Ready To Wear: I won't be put off by going head-to-head with an icon

We're off to Chesil Beach for a mini-break.

Ready To Wear: Vivienne Westwood still cuts quite a grand entrance gown

The Fashion Museum in Bath remains among this country's best-kept secrets.

Ready To Wear: Why designers love to dress pop music's leading ladies

It's official. Music's leading ladies are the new cover stars – knocking any actor/model/First Lady off the front of US Vogue, probably the world's most influential glossy magazine, not one, but two months running. In March (the "power" issue) Lady Gaga was awarded this honour.

Ready To Wear: There are tattoos – and then there are fashion tattoos

Are tattoos ubiquitous to the point where they are no longer desirable? That is the question.

Ready To Wear: There was a time when any publicity was good publicity

In London last month, Tom Ford caused an outcry when he refused to invite newspaper journalists to his autumn/winter ready-to-wear presentation.

Ready To Wear: Yves Saint Laurent's influence is everywhere

Y Not?" asked the front page of Women's Wear Daily the morning after last week's Gucci show in Milan.

Susannah Frankel: A sad end to the most glittering of careers

The first show I ever saw as fashion editor of a national newspaper was John Galliano's debut haute couture collection for Givenchy.

If Oscars were given for fashion...

There was a time when the annual Oscar red carpet was the place to see the world's most extraordinary actors parading ever more outrageous and exuberant designs.

Ready To Wear: Fashion's future stars shine at the Central Saint Martin's show

They say that creativity prospers in hard times, and if this year's Central Saint Martin's MA show was anything to go by, then that appears to be the case.

Ready To Wear: Christopher Kane is the hot ticket this Fashion Week

London Fashion Week, famed for its youthful talent, has launched the careers of everyone from Rifat Ozbek to John Galliano and from Hussein Chalayan to Alexander McQueen.

Ready To Wear: Fashion shows are becoming ever-more exclusive affairs

The new collections are currently in full flow and if, in recent times, the overriding rule has been to eschew intimacy in favour of high-profile, blockbuster presentation – generating as much publicity as possible being fashion's Holy Grail – that may be about to change.

Susannah Frankel: We fetishise the female form, and then condemn the wish to 'improve' it

Velazquez’s tautly muscular Rokeby Venus and Ingres’s fulsome Grande Odalisque are exaggerated, hyper-real and not even remotely natural

Ready To Wear: Doe-eyed and docile – the importance of not being Audrey

Does anyone actually want to look like Audrey Hepburn these days," I asked a colleague last week as yet another soon-to-be-published volume extolling the virtues of the actor's style – So Audrey: 59 Ways to Put a Little Hepburn in Your Step – landed on the fashion desk.

Ready To Wear: Will shopping with a friend bring me back down to earth?

Is shopping an activity best undertaken with an adviser in tow? A burning fashion dilemma if ever there was one, the outcome of which is as potentially hazardous as it may be fruitful.

Ready To Wear: Dressing for a deluge looks so much easier on the catwalk

Some trends are more irritating than inspiring.

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A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
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Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
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Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
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Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

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The West needs more than a White Knight

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'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
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