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Frill seeker; Meet the material girl Madonna turns to for advice, writes CATH BENNETT.


HER fashion ideas are sought out by the likes of Madonna, Kylie Minogue and Joan Collins. Now haberdashery designer Annabel Lewis, creator of VV Rouleaux, has opened a store in Scotland.

She has been hailed as the person who brought ribbons and trims back in fashion.

Bridging the divide between fashion and decorating, she supplies an unrivalled range of trimmings to fashion designers, interior decorators and those on the prowl for an original look.

Her new store in the heart of Glasgow's Merchant City is the ideal place to find hand-printed fabrics and a range of satin, velvet, ruffled and beaded trimmings.

Annabel said: 'I wanted to bring VV Rouleaux to Scotland to show people the wonderful possibilities of passementerie.

'We take trims to new heights and see no barriers between fashion and interiors.

'You can just as much wear a tassel fringe as you can put it on a chair.'

The business heralded a big change for Annabel, who a little more than a decade ago was working as a florist in London's Parsons Green.

She said: 'One weekend, out went the plants and in came roll after roll of ribbon. Everything was there - flowered, embroidered, striped, sleek and frilly-edged.'

Moving into haberdashery was a big gamble for Annabel. It was at a time when ribbons had lost their lustre and department stores no longer stocked them.

However, she was convinced that with the right quality and variety she could bring them back into fashion.

When Annabel opened her first store in London she searched worldwide for types and styles of ribbon never seen in Britain before.

She used her skills from the flower industry and knowledge of colour and texture to cast a new slant on the forgotten world of ornamental trimming, or passementerie.

From Japanese organdy to French wire-edged taffetas, her products became popular with shoppers and designers alike.

Min Hogg, editor of World of Interiors, said: 'You just couldn't get beautiful ribbons before VV Rouleaux, such a place didn't exist.'

In October 1999, Annabel opened a second shop in London and this month she branched into Scotland.

She is currently a supplier to interior designer Nina Campbell, fashion guru Julian MacDonald and several Hollywood costume designers.

Yasmin Le Bon, Madonna, Kylie, Elton John and Joan Collins have all sourced ideas under Annabel's guidance.

She said: 'VV Rouleaux is the perfect antidote to minimalism.

'It is so easy to mix textures together. I love how customers and designers become totally enthralled with the colour, textures and inspiration that they find in my shops.'


STAR ROLE: Madonna is; among the celebrity fans of VV Rouleax, whose founder, Annabel Lewis, right, has opened an outlet in Glasgow among the celebrity fans of VVRouleax, whose founder, Annabel Lewis, right, has opened an outlet in Glasgow
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 8, 2004
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