Fashion: From tie-dye T-shirts to flighty, floaty chiffon: One-off garments are inspiring this year's looks, say Tamsin Blanchard and Marion Hume

'I WAS amazed how many people at Glastonbury shopped at Topman, and how many denied it,' says Tony Gudge. He should know, for as well as selling his wares at festivals, Tony and his wife, Fiona, have tied and dyed almost every T- shirt on sale in Topman and Top Shop.

The Gudges once had the only tie-dye stall at Glastonbury. This year, there were 190, as well as thousands of 'Away-Day Travellers' who turned up wearing tie-dye.

On paper millionaires, the Gudges describe themselves as 'laid back'. Their dyeing methods remain low-tech, relying on a squash bottle, brewer's hoses and taps. Much of their equipment is second-hand.

They produce 3,000 garments a day, and are the source of 80 per cent of the tie-dye clothes sold in this country, not to mention the rest of the world. The range for Topman includes pyjama pants, vests, hats and dungarees. As Mr Gudge says, 'Tie-dye gives people access to unique garments without paying unique prices.'

Meanwhile, Donna Karan was in the UK last week, not hiding behind wraparound shades at Glastonbury but finding inspiration instead in London's antique clothing stores. Virginia Weatherall, of Virginia in Holland Park, revealed that Karan dropped several thousand pounds on chiffon bias- cut dresses, shawls and trousers as well as a chiffon-fine fan. Expect to see delicate pin-and-tuck details and gossamer-fine fabrics in her November New York show.

Karan is not the first to find the little Virginia shop - last year Romeo Gigli found inspiration in a theatrical, silver lurex Thirties dress and an intricate lace curtain purchased there. Ralph Lauren's scouts are also customers. And, last Tuesday, the model Carla Bruni bought some flighty, floaty old blouses. Her appearance in these backstage at the autumn shows will doubtless be an inspiration to designers who have not yet followed the London antique clothing trail themselves.

As for the sound of the shows, we predict the music most heard will be from Malcolm McLaren. He is in the process of recording a tribute to Paris, to be released in October, including Loulou de la Falaise, Catherine Deneuve, Francoise Hardy, Jane Birkin plus Senegalese rappers and toasters.

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