Wednesday, June 27, 2007

My life in shopping

Clare Waight Keller, creative director

Does shopping cheer you up?

Absolutely. I don't know who it doesn't cheer up, as long as you've got money in the bank.

What's your secret shopping tip?

I just couldn't live without my dry cleaner, Washington Dry Cleaners on Half Moon Street in Mayfair. He is just fantastic. I still go out of my way to use him. Once you have found someone who can look after your clothes, you have to move with them, like a hairdresser.

How would you describe your shopping style?

I like browsing and taking my time but I occasionally buy something on impulse - and I always regret it. I have such a strong visual sense that I do enjoy just walking around looking at things. Usually I hang on to things I buy for a very long time; I don't buy things for one season.

What are your rules of shopping?

Don't go shopping when you are angry or depressed because you always buy something you shouldn't - either too much food or too many clothes.

What items are always in your basket at the supermarket?

Organic cheese and yoghurt.

Do you always shop alone?

Always, unless it's for food.

What's your guiltiest purchase?

Vintage jewellery. I bought a really beautiful gold bracelet in Paris, something I didn't necessarily need but wanted. I would say it was more than I normally spend but vintage jewellery is an investment - that's how I justify it anyway.

Which one purchase can't you get through the week without?

Tea. I drink a particular one from Paris - called Marco Polo - and always stock up whenever I go.

* Clare Waight Keller is creative director of Pringle of Scotland.

Summer sundress glamour

After tea dresses, prom dresses, peasant dresses and maxi dresses, this is shaping up as the summer of the simple sundress. It is hard to say exactly what distinguishes a sundress from any other kind of dress - but suffice to say, it is a style to be worn only on unambiguously hot and sunny days. But as Lily Allen shows, they look best when they require no cover-up and the details of the dress do the talking, such as the giant bow on Hoss Intropia's tiered number. We know of no rules that say that a sundress can't have a straight skirt, but somehow fuller styles suit the carefree feel. All will work well with a flat or higher heel (wedges, not spindly ones, naturally) and many are suitable for work. So you can carry that graceful, insouciant vibe into the office, too.

John Mayer: "Design and manufacture a staple to help keep fajitas securely wrapped. Call it "The Fajita Staple." Make it strong, perhaps hewn from solid steel. Tangs must be very sharp so as to pierce steak or chicken, or in some cases fish. Can we get it into Rite-Aid by Christmas?"

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Clare Coulson takes a look at the hottest trends, music and innovative styles

The Harlow jean 18th Amendment's new style is already tipped to be a bestseller and goes on sale next month at Brown's Focus. A classic take on the 1970s flare, but without the scary ultra-high waist.
Easy dresses New online label Agogo ( goes live today. Look out for the coral Cannes Cannes sundress. Bi La Li, meanwhile, has created a capsule collection for, including tulip-shaped dresses.
British knits There's no stopping Clare Waight Keller's brilliant restyle of Pringle. The brand has just hired super-snapper Steven Meisel to shoot its autumn collection.
Pretty summer dresses and clompy sandals A look still going strong one year on - as worn by Yasmin Le Bon at the Royal Academy's summer party.
Roberto Cavalli The Italian maximalist has hired Pete Doherty to star in his autumn campaign. Will the gangly rocker be able to work all that Italian bling?
Cup cakes Time to move on to a lighter treat. A new branch of the French patisserie, Laduree, purveyor of divine macaroons, has just opened in Burlington Arcade.
Bikinis There's no time to get that bikini body. Invest in one of Princess Tam Tam's super chic swimsuits instead.
Inappropriate elevation How does a heel-obsessive dress for the sports field? In this summer's high-heel plimsolls, of course. Victoria Beckham gave the look its debut on Monday when she threw the first pitch of the LA Dodgers' game against the New York Mets.
Body Con Dressing It was dazzling on skinny models on the catwalks, but this look is seriously perilous in real life. Even whippet-thin Ellen Barkin couldn't pull it off.


He might not be a fixture at summer's smartest events but rugby star Jonny Wilkinson certainly knows how to look the part

Henley Royal Regatta

Cotton blazer, also in navy/white, J399. Hampstead-collar cotton shirt, J89. Cotton, military chinos, also in stone, khaki, blue, tan, brown, navy, J75. Silk, club-stripe tie, assorted colours, J59.

Canvas Bengal-striped belt, assorted colours, J29. Classic Panama, J59. Cotton socks, assorted colours, J12. 'Spectator' shoes, also in black/white, by Crockett & Jones, J255. Handkerchief, assorted colours, J9.