Fandango

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Indy Lifestyle Online
IT'S ALL happening in London's trendy Brompton Cross. Not content with dominating the area with his flagship shop, Joseph is now set to open a new menswear store just around the corner at 74 Sloane Avenue. Two floors of designer labels, including Gucci, Prada and Helmut Lang, as well as Joseph's own label. The store, designed by architect David Chipperfield, is not only set to accommodate clothes - Joseph's far too smart for that - there will also be a "lifestyle arena". This means Joseph has incorporated lots of nice things, such as furniture, ornamental objects, soft furnishings and bits of technology, among the clothes. Buy designer clothes, add the above and live the beautiful lifestyle, people. While you're in the area pop along to 189 Fulham Road and visit the renovated, restored and redecorated Butler & Wilson store. Re-opening on 22 September, the shop will stock antique and modern jewellery, hand-made accessories and original Thirties and Fifties bags.

Popped along to yet another little drinkette at the Browns Focus shop on South Molton Street last week. BF and GQ magazine need no excuse to throw a little bash. This time it was to celebrate the arrival of the Autumn/Winter men's collections. My friend, Kate, couldn't understand why so many people had enormous turn-ups on their jeans, and decided that to maintain a regulation length she best get down on her hands and knees with her tape measure. And why not?

Underwear/lingerie, call it what you will, seems to be everywhere at the moment. There's Ulrika promoting Berlei. (Oh, by the way, Ulrika, I tuned into your so-called comedy show the other evening and had to switch off after five cringing minutes - sorry, but you're not funny, stick to presenting Gladiators it's much more entertaining.) Then there's Helena Christensen in the new Playtex Cross Your Heart ad, which has a neat, pull-off hologram thingy in the mags. Why, I don't know, as it doesn't do anything in particular. The things you could have made her do. Still, these ad agencies do not have a unique mind like myself, of course. And last but not least, my favourite model - or should I say my boyfriend's fave model - Sophie Anderton in the new snakeskin Gossard Glossies range, which, I hasten to add, is rather nice and well worth a look.

What is the problem with retailers these days? I feel compelled to write about the following incident which happened to me a couple of weeks ago. You buy the perfect pair of comfy summer sandals (the ones that all the shoe shops rip off, but like a fool you decide to go for the original version and pay pounds 50 instead of pounds 9.99). You wear them for two months and then the foot of the shoe comes away from the sole. Not good, I think. So, I take them back to the shop where I bought them, receipt in hand, and explain the problem to the manager. He replies, in a Swedish accent: "Oh, is no problem. I send them back to our very eco-friendly head office. We stick for you and will have them back within two weeks." I say: "I don't think so, Mr Manager, as I will have to go barefoot on my holidays, which is not the correct look in St Tropez." He says: "Well, this is the only option." I want to kill him, of course, but calmly say: "Look dickbrain, they're faulty, right, so give me another pair or my bloody money back. I'm not leaving until you do." He finally gave in to my demands, but if I hadn't have been so tough I would be shoeless. Honestly! Why, oh why, did I have to go through such a pavlova when, clearly, there was a fault with my little sandals?

And speaking of sandals - Strenesse, that posh shop on London's Sloane Street, has the perfect pair of peep-toe, party-popping sandals in Crepe de Chine. Nice. Designed to lengthen the leg - and, let's face it, most of us need that. They have also an exquisite snakeskin shoe with a more manageable heel but just as much glamour. Crepe de Chine sandal pounds 145, Snakeskin shoe pounds 192.

PS: MTV want to interview self-confessed shopping addicts. Exhibitionists should call the MTV hotline, Turned On Europe, on 0171 284 7822.

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