FASHION / Style Notes

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'My kind of woman buys her knickers in bulk from Muji,' says Rita Britton, owner of Pollyanna, one of Britain's most successful designer outlets. She is on the brink of putting Japan's Big Three - Issey Miyake, Comme des Garcons and Yohji Yamamoto - into her new shop, Danjo (Japanese for 'men and women'), a refurbished Georgian building next-door to the original Pollyanna on Market Hill in Barnsley. It has been given a new designer-interior with mobile rails, iron screens for the fitting-rooms and a hand-carved front door. The Comme collection cannot be bought by a chequebook alone, it seems. Britton had been trying to attract them for years. Prospective retailers are first scrutinised for suitability, as Liz Jaulent, Head of European Sales at Comme des Garcons, explains: 'I was a bit surprised by Barnsley, because it's not the kind of place I had in mind, it's very small and not very busy. But the shop is wonderful, exactly what we like. Very warm, very friendly. We know Rita will able to convey our spirit.' In Manhattan, Britton would be classed as a Big Pencil (the New York endearment for buyers with Big Budgets). She has defied convention by selling designer fashion to Yorkshire for 26 years. Today she sells more Jean Muir than anyone outside London. But who will wear Miyake in Barnsley? According to Rita, 'Busy women with full lives. I don't attract mindless fashion addicts, not women who want a colour co-ordinated suit each season and have nothing better to do with their day than wander around make-up departments.' Danjo is at 14 Market Hill, Barnsley.

ANYBODY interested in fashion wouldn't have needed a crystal ball to predict that ThePiano, Jane Campion's award-winning movie, to which we offered a fashion tribute a fortnight ago, would become an influence on the collections. It happened first at Jil Sander in Milan, where, as the soundtrack of the movie started up, the designer sent out pristine white shifts, pin-tucked from neck to hem as a modernisation of the 19th-century undergarments Holly Hunter wears in the film. Hook-and-eye details of jackets were reminiscent of the sensuous corsets Harvey Keitel aches to unfasten.

AFTER last week's news that Holly Brubach, the New Yorker's fashion writer, is to replace Carrie Donovan as editor of the New York Times Magazine (Donovan will still edit their fashion supplements), in another magazine move, Gabe Doppelt, editor-in-chief of Conde Nast's Mademoiselle, has resigned after only a year in the job. Doppelt, 33, worked on Tatler in the early Eighties, and then rose with Anna Wintour when Wintour came to London briefly to edit British Vogue in 1986-7. Doppelt was partly responsible for the British fashion invasion of New York, appointing London girls Debbi Mason and Anna Coburn to beef up her fashion team. Though she favoured their cutting-edge styling, it seems that Conde Nast wanted an altogether more mainstream approach. The new editor, appointed only the day after Doppelt told her bosses she wanted to leave, is Elizabeth Crow, 47, a former editor of Gruner & Jahr's Parents magazine. As America may well have had enough of avant-garde London style, will this mean the return of all our most fashionable expats?

STILL, all may not be lost. Anna Wintour, famous for her power stilettos click-clacking down the corridors of British and American Vogue (hidden message 'I don't walk, I ride'), has finally discovered the thrill of new mood dressing. Last week she was seen running around the Milan shows in plimsolls.