When Anne Boleyn first wore the French hood on the front row of the Tudor court, ye fash pack ditched their gabled headgear and copied her Parisian chic. When she engineered fuller sleeves to cover her congenital sixth finger, the Grazia editors of the day took note and disseminated advice about ermine trim.
Back to the future though, and Alexa Chung boosted eBay sales of any style-oriented item connected to her by 241 per cent last month. She's no Boleyn, but it's semi-comforting to know that our propensity to behave like fashion-forward sheep at least has a historical basis, and isn't solely thanks to Heat magazine.
Since the middle-class It-girl appeared on the March cover of Vogue sporting this season's clogs, sales of the orthopaedic heels have gone up by 195 per cent. And a pair of faded dungarees, no doubt donned in uncalculated nonchalance by the TV presenter-cum-style icon, precipitated a 75 per cent rise in popularity of the style. Of course, it just could be that lots of people are going to barn dances.
In this culture of celebrity endorsement, we're used to being exhorted by footballers to buy crisps or being writhed at by a pixellated Kate Moss selling perfume. But all it takes is Alexa going shopping in a pair of Levi's 501s for sales to go up 277 per cent on the website. Interestingly, since Kerry Katona was papped toting her tasselled handbag to the local carvery and back, sales on Ebay have fallen 100 per cent.
If only Anne Boleyn had been able to measure her popularity in the same way; it might have saved her a sticky end. Harriet Walker
That team talk in full
We may never learn what was discussed when the England team was allegedly bugged at a Hertfordshire hotel last week. The Football Association's solicitors are frantically trying to lock down tapes that are said to contain recordings of conversations between England manager Fabio Capello and key members of his squad. Not to worry; here we imagine what was said at the meeting, during which players reportedly discussed, among other things, the bonuses they are rumoured to receive if they win the World Cup.
Wayne Rooney wears a cream, organic silk waffle-weave bathrobe as he waits for a hot-stone massage. He and some of the England camp's top players are kicking back on rattan chaise longues at the Grove Hotel's Sequoia Spa.
Rooney: All right, lads, I can't wait to go to South America like – it'll be brill – but the boss says he'll give us 400 grand if we win. Taking the piss, eh? The missus spends that much a week getting her nails nice like.
David Beckham: We ain't going to Saaf America, Wayne, it's Saaf Africa, innit. It ain't much, but you can still get a lot with half a mill even in this day and age.
Rooney: Nah, s'only 400 grand, like – I told ya.
Beckham: All right, Einstein, you can still do a lot with 400 grand. I could buy Victoria, like [counts his fingers] three pairs of proper nice shoes for that. What 'bout you, Ash?
Ashley Cole: Dunno, man, How much do you think singing lessons are these days? For Chezza, ya know. Gotta win 'er back somehow.
Jermain Defoe: Leave it, Ash, she's a lost cause. All I know is I'm getting some well good new solid platinum rims for my Escalade, ya get me.
Gareth Barry: Lads, this is crazy talk. How about we do something nice for once – have a whip-round for Bridgey.
John Terry: Leave it out! I ain't giving nuffink to that muppet. He's shot himself in the foot – end of. Besides, I need all the wonga I can put me paws on. Flowers every day, that boat in Dubai and all them bikinis don't come cheap.
Beckham: Tell me about it, Tel. Don't forget, an'all, we're gonna need fancy whistles and top tans when the Queen has us round at Beckingham ... erm, Buckingham Palace for the knighthoods.
Fabio Capello (walks in wearing tracksuit and trainers): Buon giorno! Good to see you all getting together to talk the tactics. Okay, lads, time for the training of the penalties. Who's the first? Simon Usborne