Bush's niece models in Arab-themed fashion show

— President Bush's niece Lauren Bush made her first appearance on a Spanish catwalk Thursday when she modeled a simple black dress for the presentation of the label Toypes' summer 2003 collection.

The show was full of silk, linen, elaborate embroidery, and Arabic-inspired touches like turbans and traditional robes.

But a Toypes spokeswoman said stylists deliberately gave Lauren Bush a simple, nonethnic dress to avoid any political undertones.

President Bush is currently considering whether to launch an attack on Iraq to stop its alleged production of weapons of mass destruction � a prospect that has angered many in the Arab world.

Any connection with the Bush family and Arabic styles were pure coincidence, said the label's designer, Spain's Jorge Galinanes.

Lauren Bush, the daughter of President Bush's brother, Neil, was chosen to model because she is an "international personality who had never modeled in Spain," Galinanes said.

"This is fashion, not politics. You can't politicize fashion," he said.

Bush made her appearance at the end of the fashion show, walking onto the runway hand-in-hand with the designer.

She was originally slated to participate more in the show, but the 17-year-old, who is the face of Tommy Hilfiger and has appeared in numerous international fashion shows, felt sick on Thursday, the Toypes spokeswoman said.


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