Life and Style
 

French Sole is celebrating 25 years with its first non-London store – it’s time to slip in to spring, says Rebecca Gonsalves

Armed and ready: Coat £59, marksandspencer.com

Style File: Nothing up your sleeve

Free your arms and give sleeves the chop with this season’s new take on outerwear, says Emma Akbareian

Printed matters: Model wears leather jacket £2,700, leather overalls £1,900; Acne @ Liberty, available now from Liberty, Regent Street, London W1, liberty.co.uk

Style File: Taking Liberty

A hook-up with the Swedish brand Acne is bringing London’s offbeat department store up to date, says Rebecca Gonsalves

Model wears: t-shirt £100, skirt with braces £165; Claudie Pierlot, claudiepierlot.com

Style File: Paris match

The French invasion of the premium high street continues thanks to Claudie Pierlot, but this is no young pretender, says Emma Akbareian

Model wears: trousers £39.50, jumper £39.50, bag £29.50, shoes £25, all Limited Edition, marksandspencer.com

Style File: True colours

Get in primary position this season, says Rebecca Gonsalves

The designers Christopher de Vos (left) and Peter Pilotto

Style File: Pretty in print

Peter Pilotto’s multicoloured universe of print is a London Fashion Week highlight. Now, with a collaboration for the mass-retailer Target, they have their sights set on dressing the world, says Alexander Fury

Life in full colour: Model wears: jacket £125, shirt £40, shorts £45, all John Lewis & Co, johnlewis.com

Style File: It’s a collector’s market for colour

The future looks bright for John Lewis, thanks to the spring offering from its successful menswear label, says Lee  Holmes

3i takes £14m writedown on retailer Hobbs

Britain's oldest private-equity firm has written down the value of its investment in the retailer Hobbs because of poor trading over the festive period.

Agent Provocateur

Style File: Domestic goddess (in Agent Provocateur)

Agent Provocateur has teamed up with photographer Miles Aldridge to shoot its latest lingerie collection, writes Rebecca  Gonsalves

India's parody rape ‘it's your fault’ video sends a message to us all about the ways victims are blamed

The uncomfortable truth is that we still find similar attitudes towards rape in the West with disturbing regularity

Suspenders £40; ‘Rosalyn’ bra £45, briefs £26

The Cruz lingerie control: Penelope and Monica direct promotional video of their lingerie line L'Agent

Spanish stars Penelope and Monica Cruz are behind a beautiful new Agent Provocateur lingerie line, says Rebecca Gonsalves

How We Met: Serena Rees & Jan Pienkowski

'Something would always go wrong at his parties. One year something caught fire'

Lowe says: 'I go into nude shoots as another character. If I went in as little old me I wouldn't have the confidence to do it'

Daisy Lowe: 'I'd rather be nice and warm at home than go out and get drunk'

Getting snapped at fashion events is part of the package – even if the pictures that come out [in the media] can sometimes be bad. I wish you could delete bad photos in newspapers, like you can [untag them] on Facebook.

Babur in London, The Haymarket, Basingstoke

"I think opera needs to be part of the cultural landscape... If we only make opera about Martians who live on the moon, then it's deeply unsatisfactory." So believes John Fulljames directing Babur in London, his last production for The Opera Group before joining the Royal Opera House. The uncompromising slice of reality premiered at Basingstoke pending a countrywide tour before hitting India concerns four homegrown terrorists Mo, Faiz, Nafisa and Saira on the eve of their suicide mission. Strangely, considering the project's extensive consultations with Islamic scholars to avoid offence, celluloid has been there ahead of them with Chris Morris's 2010 achingly funny and touching Four Lions, about four incompetent British jihadists. 

Agent Provocateur launches 'classics' range

To those of us who own an underwear drawer full of greying, baggy cotton, renowned lingerie label Agent Provocateur might seem a far-off foreign paradise of silken wonder.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
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