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

Fashion: Men, they just don't get it, do they?

Men buying underwear for women. What a business. Mostly they are either painfully embarrassed or painfully wrong. How do you do better? Allow our Ms Blanchard to assist you. Photographs by Sheridan Morley.

Fashion: Between the top drawer and the top shelf

Joe Corre is famous for two things: his punk parents and his underwear emporium, Agent Provocateur. Here he tells us why he is so interested in ladies' knickers.

Never mind the Bollocks

With the King and Queen of punk as his Mum and Dad, no wonder Joe Corre grew up to run an underwear empire. Here, he talks about Malcolm and Vivienne, his extraordinary childhood and how he got big in pants

Letter: Framed by MI5

Sir: The available evidence shows conclusively that Alice Wheeldon (not "Wheedon") never plotted to murder anyone and that she was framed by an MI5 offshoot called PMS2 ("Lloyd George freed his would-be assassin", 28 November).

Style: Making a new start

Shops are springing up all the time. Here are just a few that have opened their doors in the past week, and a preview of some which launch next week

Style: Turn on, drop in

A weekend of kinky boots, lingerie and general fetishwear is promised at Olympia in London's first ever show of Erotica

Style: For the Swedish au pair, Dominatrix, Fifties pin-up and Lolita inside us all

It was a risky - not to say risque - decision to open a shop selling naughty undies, but it worked for Joe Corre and Serena Rees. And Agent Provocateur has proved so popular, says Melanie Rickey, that a new store is about to open in Knightsbridge. A little more sophisticated, maybe. But just as saucy.

Letter: MI5's missing files

Letter: MI5's missing files

Live and direct

Wall of Sound All Stars Special Mary Ann Hobbs' Show, Radio 1

How to buy lingerie

The Knack: Root through her drawers first to check for size, advises singer Gina G

Top Ten; Men's and women's underwear around pounds 12

1. Swiss girls seem to have no trouble pulling - could it be their underwear? White Swiss-style lattice underwired bra, pounds 12, by Marks and Spencer, 458 Oxford St, London W1 and branches nationwide, enquiries 0171- 935 4422.

Dressing down

Everyone knows this trick: your boss is giving you an earful, so you picture him in his smalls. Strip away pinstriped authority, says Belinda Morris, and imagine the wanton within

Agent Provocateur: Doggone

I can't go to the movies, or read a book, or open the New York Times without becoming depressed (the only cheering news was Labour's recent, much-awaited victory - I am amazed at how it quickened my blood, and I'm not even British). I find it depressing to get depressed. That's why I left Toronto for California. It's harder to be depressed when the sun shines every day and I can walk my three dogs by the ocean and in the mountains.

Two's fantasy

The bikini had its first outing of the summer last week at the balmy Sanctuary health club in London's Covent Garden. Glamorous models, including the voluptuous Sophie Dahl (pictured), donned the sheerest, sexy two-piece numbers to celebrate the launch of Agent Provocateur's new capsule range of bikinis. The models pole-danced and writhed on beds; one danced with an eight-foot python while another frolicked with a baby leopard.

Fashion: Oriental

Where would fashion designers be without Blade Runner, with its mix of old and new Japanese imagery, hard, glossy make-up and replicant punks? In fashion, as in film, the future looks Oriental, be it a cheongsam from Chinatown, or Imperial Blue lacquered nails. Styling by Sophia Neophitou. Photographs by Sandro Sodano
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