Many thanks to "Patience" for the transcript below:

Daily Telegraph
(United Kingdom)
14 December 1998


Battle dress is back. Fashion Journalist of the Year Hilary Alexander shows how you can join the chain gang.

(Small pic BAD XENA!)

One of this winter's more awesome style undercurrents is the notion of woman as warrior. This may be a long overdue tribute to Boadicea - or perhaps designers have simply been watching too many episodes of the cult saga-soap XENA:WARRIOR PRINCESS.

Alexander McQueen lit the fuse with his autumn/winter catwalk collection in February, inspired by Joan of Arc. Models wearing leather, chain mail, helmets, breastplates and articulated armour were glimpsed through blood-red flames.

Gianfranco Ferre, the extravagant Italian designer, took the theme a stage further. Naomi Campbell and Esther Canadas clanked down a steel-plated cat-walk in metal breastplates and metallic medieval gowns embroidered with burnished silver, their wrists encased in gauntlets and their encased in gauntlets and their feet in crusader boots.

The new Versace campaign, photographed by Steven Meisel, portrays Norwegian new face Sunniva brandishing a sword and surrounded by a posse of model-Wagnerian Valkyries in metal-studded velvet. Meanwhile, beauty company Oil of Ulay has even named its latest make-up collection She Knight.

Leeds designer Lynne Craster runs the fashion-metal company Ki'Nel, and boasts Melinda Messenger and Melanie Sykes among her customers. She works with a fine chain mail mesh more normally used for making industrial saftey garments, creating skirts, dresses, hats and basques.

Even if you don't fancy the full metal jacket, you can always arm yourself with a chain mail bag or scarf.

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