FASHION / Spaghetti Weston

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The Independent Culture
THESE PICTURES were taken on the West Coast; at Weston-super-Mare, in fact, a Victorian seaside town overlooking the muddy expanses of the Bristol Channel. Cowboy clothes look quite at home in Weston-super-Mare. Why fly all the way to Texas or Oklahoma, when Somerset and Avon beckons?

The photographer who took these pictures, John Gilliam, was born and brought up in Weston-super-Mare. When he was a child, he would go to the cinema every Saturday morning and watch cowboy movies: the Lone Ranger, Tyrone Power, John Wayne. When he grew up, he travelled across the wide open spaces of America and decided that the Mid-West was not unlike Somerset: 'calm, slow, and with a big farming community'.

It therefore seemed like a good idea to return to Weston-super-Mare to find some local people to wear this year's cowboy outfits. (Western clothes never go out of fashion, but there are likely to be even more than usual in the shops this year, as a whole slew of cowboy - and girl - Hollywood films will be released soon.)

The men in these pictures are from the town's thriving Greek-Cypriot community. George Panayiotous, a hairdresser, was photographed at the local Greek-Cypriot club, where he is a regular. Vas Anastasis was photographed at the Regent Restaurant on the Weston-super-Mare sea-front, where he is a chef. Both men thought Gilliam was joking when he asked them to be models, but they liked the clothes. (Marks & Spencer shirt for Vas; Wranglers for George.) Gilliam also photographed his mother, Margaret, who is shown here in her back garden wearing Vivienne Westwood with great aplomb. 'She's captain of the bowling team,' says her son. 'And she said the clothes were good for bowling, very comfortable, and easy to move in.' Which is just what you want from a Western outfit.

SARAH CARRINGTON (left and below): stetson, pounds 32.99, from the Hat Shop, 58 Neal Street, London WC2; Levi's shirt, pounds 29.99, from the Original Levi's shop, 117 Long Acre, London WC2 and branches nationwide; black leather mini-skirt by Katharine Hamnett, approx pounds 145, from Katharine Hamnett, 20 Sloane Street, London SW1

GEORGE PANAYIOTOUS (above): white cotton Wrangler shirt, pounds 24.99, from Debenham's, Oxford Street, W1 and branches nationwide; jacket by Vivienne Westwood, pounds 265, from 430 King's Road, SW10 and 6 Davies Street, W1; turquoise/silver buckle belt, pounds 32.99, from Western Styling, the Covered Market, Weston-super-Mare; black trousers by Cecil Beaton, pounds 34, from The Arcade, Weston-super-Mare; necktie: model's shoelaces tied together

MARGARET KENDALL GILLIAM (above left): in white raincoat and matching hat by Vivienne Westwood, to order, from World's End, 430 King's Road, SW10 and 6 Davies Street, W1; necktie, pounds 4.99, Western Styling, Covered Market, Weston-super-Mare

ZOE (above centre): white linen shirt, pounds 135, from Paul Smith Women's range, Paul Smith, 44 Floral Street, London WC2; black PVC trousers by John Colonna, pounds 115, from Jones, 15 Floral Street, London WC2; scarf, pounds 2.75, from the Covered Market, Weston-super-Mare

GEORGE PANAYIOTOUS (above right) Wrangler shirt, pounds 24,99, from Debenhams, Oxford Street, W1 and branches nationwide; kerchief from a selection at Western Styling, as before

ZOE (below left): white sleeveless cotton Wrangler shirt pounds 24.99; Timberland belt, pounds 24.99 from the Timberland shop, 72 New Bond Street, London W1 and stockists nationwide; Levi 501s, pounds 35, from stockists nationwide

VAS ANASTASIS (below right): bootlace tie, pounds 2.99, from Western Styling, as before; striped cotton shirt from a selection at Marks & Spencer; tea-towel kerchief, courtesy the Regent restaurant, Weston-super-Mare

(Photographs omitted)