The past few weeks have been full of surprises. During fashion week, many companies send you pressies to make you feel better and keep you happy, as it's such a difficult life trudging from one show to another (I should imagine it's similar to working down a coalmine). So, where were we? Oh yes, pressies. Most PRs organise a little giftette that they place on your seat, usually choccies, which most editors pretend not to eat, as one does not want to look like a gutsagoffin, does one? But, when the lights go down, you hear the rustle of sweetie papers and loud chomping noises. Then, when the show is over, the piggy culprits are revealed, because they're the people you see with choccie all around their chops, although they try to kid you that it's the latest Chanel lip colour. Then there's the booze. You may be lucky and get the odd bottle of voddie or gin, which makes for a grand re-run of the above with a few added staggers thrown in. Finally, if you are extra lucky and special, like myself, you may get the essential must have for this winter - a pair of fluffy chenille gloves. Gosh, how fab! Just what I needed - where's the chocolate?

I HAVE to admit, I fall into the piggy category with trotters, too. I've eaten sooo much chocolate over the past week that I've turned the same colour as my top which - yes you've guessed it - is yet another freebie. You may remember Simon from the Seventies (I'm sure my Mum in her trendy, hip days when she had an afro and a child hanging off each hip used to wear little T-shirts by Simon). Apparently, Simon was a cult name, renowned for desirable, understated fashion back then. Thankfully, the original designs have been updated for the Nineties and include ten different styles (left) in a variety of colours from baby blue and white. Prices start from pounds 25. Unfortunately, the women's range won't be available in the shops until January 1998. We wait with baited breath, Simon. For enquiries telephone 0181 961 1800.

THERE'S nothing worse than a designer, or normal human being for that matter, who is sooo up his/her own backside that they lose sight of what their job involves, and why they have decided to spend the better part of pounds 40,000 and put on a show at London Fashion Week in the first place. My sources have revealed that a particular designer was so concerned about her own appearance, she insisted that the hair and make-up artists (obviously employed to make the beautiful models even more beautiful), give her the full works. Pouting and purring in the mirror, she ignored what was going on with the rest of backstage and then, to top it all, insisted upon a re-touch before her grand finale on the catwalk! How sad, we all like to look good but that takes the biscuit.

SHOPS, shops, shops galore. That clever man Paul Smith has opened a store (above) at 84-86 Sloane Avenue, London SW3. Gone are the traditional, dark, wooden and rather masculine surroundings synonymous with the other Paul Smith shops. In with with the minimal approach - steel, glass, space, horsehair! The accessories are housed in safe-like cabinets which have magnified optical chambers - to stop anyone having a little tea leaf, no doubt - and perfect if you're short-sighted. Anyway, the shop stocks both women's and men's clobber - go visit now.

I mentioned the launch of Lambretta clothing a couple of months ago. If you have had problems getting hold of the latest gear, don't worry, you can now visit the new shop at 22a Fouberts Place, off Carnaby Street, London W1, 0171 437 7070. Jam fans eat yor heart out. That's raspberry jam all right.

RUMOUR has it that cool designer Hussein Chalayan's backers decided to pull out of his show at the last minute. How mean of them. But fret not, his knight in shining armour was, apparently, Mr Alexander McQueen, no less.

Comments