Large and in Charge
It's official: Beth Ditto is to Evans what Kate Moss is to Topshop, thanks to "Uncle Phil," as Moss calls Sir Philip Green, owner of both chains. Evans is the British high street brand that used to be subtitled "The Outsize." Ditto caused a paparazzi scrum as she led a dazzling parade of big-girl pride into a party at Sketch in London last night. Daisy Lowe, Kelly Osbourne, Yasmin LeBon, and a sprinkling of young designer friends like Hannah Marshall and Julian Smith piled in after them to celebrate a facelift for a store that's labored for decades under the reputation of label-of-last-resort for U.K. sizes 14 to 32.
Not now: The party was thronged with style-leading East London plus-size clubbers deliriously glammed to the max in Ditto's sweater dresses, blue sequin shifts, and flowery strapless bustiers. They'd been cast by Richard Mortimer of Ponystep.com (the maestro behind the now defunct club Boombox) to put the clothes through their inaugural evening of cocktails, dancing, and, as it turned out, singing. The crucial moment came when Ditto led her majorly coiffed and made-up crew into an inner bar for an impromptu karaoke session. As the Gossip singer took the mic, up jumped Kate Moss to help her lead a sing-along of Bowie's "Starman."
Just as the cacophony reached its height, in walked Simon Cowell, long-standing mate and new business collaborator of Sir Philip (they are said to be cooking up an entertainment enterprise, yet to be defined). Finding himself in the middle of a room of larger-than-life lesbians making an outsize din might be Cowell's worst nightmare, but TV's most notorious savager of bad singing managed a ten-minute grin before escaping with Green and his wife, Lady Tina Green.
As for the collection? It's a mix of eighties-meets-fifties influences, spiderweb and face motif sweater dresses, domino and flower prints, leggings, and leather jackets timed to arrive in stores and online at www.evans.co.uk on July 9. And, yes, it will ship to the U.S.