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A woolly bobble hat? And it's oozing with street cred? Ruth Picardie tries it for size
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The Independent Online
This bobble hat may look as if it was knitted by Michael Foot's mother to keep him warm on a CND march, but it is actually extremely desirable.

First of all, it was made by Antoni & Alison, the furiously trendy British design duo who, 10 years ago, invented the shiny T-shirt slogans such as "Be Happy", "Love It" and "Miracles are happening". They were so successful that everyone started copying them, including Giorgio Armani, whom A&A sued and reached an out-of-court settlement with for allegedly ripping off their "I feel amazing, fantastic, incredible, brilliant, fabulous, great" T-shirt.

Now, A&A have launched a complete womenswear line, ranging from long, crepe evening dresses to this hat, which is made from mohair and comes in purple, pink or racing green (which A&A call lilac, pink or turquoise), with a variety of clashing bobbles.

To avoid being mistaken for an ageing Labour politician the A&A bobble hat (which "stands up" on your head - not a look for the faint-hearted - must be worn with a lot of "attitude".

To begin with, put on some lipstick and your best black pea-coat and stride around Soho (or other high-fashion zones) where everyone else is wearing weird but groovy hats.

Having acquired the confidence of glamour, you can now wear your hat round Sainsbury's together with glasses and a duffle-coat, as I did on Saturday.

Don't lose confidence when you see a little old lady in a knitted tea cosy collecting for Guide Dogs outside: your hat is made by Antoni & Alison. Plus it's jolly useful for keeping warm in the freezer departmentn

Vacuum-packed bobble hat, pounds 33, available by mail order from Antoni & Alison (0171-275 7033)


Tony Buckingham