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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Day In a Page

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The super-rich now live in their own Elysium

They breathe better air, eat better food, take better medicine
A generation of dropouts failed by colleges

Dropout generation failed by colleges

£800m a year wasted on students who quit courses before they graduate
Entering civilian life 'can be like going into the jungle' for returning soldiers

Homeless Veterans appeal

Entering civilian life can be like going into the jungle
Sam Taylor-Johnson: Woman on top

Sam Taylor-Johnson: Woman on top

Fifty Shades of Grey director on bringing the hit to the screen
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch