Thursday, 2 July 2009

The elephant in the room

To say that they spend their time designing outfits that beautify and celebrate the female form, the most successful fashion designers are a breathtakingly unattractive bunch. For instance, Karl Lagerfeld looks like Billy Idol's blind granddad, and Donatella Versace resembles a hard-up porn star carved out of a giant pork scratching.

So I'm interested to see that the latest pop star to try her hand at fashion design is a woman who has a less than conventional grasp on modern beauty. Beth Ditto, a singer who is to glamour what Britney Spears is to mental health, has launched her own fashion range. And she did so in characteristically unique style, like a harlequin painted on the side of a hot-air balloon.

Thankfully, all of her funky, fashionable pals were on hand to ensure that the fashion magazines will actually run photos of the launch, rather than just Slimmer's World and perhaps the British Medical Journal.

Grabbing most of the press coverage was Kate Moss, who turned up to support her outsize pal, having successfully launched a fashion range of her own for Sir Philip Green's Top Shop chain. Interestingly though, it was Kate and her adventures in clothing design that might have inspired Beth's own foray into fashion.

Back in 2007, Beth's group The Gossip was approached to make a bunch of in-store appearances at Top Shop, presumably to lend an air of cool to the stuffy high-street brand. Unfortunately for Sir Philip, Beth uses her mouth for speaking her mind, as well as filling with cake, and she fired off a scathing response. Given that the only thing in Top Shop that might have fitted her was the changing room, Beth slated Top Shop for trying to book her band to appear in a store with no plus-size range.

She said: "I want to design, I want you to make clothes for big girls, big boys, I want you to make big sizes. I don't want just your money or the cred of hanging out with Kate Moss, which is fine, but it's not want I want in life. I want more. I want what she gets."

Thankfully, for gigantic women all over the country who want to look like they were dressed by a vengeful lunatic, Sir Philip was obviously listening. His plus-size chain Evans commissioned Beth to design an exlusive range for them.

Whether or not regular women will choose to follow in Beth's deep-set footprints remains to be seen. But at least she got her wish, right down to the specifics of hanging out with Kate. See kids, dreams do come true.


  1. It's amazing what you can get with a Dominos loyalty card.

  2. ..."a giant pork scratching." ... almost died laughing...