Fashion: Cowgirls go disco

Get on your corsets and spurs, girls: the Wild West trash posse is heading into town. By Tamsin Blanchard. Photographs by Dietmar
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Indy Lifestyle Online
Annie get your gun! Western styling has broken out of the spaghetti western and into the rarefied fashion world of Vogue and Harvey Nichols. But this isn't any old cowgirl look. It's cowgirl- meets-showgirl, with sequinned Antonio Berardi stetson and crystal corset, and blanket-stitched cow-hide trouser suit - by Christian Lacroix, no less; not so much John Wayne and Jane Russell in Monument Valley as Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton in Las Vegas.

If cowboy boots send a shiver down your spine, perhaps it's not the look for you - though for many, the Wild West is a classic style. (Despite his sleek black limo waiting on Fifth Avenue, Ralph Lauren always looks as though he just rode in on his trusty horse in beaten-up suede shirt and riveted jeans.)

But the new development in cow gear is altogether more trashy and glamorous. For styling tips, watch any old Dolly Parton video and pile on the rhinestone and glitz. While Dolly would have her favourite rodeo tailor on hand to stitch together a cute little baby-pink buckskin ensemble, the fashion victim can find all she needs from Alexander McQueen's "Paris Texas" collection for Givenchy. She can flick her hair, paint her lips and swing her hips in a fringed leather trousersuit in garish orange and red or a crystal-beaded suit fit for a rodeo parade. McQueen was not alone in his explorations of the Wild West.

If sales of this season's collections go well, the ladies who lunch in Paris and New York will soon be trying to out-do each other with 10-gallon hats and spurs.

Traditional cowboy boots were designed to be both stirrup-friendly and a status symbol in the Wild West. The more elaborate the design, the more expensive the boot. Quite what a real cowboy would make of Clements Ribeiro's Manolo Blahnik gladiator boots with fancy stitching is impossible to imagine. He'd probably just shout Yee-ha!, fire his pistol into the air and gallop off into the sunset

Orange fringed linen jacket, pounds 1,098 and matching skirt, pounds 564, orange and black shoes, pounds 540, all by Givenchy at Selfridges, Oxford Street, London W1, 0171-629 1234, enquiries 00 33 1 44 315 000; grey socks, pounds 4, from The Gap, enquiries and branches 0800-427 789.

Opposite Laced corset with Swarovski crystal beading by Pearl for Antonio Berardi, enquiries as before; black fishnet tights, pounds 17, by Wolford. Enquiries, 0171-935 9202. This page White gladiator boots, pounds 234, by Manolo Blahnik for Clements Ribeiro. Enquiries, 0171-409 7719

Black patent fringed leather jacket, approximately pounds 995, and matching trousers, approximately pounds 940, by Antonio Berardi, to order from Browns, South Molton Street, London W1, enquiries 0171- 491 7833; sequinned stetson by Steven Jones for Antonio Berardi, to order, enquiries 0171-242 0770.

Hair Johnny Drill at Blunt

Make-up Christopher Ardoff

Models Betina and Elizabeth Hamilton at Elite Premier

Photographer's assistant Andy Andrews

Stylist's assistant Hannah Hunter