Susannah Frankel

Susannah Frankel is Fashion Editor at The Independent.

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Ready To Wear: Is Barbie London Fashion Week’s most unusual backer?

It's a good season for cartoon heroines. As if it's not enough that Minnie Mouse is currently the source of inspiration for one-off designs by names including Giles Deacon, Richard Nicoll, Piers Atkinson and Meadham Kirchhoff (that's quite a roll call – and it's for charity), Louise Gray's show, which takes place at London Fashion Week later today, is sponsored by Barbie.

Susannah Frankel: Red shoes conjure up Hans Christian Andersen and Dorothy’s ruby slippers

New season. New shoes. And my latest purchase represents something of a departure. Far from neatly fitting in with the dark, distressed looks that I have been known on occasion to favour (ahem), my new shoes are happy shoes. Happy shoes, happy feet. And not in a cute-dancing-penguin sort of way.

Purple may be the colour of the gods but both Christopher Kane (in London) and Miuccia Prada (in Milan) threw caution to the wind by covering their catwalks in it and sending out clothes to match

Ready To Wear: Purple reign: the regal colour sweeps in for autumn

"I am a mortal, a man; I cannot trample upon these tinted splendours without fear thrown into my path," Agamemnon tells Clytemnestra in Aeschylus' famed Greek tragedy, before stepping on to the purple carpet that signifies the beginning of his downfall nonetheless.

Susannah Frankel: 'A big coat has the happy effect of making the person inside it look small'

Autumn, season of mists, mellow fruitfulness and new coats. And this season, coats are big – they are very big. That is good news for all of us who embrace the appeal of the space between a garment and its wearer, as long upheld by the Japanese designers, in particular Comme des Garçons' Rei Kawakubo.

There's eyes for every fashion show, even the most innovative ones

Ready to Wear: Everyone should be exposed to the most innovative fashion shows

At the end of last month, the New York Times ran an article begging the question, “Are trends passé”? According to fashion blogger Garance Doré, “they are not as they used to be – the days when things were 'in' or 'out' are long gone”. And that's true: in a saturated market, there's something for everyone, which makes economic, if not always creatively inspiring, sense.

Susannah Frankel: 'Around 2,500 people joined a waiting list for Sisley’s anti-ageing cream'

It's always a good thing when an eye-wateringly expensive beauty brand provides a product junkie with the perfect excuse to indulge. And Sisley, certainly among the finest eye-wateringly expensive beauty brands in the world, has done just that, launching its 'Become a Friend of the Heart Yard' campaign.

Crocs

Ready to Wear: 'My mum wouldn't be caught dead in Crocs. Me? I wear them to the shops'

"I can't believe you're wearing Crocs," says my mother, who is far too chic a woman to ever think of so doing herself.

To boldly go... the trends laid bare

Big shapes, bigger baubles and a brave spirit dominate the new season's collections, says Susannah Frankel. Dare to wear these clothes

Chanel's autumn 2012 collection

Smells like Chanel's spirit

The prestigious Parisian house has launched a new fragrance that is every bit as dark and decorous as the label's illustrious founder, says Susannah Frankel

These are not women who rely on being either pencil thin, preternaturally tall or studiously aloof to carry their clothes

Ready To Wear: The real beauty of carnival is being happy in your own skin

Unlike many of the residents of London's Notting Hill, I stay put at carnival time. No escaping to sunnier or rural climes for me on the occasion of this, the biggest street party of the year.

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These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
Glasgow girl made good

Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
The landscape of my imagination

The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories