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25 July 2014
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The Clothes Show: Click for More PicturesIf the 70's was the decade that taste forgot, the 80's was when the British public discovered their sense of style - or at least the purchasing power to get it.

With Dynasty and Dallas showing us how to dress for success and pop's New Romantics being liberal with eyeliner and lace, the high street began to respond to the public's passion for fashion. Before long Auntie Beeb decided to get in on the act and offer its own pearls of wisdom. So, on 13th October 1986, The Clothes Show was born.

Selina Scott, the Queen of Breakfast TV, and style guru Jeff Banks were recruited to demystify the world of fashion. The idea was to mix reports from the catwalk with items on how to delude yourself you could achieve model looks and still have change from a twenty pound note. The show was an instant hit.

Selina and Jeff were joined by Caryn Franklin, a designer for Wrangler and Ravel and the fashion editor for I-D magazine. Despite her pedigree she was often relegated to the less glam jobs while Selina and Jeff jetted off to Paris and Milan. But with Selina soon too busy to do anything but provide an intro, our Caryn was able to step centre stage and shine.

As for the look of the show, this was the era of yoof television and MTV, when random camera work and pop up facts assaulted the eyes and brain.

The combination of pop tunes, gorgeous models and celeb guests such as the Roly Polys, Leigh Bowery and Kim Wilde proved a winner. There was also a genuine sense that it was your show, with members of the public being given a makeover or the chance to become The Clothes Show Bride of the Year.

Such was its success in that in 1989 the show went the road for the first Clothes Show Live! event. The glamorous Birmingham NEC provided the backdrop for all the usual features, with the work of Trevor Sorbie and co. producing a record number of new looks, good, bad and ugly. For the complete Clothes Show junky there was also The Clothes Show Magazine.

The Clothes Show format stood the test of time, and various changes of line-up - other presenters during the show's run included Margerita Taylor, Tim Vincent and Brenda Emmanus.

Without The Clothes Show, What Not To Wear's Trinnie and Susannah may just have had to keep their pithy comments to themselves.

Clothes Show Video Clips
Video Titles  In The Night with the Pet Shop Boys.
Video Leigh Bowery  Shopping with the bizarre Eighties guru.
Video Barmaids  Britain's most glamorous barmaids. Apparently.
Video The Larger Lady  Girls, there is glamour beyond size 12!
Video The Iron Man  A man who irons clothes for a living.
Video Selena meets Maggie  Selena Scott's trip to Number 10.
Video Next Week...  Selena tells us what treats she has.
Video Magazine  Sadly defunct.
Video Magazine 2  In all good waiting rooms.
Video Bazaar  Other fashion programmes are available.
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