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Harvey Nichols’ fashion show

Xanthi Barker is seduced by, well, nearly everything

Published on April 6th 2011.


Harvey Nichols’ fashion show

Champagne, hair-dos and maniacal photographers whirling around me like sparks from a high-fashion firework display.

‘I try to drool slightly less during the swimwear section, which is bizarrely punctuated with a boxing sub-section, consisting of only one model, who even has a boxing dance to match his boxing gloves and D&G shorts’

Welcome to the Harvey Nichols Spring/Summer fashion show.

My peripheral vision is pierced with six-inch heels that stick like daggers into the floor of the swanky store’s espresso bar. I feel preposterously 5ft 3ins.

And I haven’t even seen the models yet.

What if their long limbs and diamond-slicing bone-structure render me as bite-size as the gourmet canapes being paraded past me by the ladies in long black uniforms? My shoes do not look shiny enough. When a pearly white grin approaches and asks me if I’d like to follow it, I’m relieved to be led into a lift and not ushered back past the swinging doors of the Victoria Quarter.

Upstairs, two long rows of chairs face inwards down a makeshift runway. Yo! Sushi sits ominously at the end and I wonder if the models will appear out of its multi-coloured mouth.

Blusher and eyebrow pencil; that is all I see for at least the first five minutes. My apologies to McQueen, Ross and Louboutin, you were upstaged.

I try to prize my eyes away from those incredible doll-like faces but the khakis are just not enough. I force myself to focus on the clothes and a striped Prada skirt. The 70s section is the first to truly draw me in, when Rupert’s teeth literally glint above his psychedelic ACNE jeans.

A Twenty8Twelve dress seduces me with some Pocahontas promise and the girl sitting next to me gasps with delight at some gladiator-sandal-gone-wild Christian Louboutin heels.

I try to drool slightly less during the swimwear section, which is bizarrely punctuated with a boxing sub-section, consisting of only one model, who even has a boxing dance to match his boxing gloves and D&G shorts. The lone man opposite me visibly sighs in relief to have something so manly to hang on to.

Finally the models are wrapped up again, in evening wear - silky and respectable - and the audience is free to clap and relax. I realise all the champagne has worn off and the opportunity for refills has passed. My belly is beginning to rumble. Luckily, a sushi dinner is served up for every guest. I take my seat beneath the neon sign, greedy for the next conveyor belt.

I liked the first runway. But this one is tastier.

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