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Soapy bubble on the tracks

It's been a good week for … mingers

It's been a good week for … mingers

Male model Nick Kamen helped make denims de rigeur by not wearing them, stripping off in a laundrette to wash his Levis in the legendary 1985 TV advert.

Turns out he'd got it all wrong. Levi boss Chip Bergh, 56, says he would never let his favourite jeans anywhere near soap and water. His favourite jeans are a year old. "I know that sounds totally disgusting," he admitted, "but I have yet to get a skin disease or anything else."

How about friends, Chip? Got any of them? Bergh went on: "If you talk to real denim aficionados, they'll tell you, don't wash your blue jeans."

His comments have sparked a social network fashion debate: hygiene or dry jeans? Why everyone's getting into such a lather over their breeks seems a little extreme, but it does highlight how obsessed we have become about washing. A generation ago, lads would have been delighted for any excuse not to engage with soap and water.

Today I share a home with a young man who is never out of the shower and takes an active interest in hair products. He is capable of sporting three T-shirts in the one day and thinks nothing of tossing jeans worn just once into the laundry pile. But then, he doesn't have to process said laundry. Things will no doubt change when the services enjoyed at the parental B&B are no longer available. Washing your troosers down the laundrette isn't quite as glamorous as Kamen, below, led us to believe.

It's been a bad week for … trains

The French have always been a bit smug about their rail services, including their highly successful TGV trains. But it's not always a smooth ride. France's train operator, SNCF, has been left with a visage rouge after discovering that 2000 new trains it ordered at a cost of €15 billion apiece (£12.1bn) are too wide for many regional station platforms. The blunder has so far cost more than €50m (£40.6m) to rectify, and that figure is likely to rise even further.

The error seems to have happened because the national rail operator RFF gave the wrong dimensions to the train company. Oops.

Transport minister Frederic Cuvillier blamed an "absurd rail system" for the problems, saying: "When you separate the rail operator from the train company, this is what happens." Being separated from a tape measure and basic maths doesn't help either.

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Fashion

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