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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The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
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Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
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How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

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Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
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Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
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Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
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Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
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On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
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The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
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Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific