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Fashion: Haute Bohemia

OKAY, before you all bust a gut and write in saying you can get a velvet coat for 10p down your local Sue Ryder shop, wait! I fancied a change, and this week, with the new-look Real Life, seemed the ideal excuse to show fancy clothes that cost lots. This is also a chance to have a peek at forthcoming autumn/winter collections which are already (annoyingly when one wants to buy summer clothes) starting to come into stores. No matter how wonderfully clever high street shops are, nothing beats a designer garment that has the words luxury, posh and expensive stitched into every inch. Etro, whose patchwork velvet, embroidered coat is featured here, make some really wonderful clothes for those who like to look bohemian without roughing it; it's an excellent label for something a bit different. Velvet is a canny fabric, although it looks luxurious, there's no hardship involved in wearing it - it's so soft and easy. Finally, if you're planning on getting married and want to eschew the normal rubbish foisted on brides, make sure you have a gander at Dries van Noten and English Eccentrics, both of whom make dresses that would be fantastic alternative wedding outfits, precisely because they are not made for that purpose.

Photographs by Peter Warren assisted by Simon Leigh Styled by Zoe Brown assisted by Natasha Hayman Hair by Gemma Forrester at Forresters Make up by Karl Berndsen Modelled by Olivia Inge

Main picture, opposite page: Velvet dress (sizes 8-16), pounds 424, Helen David English Eccentrics, Harrods, 87-135 Brompton Road, London SW1. Enquiries/Mail Order: 0171 730 1234. Embroidered gilet, pounds 700 made to order, Helen David English Eccentrics as before. Choker, from a selection by Agatha, 4 South Molton St, London W1. Enquiries: 0171 495 2779

This page, clockwise from top: Gold velvet kimono (one size), pounds 650, Paul Smith, Westbourne House, 122 Kensington Park Road, London W11. Enquiries/Mail Order: 0171 379 7133. Plum sheer tulip dress (sizes 8-14), pounds 460, Abe Hamilton, Koh Samui, 65-69 Monmouth Street, London,WC2. Nicholas Edlington, 8 William Street, Windsor. Enquiries: 0171 637 1450. Yellow paste choker, pounds 178, Butler & Wilson, 20 South Molton Street, London W1. Enquiries/Mail Order: 0171 409 2955

Long red boiled wool coat, just seen (sizes 10-16), pounds 325, Scapa, Palmer, 771 Fulham Road, London SW6. Enquiries: 0171 637 1450. Red sleeveless knit top (sizes s-l), pounds 150, Dries van Noten, Browns, 23-27 South Molton Street, London W1. Enquiries: 0171 491 7833. Navy double-layered embroided skirt (sizes 8-14), pounds 354, Clements Ribeiro, Browns, 23-27 South Molton Street, London W1. Enquiries: 0171 409 7719

Velvet patchwork coat (sizes s,m,l), pounds 2,730, Etro, 14 Old Bond Street, London W1. Enquiries: 0171 495 5767. Magenta knit top (sizes 1-4), pounds 165, Dosa, Browns, 23-27 South Molton Street, London W1. Enquiries: 0171 491 7833. Silver/grey silk trousers (sizes s,m,l), pounds 355, Etro as before.

COVER PICTURE: Long red boiled wool coat, as before. Red sleeveless knit top, as before