Off the peg: Is fashion going to the dogs? Gucci gives Bruno a new leash of life

hen you have to confess that your dog, yes, your dog, is better dressed than you are, it's a sad day. Last week, Bruno, my nine-month- old Weimeraner, was given a green box embossed in gold with the legend "Gucci". It contained a dog lead and collar covered with a lurid turquoise floral fabric (a cross between Pucci and Brentford Nylons - but in a very nice way). The gift is just one of the 51 new Gucci accessories. This range also includes a cat collar, condom holder, Tampax box, mobile phone case and pillow. All really crucial purchases then.

Tom Ford, Gucci's designer, is a noted dog lover who feels no shame in turning up for an important event with a fine coating of hound hairs on his suit. His dog even has a frequent-flier card for Air France. Hence Mr Ford's interest in canine fashion statements.

I thought the collar looked fantastic. My partner cringed. "I am not walking Bruno in that thing ... I'll get beaten up," he wailed. He had a point. It was all very well Bruno parading around our house looking like the doggy version of Cher (no, that's too harsh on Bruno) but it would be another matter down at the park - which is not the place for dogs to sport collar-and-lead combos costing pounds 130.

So it was with trepidation that we set off. Well I was nervous. Bruno, despite being overdressed, seemed more confident and aloof than ever before. Once he was off the leash, I found myself hiding the thing in my pocket, but in no time Bruno was running up to every dog he saw and I'm sure I heard him mutter "Darling, look what I've got" to some mutt on a piece of string.

Later that day I met friends for coffee in Soho and Bruno, by now in a very West End mood, came too. Sitting outside Bar Italia, he attracted far too much attention (it's also a sad day when your dog is the only reason people ever give you a second look). My friend Sarah thought his makeover a triumph - "He's the Gucci pooch" - she declared.

Sadly nobody seemed to recognise the provenance of Bruno's lead but it certainly drew looks. I am not sure all of them were complimentary but when you are out there pushing the boundaries of fashion, you have to be prepared to put up with philistines. Well, that's what Bruno says

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