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picture of Helena Christensen
As usual the event kicked off with a touch of the avant-garde.

Cricket fashion week opens in style

The fashion industry's biggest names converged on Scarborough yesterday. Some of the world's sexiest celebrities were there and so too PDCC fashion correspondent Frank Oldfield. Yes, Cricket Fashion Week is here again.

Cricket Fashion Week guests could be forgiven for putting terrorism and economic uncertainty to the back of their minds as they were treated to possibly the most glamorous opening day in the event's 44 year history.

Helena Christensen was first on the Grand Hotel stage - sporting the latest MCC Ladies offering from Ralph Lauren. Seated in a bathchair that once belonged to Sir Spencer Ponsonby-Fane, she remained motionless for the duration of Frank Mills' instrumental masterpiece: Music Box Dancer.

picture of Angelina Jolie
Americans may have no idea about cricket outfields but on this occasion all is forgiven.

One suspects that the ankle-hugging, cleavage-free, grey dress, will attract derisory comments from the stewards policing entry into the Lord's Pavilion; but this will come as very good news to gentlemen who frequent the Warner and Allen Stands.

Celebrity participation has become a feature of these events and this year it had a distinctly A-List feel. American actress Angelina Jolie took to the catwalk several times to showcase Tommy Hilfiger's latest tribute to respected former TCCB boss Doug Insole.

Some of the collection - most notably Plinsole shoes - served to highlight the lack of understanding of both cricket apparel and Doug Insole so common among designers from the other side of the Atlantic. This might be entirely forgivable; but it is frustrating that we see the same mistakes year after year.

Hilfiger may have started slowly but he certainly finished well. The Cam-insole is a triumph of perseverance and was the talk of the after-show party. I would have personally preferred a livelier colour - mauve or even apricot - to the white modelled by Ms Jolie; but in many ways this is a churlish remark. The fact remains that Doug Insole looks great against any background.

Sadly the same cannot be said about Prada's much hyped Foat Coat. When will Italian fashion houses finally learn that the use of animal fur - in this case pure vole - is frowned upon by most people outside of Continental Europe?

I am reliably informed that Jim Foat had nothing to do with this monstrosity so Prada's decision can only be viewed as yet another attempt to gain credibility through seeming association with an underachieving County batsman from the seventies.

picture of the Mini-Bert
The Mini Bert is set to be the most important short cricket skirt since Mary Quant's iconic Not Arlott.

Hilfiger may have taken the critical honours on day one, however it was "militant" designer, Anna Sui, who provided the day's most versatile garment. The Mini-Bert is more than just another mini-skirt for Herbert Sutcliffe fans; it is also a refreshing alternative to the commendable though dated top trump collection by Yves Saint Laurent.