Diary: Harper's an early starter

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The Independent Online

We live in the age of the fashion-forward child. Witness Suri Cruise in heels, or the ubiquitous Brangelinettes. It's almost inevitable, then, that Victoria Beckham should be grooming her nine-week-old daughter Harper Seven to vogue with the best of them. After showing her latest line at New York Fashion Week, the former Spice Girl spoke to Grazia magazine, while Harper dozed nearby in a custom-made miniature version of the "Cutey Cat" print dress designed by her mother. "She loves fashion," said Victoria, pictured with her daughter. "I took her to Prada shopping the other day and I could tell she was thinking 'Mummy, I'm home'."

* In February, the Mexican ambassador in London joined the long line of complainants to the BBC over comments made by Top Gear presenters. During one especially hilarious sequence involving some men and some cars, the smallest of the famous trio, Richard Hammond, described Mexicans as "lazy, feckless, flatulent [and] overweight". Jeremy Clarkson (the tall one) and James May (the one with the hair) then characterised Mexican food as "refried sick". Ambassador Eduardo Medina-Mora Icaza immediately demanded an apology for the episode, the contents of which he called "outrageous", "vulgar", "inexcusable", "offensive", "xenophobic" and, just in case there was any confusion, "humiliating". It seems the two sides have patched up their differences, however. Last Friday was Mexican Independence Day, and the embassy held a characteristically energetic party, featuring exquisite Mexican cuisine and lashings of tequila. Among the guests at the boozy affair were Messrs Clarkson and May. My source assures me that they didn't dance, nor did they stay for long. Still, it's the thought that counts.

* To the V&A for the launch of Brutal Simplicity of Thought, Maurice Saatchi's new self-help-style tome, named after he and his brother Charles's advertising philosophy. The book catalogues examples of simple concepts that have changed the world, such as the one-page American Declaration of Independence, the three-coloured traffic light, or barbed wire. Its publication, Saatchi (M) explained, was a good example of the crap-cutting espoused on its pages. Originally planned as a large, coffee-table tome, it was cut down to size by the formidable Gail Rebuck, chief executive of publishers Random House, who sternly informed Saatchi that she wasn't interested in yet another ad man's vanity project. "We were told: it's not going to be coffee-table sized. That's far too unwieldy," he told me amusedly. "You're going to bring the price down to a tenner – just a tenner – and flog it in Sainsbury's. We just had to say 'OK. You know best'." That must be a first.

* Lib Dem lovebirds Duncan Hames (honorable member for Chippenham) and Jo Swinson (honorable member for East Dunbarton-shire) were married in May, but conveniently timed their honeymoon to clash with Nick Clegg's big conference speech today. Hames was at the party's shindig in Birmingham on Monday before the pair jetted off, and said that their honeymoon destination remained top secret – so as to prevent the couple being mobbed by paparazzi, I presume. But it's probably fair to conclude that they won't be glued to News 24 for the dear leader's address.

* Great news for the sort of "groovy" old men who like to read and then discuss rock star memoirs with literary pretensions, such as Keith Richards' Life (all of it?!), and Bob Dylan's Chronicles: Vol. I (there may never be a Vol. II; clever, eh?). Anyway, the news: Neil Young is writing his autobiography, to be published by Penguin. "I felt like writing books fit me like a glove; I started and I just kept going," says the Canadian star. "That's the way my Daddy used to do it on his old Underwood up in the attic. He said, 'Just keep writing, you never know what will turn up'." Despite the wealth of suitable book titles in his discography ("Old Man", Time Fades Away, Long May You Run, "Heart of Gold", "Rockin' In The Free World"), Young has chosen the mildly heart-sinking title Waging Heavy Peace. The book is due out in Autumn 2012.

highstreetken@independent.co.uk

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