Why it's all <i>so</i>, like, right now

From dog yoga to 'eyelights', if it's happening in Orange County, it's coming to a town near you. Liz Choppin visits fad-central to find out what we've got in store
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The Independent Online

They're rich, spoilt and hungry for new experiences, no wonder television executives picked on the children of Orange County, California's suburban residents as the inspiration for an entire series. The result, The OC, is now a cult viewing in the UK. And if you find the antics of Ryan, Seth, Marissa and the rest of the OC gang excessive, what's going on in the real Orange County is more shocking still.

Vocab

Word on the street is that the more wholesome "kook" (retro surf-speak) is phasing out "bitch" as the insult of choice in altercations. Read: "Stay off my wave, kook!" or "Hey kook, you don't belong in the OC!" as opposed to "Welcome to the OC, bitch!" Though obviously, both would be followed by a swift right hook and a broken rib.

Exotic cocktails

Forget mojitos - rum is meant to be drunk on cheesy beach-resort holidays anyway. The drink for 2005 is a subtle lychee martini. Not only is the glass more glam, but waiting time at the bar is halved because there is no annoying mint-crushing. Drunker faster!

Pets

Very happy to report that those yappy little purse dogs (à la Paris Hilton) are having to make room for a much more pleasing pet - bunny rabbits! Floppy eared, short or long hair, it doesn't matter - they're all adorable. Plus, their little perfectly round poops are adorable too.

Cosmetic procedure

Southern California has sandal weather for most of the year. So, understandably, mutant-like feet are a source of embarrassment and should be addressed. More than ever, women are getting their second toes surgically shortened so they don't tower freakishly over the big toe. Besides, Botox parties are over now that we've learnt that the bacteria from tainted vials causes paralysis (so unattractive).

Restaurant

A huge yurt - a lightweight circular tent native to Mongolia - is home to the OC's coolest vegan eatery. You might recognise the yurt because Julia Roberts slept in one during a documentary about wild horses on PBS. Anyway, the restaurant's mission statement is: "A prosperous lifestyle in harmony with the balance of nature and its energy through the wonders of food". Pretty cool, right?

Wheels

The sports utility vehicle of the moment is the Porsche Cayenne. A bit impractical and not environmentally conscious, but who cares, because there's a waiting-list to get one. SUVs are still a big deal because, well, hybrids haven't made much of a splash this far south yet. Though Cameron and Leonardo are in on the game, so maybe it's time to rethink things.

Beauty treatment

Ground-breaking scientific advances have made "eyelights" possible - matching the streaks in your hair to the colourful flecks in your pupils. With this system, it's virtually impossible to get stuck with that washed-out junkie look, because it all comes from your very own natural palette. Awesome!

Conscientious consumer item

Most condoms contain a milk by-product called casein. This is problematic for vegans. Fortunately, there's Condomi, a vegan-friendly option without the casein. Stockpile at early 2bed. com, because now it's possible to be safe while taking a stand against the exploitation of the earth's creatures.

Canine therapy

Dogs get depressed too, so it's a good idea to stave off any negative puppy energy in case it affects the home. Various doggie indulgences, including (but not limited to) aura readings and massage are the newest way to show Fido your devotion. Those willing to go the extra mile have been known to dress up their pooches in gear available from www.puccipetwear.com. Of course, if that doesn't work, there's always pet yoga. Downward dog never looked so natural.

Drug recreation

Pills, shmills. Painkillers can lead to anti-social unconsciousness on the bathroom floor. But taking LSD and going to Disneyland; that is classic OC! Psychedelics are totally underrated.

Workouts

Dodgeball 101 at Crunch gym is the new class to be waitlisted for. Dance aerobics, pilates, yoga... yawn. There's also a hardcore bunch who head to Mexico for the Amansala Bikini Bootcamp, which takes its name from the Sanskrit words for peace and water (enlightening, plus delivers a hot bod).

Goth

I know, I know. Categorically, goths are gross and morbid; they're usually the nerds in drama club. But listen; as far as fashion goes, it's totally taking the place of boho. Think black lace, aubergine velvet and creepy Victorian jewellery - anything dark and dreary. Don't lose the tan, though; pale skin would be way too Addams Family - and not in a good, Christina Ricci way.

Hemlines

They're all moving down and out. Full skirts, tutus and petticoats - anything fluffy or floor-length. It may seem a tad frigid, but remember that this shape gives the illusion of a tiny waist and bigger boobs. Feel better?

Accessories

Please, please, for the love of God, retire your rhinestone brooches. For 2005, the look is much more rugged, with tons of wooden beads and baubles. Dump the precious prim and proper jewellery (save the occasional string of pearls, which always works) to make room for pyramid-shaped stone rings, colourful Geode sliver pendants and this year's ironic adornment... mini antlers! Wear them instead of gold anchors or horseshoes, which are so last year.

The animal print

For a brief moment in the fall, we saw leopard print dug out from the deep recesses of tackiness. Suddenly it's cool again. Whatever. It may stay with us for a spell, but the real forward-thinking OC fashionista will be scouring the shops for... dalmation. Stay tuned.

Big blooms

Is it too early to say "retro SJP, third season"? Well, this year will see a revival of the flower trend - on lapels, on heads, or dangling from diaphanous evening-gowns. As always in the OC - bigger is better.

Geek chic

A whimsical mix of argyles and plaids, stripes and hound's-tooth is the essential "alternative" uniform in the OC. It hasn't changed for the past 15 years, and it will certainly live on in 2005. Add a skateboard, polyester button-down, some obscure music references and voila - you're a major hottie ready for MTV.

Shoes

We have been slaves to the stiletto for long enough, girls. Thankfully, Vogue has decreed that wedges and stacked heels are the prime footwear of the moment - although dainty sandals with socks follow closely behind. However, the most crucial thing is that we all retire our Uggs to their final resting place. It's over, with a capital O.

SOOO OUT (OR SHOULD BE)

Chanel bags, Penguin shirts, chick-lit, Bikram yoga, utility trousers, bare midriffs (and absolutely belly rings), saying Chrismukkah, chandelier earrings, mini-skirts, sequined scarves (in fact, let's give sequins a rest in general), Kabbalah bracelets, tarot readings, nail art, the patch, the gum, the lozenge (smoking is back), John Kerry bumper-stickers (for the inland folk), talking about Schwarzenegger's sex life.

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