New Mango plus-size range! Starting from size 12...

The high street cut itself adrift from size reality years ago

Alice Jones@alicevjones
Friday 17 January 2014 19:14

Fashion is a cruel mistress. It gives with one hand and with the other it tells you that cutaway midriff tops are in.

The latest gift to womankind comes courtesy of Mango. The high street store launched an exclusive range of plus-size clothes this week – hooray! But then it turned out that “plus size” in Mango-Land begins at size 12, which puts anything over a size 10 in the realm of the flabbily extraordinary. Odd, when you consider that the average size for a British woman is now a 16.

Does it matter? Not especially. The high street cut itself adrift from reality years ago – a size 10 in Marks & Spencer bears no relation to a size 10 in Topshop, and so on.

Labels seem to be designed to flatter or offend shoppers, rather than to help or guide them. More proof that the last thing the fashion industry is interested in is the real women who keep them in profit, with their real cash.

Hollande's feet first

There are many allegations about François Hollande to process but the oddest is that the French President has only one pair of shoes. It was these plain, black, leather lace-ups that reportedly gave the game away to the photographer who recognised the presidential feet scootering away from a liaison even as the presidential head was covered by a helmet.

If it is true, it is strange indeed, but leadership cults and myths are built on the trivial preferences of powerful men – their favourite brand of cigar or sunglasses, the colour of their tie or the hidden lifts in their shoes. Hollande’s single pair might be read by future historians as evidence of the President’s iron single-mindedness, or of his refusal to engage with anything less than highbrow, or of his meanness. Although now I suspect he might be remembered for something else entirely.

Going gadget crazy

What is it about BBC journalists and their iPads? Last autumn Simon McCoy presented a news bulletin holding a pack of computer paper he had mistaken for his Apple device. This week Nick Robinson interrupted a set-to between MPs Caroline Flint and Shailesh Vara on the Daily Politics show when Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls” started blaring out of his iPad.

It was a hilarious step up from the usual phone ringing on air gaffe, but really. This is the BBC. Impossible to imagine that all staff have not been given exhaustive, expensive training in how to marshal their gadgets. An internal inquiry must surely follow.

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