Actress Emma Watson raised eyebrows with her admission that she owns only eight pairs of shoes. The Independent's Assistant Fashion Editor thinks she's got it just right

The Diary

His polo has sparked a turf war and the horse has bolted at his investment trust

Jimmy Choo feud: Tamara sticks boot in on mother with £5m action

They say that a foxy pair of heels can give a woman a lot of confidence. It therefore makes sense that Tamara Mellon, the entrepreneur behind Jimmy Choo shoes, has confidence in spades. It showed when she divorced her husband, the Pittsburgh banking heir Matthew Taylor Mellon III, in 2005. It showed again a year ago when she took him to court, accused of hacking into her computer. He was released on the grounds that he was too stupid to have done it – he must have been wearing something scuffed from Clark's. It showed, too, when she named her daughter Araminta Mellon, which some recall as a 1970s dessert.

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Fashion: Putting the boot in - everywhere

Knee-high, spike-heeled or wafer-soled, a sharp pair of boots is a wise buy. This one will run and run, but before you splash out, follow Rebecca Lowthorpe's advice and match your look to your leg shape

Before the week is out: See this

ALRIGHT, SO you're not going to make it onto the front row, but you can still go to London Fashion Week - or at least the London Fashion Week-End. Tickets are available for catwalk shows on Saturday and Sunday, with major designers such as Amanda Wakely, Ben di Lisi and Jimmy Choo showing their autumn/winter '99 collections. And if you see anything you like enough, the on-site Designer Sale will gladly relieve you of your cash.

Fashion: Slick slidin' away

Sleek and simple is a look I haven't managed since I sat my A- levels, discovered boys and started eating normally. One minute I was slinking around in my Breakfast at Tiffany's-style black sleeveless number with my mother's black suede elbow-length gloves (and this was just for an English class) and the next ... things just didn't fit the same. Sleek is not a look that lends itself to tugging at your clothes or undoing your waistband. Sleek is also not a huge look this autumn - designers would rather we festoon ourselves with leaves, tooled leather shoes and stripey scarves. But sanity comes in the shape of the funnel neck. This is the neck shape to go for - forget polo, turtle or V-necks and don't worry because - unless you have an Anne Boleyn neck - it suits everyone. It is a gloriously understated detail, which is the trademark of the truly chic.

Style Police: It's a jungle out there

Animal prints are loud and excessive this autumn. Think Bet Lynch on a bad day, says James Sherwood

Fashion: Tailor maid

Serena Kelsey tailors suits, but her clients aren't all barristers and businessmen. Rebecca Lowthorpe sits in on a fitting

Party on: Cayte Williams

The opening night of the newly revamped Clapham Grand was more of a scrum than a party. The former Woodrow-designed live-music venue has been resurrected by the Leopard Club to dramatic effect. One needs at least four vodka tonics to open the fake fur doors that lead to the dance floor. The offer of free drinks all night palled as customers were asked to pay for their refreshments. Even the VIP lounge was reserved for "the brewery and members of the family", whatever that means. Mrs Bates and I were not used to such things. Perhaps Jodie Kidd, "Transformer" the eight-foot drag queen and a thin blonde with unfeasibly large breasts had better luck. Exclusivity was not the word.

Fashion: Made to pleasure

SATELLITES OF Fashion at the Crafts Council explores the relationship between accessory designers and craftsmanship. Philip Treacy, Emma Hope, Lulu Guinness, Patrick Cox, Stephen Jones, Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo all consider themselves to be both craftsman and designers, and are represented here with the slickest in the industry.


From its workwear origins, it has been the fabric of rebellion, worn by moody teenagers in the Fifties, dope-smoking hippies in the Sixties and, in the Seventies, anarchist punks. Now denim is reinventing itself. Instead of dressing down in blue jeans, you can dress up in denim pedal pushers and strappy dresses, sprinkled with diamante

Fashion: Shopping with...Lisa Armstrong - The tailors of Carnaby St revealed

LISA ARMSTRONG, fashion features director at Vogue, hasn't bought a shirt in "oooh, ages". When she does buy one though, she will shop anywhere for it - from such diverse places as the schoolwear department of John Lewis to the "madly expensive but really fantastic" Yohji Yamamoto.

Fashion: The history of... The Mary Jane shoe: Called to the bar

BUTTON your shoe, girls. The most directional style for autumn/winter 1998/99 is the Mary Jane, this time in a flat, pointy-toed incarnation. What defines this dainty style is the "bar" - a single-buttoned strap across the top of the foot which dates back to the turn of the century. The name comes from the shoes worn by Mary Jane, a character from the Buster Brown comic strip (drawn by R F Outcault) which first appeared in the New York Herald in 1902. Little girls everywhere clamoured for them, and until the late Fifties they were a must-have style for both boys and girls.

Design: Go on, I know you want to

`I think of women's shoes as a matter of aesthetics.' The novelist Geoff Nicholson explains his obsession


During London Fashion Week, Marks & Spencer is sponsoring the work of young British designers, under the tag of fashion's "New Generation".
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