Anything Brazilian is quite fashionable in London just now, but not as fashionable as anything to do with London is in Brazil - or at least London of a sort. The latest issue of the fashion bible published six times a year by Daslu, Brazil's equivalent to Harvey Nichols, celebrates Cool Britannia. London is still a place com muito swing.
This is praise indeed coming from Daslu, the legendarily groovy Sao Paulo shopping emporium. The only fashion store in the world where no men are allowed, it is packed with wealthy Brazilian ladies of all ages running around naked trying on designer clothes. Because men can't get past the doors, there is no need for changing rooms. So acres of tanned, surgically enhanced flesh are proudly displayed. Shoppers are waited upon by assistants in French maids' uniforms.
These women are lapping up Daslu's British theme this month. Alongside the store magazine's recommendations for the Berkeley Hotel, the beauty salon on Harrods' fifth floor, Selfridges Food Hall and a super-trendy antique shop in Covent Garden called Eat My Handbag Bitch are endorsements for British Airways and the UK tourist board (or "Visit Britain", as it now seems to be known abroad).
According to Revista Daslu, the best things about Britain include Big Ben, Bentley cars, afternoon tea, fog, kilts, lamb with mint and potatoes, Ballantyne sweaters, Sherlock Holmes, pubs, Peter Pan, Virginia Woolf, the Duke of Windsor, navy blue blazers and arrogance. Granted particular prominence are Hugh Grant ("sex symbol"), Fatboy Slim ("most famous DJ in the world"), Morrissey ("that poet of indie rock"), Sean Connery ("the sexiest man of the 20th century") and John Galliano ("extraordinario!"). The nostalgia for the 1960s, with eulogies to the Rol- ling Stones, Twiggy and Carnaby Street, wouldn't look out of place on BBC4.
The magazine explains the art of being a British lady. She should be leggy ("a physical attribute which the English adore"), she should hold an account with Coutts and she should have a London residence in a "middle-class area on the wrong side of the Thames - like Vauxhall or Battersea".
She should marry a banker or a photographer who works for Tatler and she should take courses in French, cordon bleu cooking and flower arranging. She should not be afraid to mix "punk boots" with Pringle sweaters. She always asks for pudding, never dessert.
Outside London, a lady visits places such as "esplendida Chatsworth House", where she favours country clothes: galochas Wellington e capa encerada marca Barbour. If she wants to reproduce the experience when she gets home, Miss Marple tweed jackets trimmed with fox fur, T-shirts emblazoned with coats of arms, and diamante jewellery dedicated to the memory of Diana, Princess of Wales are available at Daslu's Sao Paulo store.
A lady will also hunt, fish and shoot. The highlight for her, if we believe the magazine, will be a photo shoot on location at the Lartington Estate in the Pennines, where slick, bronzed teenage models (whom one would expect to be more used to G-strings than to grouse) pose in Gucci boots and furs next to estate managers in Harris tweed and Hunter wellies. A cowboy-hatted Mariana nonchalantly throws her Miu Miu stole over her shoulder, rifle slung in the crook of her arm, tiger-skin Gucci handbag nestled in the heather. Nearby, two hunting dogs sniff her picnic basket. Tartan rugs, flat caps and a Thermos of Earl Grey: this is what Brazilian babes dream of when they are lying on the beach.