I'M WRITING THIS column a good week in advance, for two reasons; firstly because I will be sunning myself on a beach when you read this and secondly, because I must put my fingers on keys before I forget all the little details of London Fashion Week. Yes, it's been rather interesting. Put it this way, my head is still spinning from watching catwalk show after show, my ears are still ringing from the heavy drum 'n' bass music played and my bruises are still deep purple (definitely not this season's colour) from being pushed and shoved in every direction while trying to elbow my way to my seat. Not forgetting my "fashion backside", a new look worn by fashion people who have been sitting on one too many hard benches, waiting and waiting for the fashion designers to show us their wares. I don't mean to sound like a prima donna, but if possible, next time, if there is a next time that is, may I please have a cushion to rest my buttocks on?


Whinging aside, I took my numb backside down to the Alexander McQueen show. Yes, the clothes were amazing of course, but I nearly peed my panties with excitement when part of the catwalk burst into flames at the end of the show. I thought any minute now Keith from the Prodigy would jump up from his front row seat and launch into "twisted firestarter". I thought I better call the fire brigade just in case. The lengths a girl will go to for the company of a beefy fire-fighter.


I'm having trouble concentrating as I've just stumbled across a pile of pics featuring a dishy guy wearing next to nothing on a beach. These are actually to promote the new men's sportswear department at House of Fraser, as they have re-vamped and introduced new brands to the store. The obvious Puma, Adidas, Fila for footy, athletics, skiwear and fashion- conscious brands such as Quicksilver for you "Hey, man" surfy types, O'Neil ditto and Airwalk. Branches nationwide. I'm off to find beach hunk.


Before I start to think about next winter's trends, I think we should deal with the looks for this season. Now, I've been observing the fashion pack over the last few days and if they are to be a source of inspiration, then garments in the shade of "hot pink" should definitely be on your agenda. A very close fashion stylist friend of mine tells me that "under no circumstances should one be decked from head to toe in this season's new shade. The key is to wear just a smidgen, that's the secret." OK, so smidgens. My advice is to be very careful if you are of the ginger- haired variety, pink can be very unflattering. The words Mr Blobby spring to mind. That rules you out Chris Evans. Shame.


Louis Vuitton, who have just opened an amazing new store on Bond Street, threw the best Fashion Week bash, which everybody wanted to gate crash. I, of course, had my very own personal invitation. The champers flowed all night and the celebs were out in full force, but the thing is, by the time most of them had arrived I had consumed sooo much Moet & Chandon that everything was a bit of a blur. I did however manage to grab a few words with Something-got-me-started Mick Hucknell; I told him that under no circumstances was he to wear pink this summer, wrong hair colour, know what I mean. He replied that "He'd rather leave the wearing of colours to the totty he dates." He then asked me my name. I replied "Me, I'm the 13th Duchess of Moet & Chandon, not to be left alone with you, a rock star with your reputation." I then proceeded to boogie the night away dwarfed by incredibly gorgeous models.


Speaking of models - one young lady who is being tipped as this season's hottest new face is 5'10", fifteen-year-old Karen Wright, who has graced our very own Real Life fashion pages. Already a fave of Mr McQueen, she has walked the catwalk for the Givenchy Couture show in Paris and his show here in London last week. Looks like she's set to become the face of '98. Good on ya girl.


Patrick Cox is always up to something. This time it's good news for you Mancunians, as Mr Cox will be opening a store on Manchester's King Street in April. The 2000sqft space will stock Patrick Cox shoes, clothing and Wannabes. Start saving those pennies.