London Fashion Week starts tomorrow. This is the signal for models, photographers, designers and buyers to stalk the capital applauding talent, spotting trends, exchanging ideas - even, occasionally, stealing them. The designer Katharine Hamnett is back, showing her collection in London after self-imposed exile in Milan, and the view from the catwalks is rosy.

But what about ordinary Britons' fashion sense? We took to the streets of the capital to find out what Britons are wearing and why. Women, it seems, invest time, money and thought in their fashion, and aren't afraid to say so. But British Man is still wearing the first thing that falls out of the wardrobe, or - worse - is in fashion denial. He secretly spends time and money on his outfit but he'd rather die than admit it. DECCA AITKENHEAD

John Anich, 40, a Hare Krishna monk: "These western clothes mean nothing, they're immaterial. I prefer to wear traditional robes really, but some people are more comfortable with us in these."

Marcus Montgomery Rogers, 25, photographer: "I put these on because they were lying on the floor when I got up - I don't give them much thought. I just try and choose clothes that show I'm not a fascist."

Trix Stephenson, 24, in advertising: "I don't care about what I wear. I bought these glasses from Covent Garden, the jacket and

T-shirt on Portobello Road and the trousers from Camden. I don't spend much time shopping."

Nelson, 30, musician: "I never go out shopping. I might see something great, but I never go looking. I don't dress for other people and I don't care what other people wear."

Murray Healy, 24, writer: "I never worry about my clothes. I make the most of them - it's all low-rent stuff."

Sarah Taylor, 23, fashion designer: "I wear a lot of pink because it's my favourite colour. I think my clothes express what I like, and I look at what other people wear constantly."

Vilja Metcalfe, housewife: "I love this because it's so bright - the British lack colour. I spend a lot of time on my clothes, I really enjoy them. I have to choose all my husband's clothes because he's so lazy."

Anna Page, 26, unemployed: "I like to be well dressed and ready - you never know who you are going to meet. I couldn't go out with a guy who had no dress sense - I don't think we'd have the same mentality."

Paulette Walters, 26, home care worker: "My son's four years old, and he's got to have named brand trainers. That's not him demanding them - it's me, I wouldn't let him have any others."

Juliette Peters,

27, unemployed:

"I love designer labels like Armani and Versace. I really like expensive jackets, and I try and buy something new every month.

I would never go out with anyone who didn't have good dress

sense."

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