IN THIS ISSUE
It’s hard to think of a tougher time than now to be a high-street fashion retailer. The chill winds of financial uncertainty make the question, ‘Do I really need that new dress?’ all too easy to answer. Not only that, but many of us will have staggered to the charity shop at one time or another with several bulging bags of discarded clothes, thinking, ‘What possessed me to buy all this stuff? I must be more discerning…’ It’s hardly surprising, then, that many retailers are feeling the pinch, slashing prices and resorting to ever more desperate measures to entice shoppers to spend. Certain fashion brands, however, are quietly bucking the trend. A clear understanding of their customers’ needs along with a beautiful, well-edited, accessibly priced offering ensures that sales continue to climb. On page 29, we meet the (female, of course) brains behind the brands that are keeping the high street buoyant. Are you watching Strictly Come Dancing? Isn’t Ruth Langsford a revelation? From week one, she’s been giving it her all, proving that she’s a Loose Woman in more ways than one. She may not be the next Ginger Rogers (yet), but you have to admire her chutzpah and good humour. On page 22 she talks hip action, hot flushes and how Saturday nights will never be the same again. Finally, if you’re itching to get your apron on this afternoon, check out Donna Hay’s recipes for teatime classics with a twist on page 68. For me, it has to be the carrot and cream cheese muffins. What about you?