metropolitan life: the best & worst dressed towns

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Indy Lifestyle Online
THE BEST

Glasgow

London's closest contender for quality clothing outlets. Cruise has six branches in the city, selling designer labels including Ozbek, Alberta Ferretti, DKNY, Ralph Lauren, and Ghost, for men and women of all ages. Ichi Ni San sells such labels as Antoni & Alison, Duffer of St George, and Burro to the city's funky and fashionable. The Warehouse, recently bought by Rita Britton of Barnsley's designer emporium Pollyanna, sells a fine mix of cutting-edge labels, and the Italian Centre sells Armani and Versace. Regenerated both architecturally and fashionably, it is very much a culture where people dress up - and that doesn't mean just the 13-18 age bracket.

London

For sheer variety of shops and markets, from Brick Lane and Camden to Sign of the Times and Harrods, London is the fashion centre of Britain. Sometimes it gets too blase for it's own good and it is also the place where people are the laziest and sloppiest of dressers.

Leeds

Defying both the weather and its heavy stone Yorkshire image with a flurry of Continental-style pavement cafes and the introduction of Harvey Nichols (whether the locals like it or not).

Nottingham

Rock City's heavy metal fans aside, Nottingham's bars and clubs spill out with students and locals kitted out in clothes from Paul Smith (of course) and Pollyanna (formerly Lamb) which sells upmarket labels including Prada, Jil Sander, Yohji Yamamoto and Comme des Garcons to men and women.

Newcastle

The most fashion-conscious lads in the country. They even have their own strip of designer menswear shops on High Bridge. The chain store-shopping women of Newcastle spend a fraction of what their label-frenzied partners spend on clothes.

THE WORST

Birmingham

Full of dolly birds - ask a Brummie girl what she does and she'll say she is a model. Slip dresses from the Bull Ring and make-up so thick the sun never penetrates. Not a fashion hot spot.

Liverpool

Like most cities, has two sides. As well as rapidly becoming the most fashion-conscious of cities, it has long suffered style problems too. The shell-suit image has stuck - Kevin Keegan and footballer "chic" have a lot to answer for. Bad hairdos, excesses of pastel-coloured sportswear for him and her, and unfortunate poodle perms will not disappear overnight.

Coventry

A big concrete-grey city. Once you're on the ring road above it, you never come off. A couple of really bad clothes shops selling C-list clubwear, and nowhere to wear it. Designer labels? What do you need them for? The kids' department at BhS is the highlight.

Bristol

Bristol's shopping centre has not followed its bands (Portishead, Tricky, Soul II Soul) into the annals of the hip and happening. Those in search of anything more than Kookai have to travel to Cheltenham or Bath.

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