They look good on the uber-trendy child models in the ad campaign, and you know they'd look good on your offspring, too. As of yesterday morning, any pampered kid aged between the ages of 0 and 10 can work their new look from Stella McCartney – or more specifically, Stella McCartney for GapKids and BabyGap – while sipping their babyccinos. It's another coup for Gap, which has a successful history of bringing designers like Pierre Hardy and Roland Mouret on board to give their adult clothing some cutting edge. And when Hit & Run frisked the rails at 8am when the first collection hit stores yesterday morning, it looked like Stella had scored the chain yet another hit. She's designed exactly the sort of retro-cool clothes that will appeal to the adults buying the clothes.
There are woollen babygros in gender-neutral grey; colourful hi-tops transported straight from the Eighties (or maybe from Shoreditch, where they're still favoured by people who grew up under Thatcher); windcheaters in "off" shades of muddy pink and mustard yellow. Clamouring mums at H&R's local branch are demanding to know when the star looks, a pink tutu and a military jacket which may or may not have been inspired by Stella's friend Chris Martin, will be in store (not for two weeks). It's all very middle class and tasteful: muted colours, no giant "GAP" slogans written across the bum, no sign of fleece. It's also pricey. A quick straw poll of breathless shoppers reveals bills of £65 (for two miniscule babygros), £40 (one windcheater) and £120 (three items for a four-year-old child). For clothes that will be outgrown in, ooh, six months. The lingering question is, though, have things gone a bit skew-whiff when a child's coat is described as having the "utility of a classic epaulette trench"? What about the quaint idea of children not really knowing about fashion until they're older? Will this generation of iPod-wielding, Starbucks-sipping, trenchcoat-wearing smallies be able to distinguish their childhood from their adulthood at all?
Some of us didn't wear cashmere until we were well into our 20s: what deprived childhoods we must have had. Not a thread of merino wool, not a sniff of a designer label. But this is 2009, and children have a human right to luxury too. Clare Dwyer Hogg
Talk Irish to me baby
Didya ever hear the like? Pollsters have asked 5,000 women "worldwide" to name the sexiest accent on a man's lips, and were told it's an Irish one. For eons, a French accent was the surest non-financial asset a chap could have in parting a lady from her foundation garments. Now it's in fourth place, behind Italian and Scottish.
Terry Wogan, Frank Delaney, Anthony Clare, Henry Kelly and Gloria Hunniford once dominated the airwaves. A new generation has brought the unique lilt of Hiberno-English to a wide audience: Dara O'Briain, Colin Farrell, Cillian Murphy, Glen Hansard ... What is it about an Irish voice? That musical rise and fall (Dylan Moran)? The tone of surprise (Ed Byrne)? An undertone of passion (Bob Geldof)? Or the suggestion that you're being charmed out of behaving sensibly by a just-plausible (step forward, Colin) Celtic scoundrel? John Walsh
2012: worst film this year?
Sony is pulling out all the PR stops for '2012' Roland Emmerich's apocalyptic movie. But from the divorcée (Amanda Peet) who predictably falls back in love with her ex (John Cusack) to the stereotyped Chinese peasants doomed to die, it's terrible. Why, then, was there so much applause at the end of the press screening H&R saw? As the assembled hacks dashed for the doors, hands were firmly in pockets; Sony Pictures hasn't denied suggestions that the clapping came not from journalists but the cinema's own sound system. 2012 is out next Friday; see it at your peril. Jamie MerrillReuse content