Life and Style
 

Closure of Aubin & Wills is another sign that shoppers have tired of  high-end collegewear

Orange suits on Savile Row? Outrageous

Young designers are rediscovering classic tailoring and the value of a prestigious address.

Mulberry hopes to stamp its mark on the alternative market

Coveted brand: Mulberry, the luxury leather goods maker which sees itself as Britain's answer to designers like Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Ralph Lauren, plans to join the Alternative Investment Market. Its successful marketing of leather goods, home furnishings and clothes in classic English country style more than doubled sales to pounds 25.3m in the five years to 1995. At least 70 per cent of its output is exported each year.

looks

The prices of the clothes shown here are sky high, but happily immaterial. What matters is the ideas, for they are the ones that will lead fashion this spring and summer from the top of the market to the bottom

PETER YORK ON ADS; No 110: SEKONDA

ADVERTISING is increasingly in the business of yoking big, windy themes to small, particular things. Pre-Christmas is when the watches appear, usually in ads of stunning banality - but this year Sekonda's got a Big Theme.

village of the damned good bargain

SHOPPING at Bicester Village is probably the nearest thing to pillage available in Oxfordshire today. A cutely "architect designed" cluster of shopping units outside the small town of the same name, Bicester is Britain's first upmarket American-style discount centre. Retailers sell off their surplus stock here at reduced prices; the majority of the outlets sell quality clothes. A trip here is a serious business requiring speed and ruthlessness. Because all the stock is surplus from regular high street and shopping-centre stores, supplies are limited. It's first come first served, and shoppers are well aware of it. Dithering in Monsoon over a feather-light lilac jumper in a spider-web knit (pounds 35.95 from pounds 65), one woman asked her friend if they should come back later. "Take it now!" snapped her friend. "If you come back later it might not be here."

Turn me on

unisex perfumes

Six of the best socks Sock it to 'em

Socks and Father's Day, it's an inevitable combination. So if you're going to put your foot in it, why not go the extra yard and buy him a pair with a toe-curling design or price tag

A Clint-meets-Ralph-Lauren dance

Line dancing, new country-style, has arrived in Britain. Bernardine Coverley reports

Sassenachs, strut that plaid with pride

You may not be a Campbell or a MacLean, but you still have every right to wear a tartan, says Susan Irvine

Would David have looked even better in Armani?: Leisl Schillinger reads a dissertation on the sexiness of men in suits

TOGA? Sexy. Prayer gown? Not sexy. Coat of mail? Sexy. Coat of many colours? Not sexy. Armani suit? Sexy. Birthday suit? Not sexy.

View from City Road: Goldman move calls for guesswork

Punting on the bond or stock markets for its own account (proprietary trading) is one thing; but to see New York's pre-eminent investment bank metamorphosing into an entrepreneurial investor in the glamorous world of high fashion and multimedia is quite another.

A sharp look for the sound of the jungle: They'll be wearing Ralph Lauren, Versace and Armani at the Notting Hill Carnival. Sarah Callard sees high fashion get a street beat

Oz has declared that 'this year's will be a junglist carnival'. Oz is a designer and the owner of Against All Oz, a shop in Ladbroke Grove, west London, that sells 'street fashion with a ragga vibe'. The music, a strange hybrid of hip-hop break beats and ragga samples, grew out of the hardcore rave scene and has been the underground club sound in London for the last two years. At the Notting Hill Carnival tomorrow, expect to see junglists alongside the extravagant Jamaican ragga styles that dominated last year. The jungle look is more practical and streamlined; it would be impossible to dance to jungle music wearing some of the more over-the- top, bulky, layered ragga outfits. The clothes are as eclectic as the music, with influences from ragga, hip hop, casual wear and high fashion. The men have chosen traditional jeans (Armani if they can afford them, Levi if not) and Ralph Lauren tops, while the girls wear the sexy, body-conscious clothes by high- glitz, high-fashion designers Versace, Ralph Lauren, Armani and Moschino.

Goldman steps on to the catwalk with Ralph Lauren

Goldman Sachs, the investment bank, has become the first outside investor in Polo Ralph Lauren, the fashion group, buying a 28 per cent stake for dollars 135m ( pounds 89.5m). The founder and chairman, Ralph Lauren (pictured above at a showing of recent designs), and his deputy, Peter Strom, own the remaining 72 per cent of the company. Goldman is the company's financial advise.

Fashion: Strapped for a proper dress: Let's face it: most women won't be wearing these itsy bitsy teeny things this season. If you're a size 6 and not prone to the cold, enjoy, enjoy. Otherwise, envy, envy

Part of this summer's big adventure is dolly daydream, all long coltish legs, skinny arms and sun-scorched neck. Dressed in her teeny weeny dress, cut thigh-grazingly high, today's Lolita has an enviably effortless style.
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