.

Manhattan Portage from Da Regular Store, 16 Earlham Street, Covent Garden, London WC2, enquiries for nationwide stockists 0171-240-2625