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Union Jack jumper Fake London from pounds 115
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Indy Lifestyle Online
At London Fashion Week in February the Union Jack made a couple of well publicised outings, first at Bella Freud on a thick woolly jumper, and second a slim-fitting cashmere version on Naomi Campbell at the Clements Ribeiro show - but these were designs for the autumn. That, however, didn't stop the well oiled wheels of fashion: before you could say "knit one, purl one" a summer trend was born.

Miss Selfridge was quick off the mark with a Union Jack slogan T-shirt that says "Brit Babe" and a skimpy UJ vest, both in the shops now. Young fashion label Lipsy - remember Spice Girl Geri's dress at the Brit Awards? - can't sell enough of their UJ mini-dresses.

Spanish designer Desiree Mejer sits in her Wapping office wondering what all the fuss is about. Desiree, of Fake London, has been selling her Union Jack jumpers, made from recycled cashmere, for two and a half years. They are worn by French couturier Christian Lacroix, Robbie Williams, Patsy Kensit, Saffron from Republica and a host of fashion and media types. They sell in New York, Tokyo, Paris and London. "We have been doing them for such a long time, and suddenly everyone thinks it is a new trend. I don't understand it."

It is not a new trend, it is an old trend brought back to life, Nineties style. The last time the Union Jack was this popular was during the Queens Jubilee in 1977 - not only was the flag flying from every window, but any punk worth his or her 12-hole Doc Martens had a defaced Union Jack T-shirt. But Desiree's Fake London does have the most imaginative jumpers around. They are made from recycled cashmere which is sourced in America and bought by the ton. The cashmere is then sorted into different colour combinations, cut up and put together to form the Union Jack graphic. Fake also does target, Argyle and sports-style cashmere jumpers.

The great thing about the Fake jumpers is their colour combinations. The jumper shown above is in the traditional red, white and blue; but imagine the Union Jack in shades of grey, red, camel, blue and pink. Mmmm... Or powder pink, powder blue and white. Nice. Without the red, white and blue, the Union Jack does indeed become a graphic, and this is what's selling them. And it won't stop there. Union Jack dresses and fake-fur coats are next for Desiree, who wants the world to know she did it first (this time around anyway).

Fake Union Jack Jumpers, from pounds 115, are available from Browns Focus, 38 South Molton Street, London W1. Further enquiries, Fake London: 0171 488 3203.

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