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

So farewell then, sexual intercourse

The orgasm stuff. This orgasm-in-a-bottle business. We have to come to terms with the fact that, thanks to modern science, women can now go out and buy something which, when washed down with a glass of soothing water, will make them yowl like Siamese cats then roll over with that placid smile on their faces, the one which they wear just before they say: "What? What are you looking at? Oh no. Forget it. Have you any idea what time it is?"

The shops to be seen in

WORLD 27 Litchfield Street, London WC2,

Show us your knickers

SHOW US YOUR KNICKERS

Crazy ways to scrub a floor

Gone are the days when spring-cleaning meant trundling round the house in an old apron and manky rubber gloves. Hip stores are currently bursting with kitsch pinnies in blowzy prints and nattily designed rubber brooms with fluorescent bristles. Housework has become something to dress up for.

Somebody pick up the phone

When Fluxus were dismantling artistic pomposity in the Sixties, Yoko Ono was there to lend a hand. Now it's the public's turn, at a new exhibition which documents those days.

Television: The British: they're a funny old lot ...

Studio audiences are not made up of people like you and me. How easy it is to provoke their laughter! A pulled face, a mimicked voice, an obvious gag, and there is a woman with a gurgling laugh like water flowing over loose marbles, or a deep-voiced man with a great stomachy guffaw. And you and I sit at home barely smiling. What bastards we are!

Obituary: Jean-Edern Hallier

Jean-Edern Hallier was a controversial figure - writer, philosopher and television presenter, agent provocateur and enfant terrible. He conducted personal vendettas against the French presidents Valery Giscard D'Estaing and Francois Mitterrand, as well as most of the Parisian literary establishment.

The knicker test

A women's lingerie department is no place for the rash, over-confident male - especially when he's buying a brassiere. By Jonathan Glancey

Boudoir

Fripperies for the modern woman. Styling by Sophia Neophitou. Photographs by Noelle Hoeppe

Book review / Riddle of the human envelope

Erskine Childers: Author of 'The Riddle of the Sands' by Jim Ring Murray, pounds 19.99

BUY ME : KNICKERS

British women buy more knickers than any other nation in Europe. According to a survey carried out last month at the Paris International Lingerie Salon trade show, we buy 10 pairs each a year, whereas the Italians and Spanish buy only five and the Germans seven. Maybe it's because we have the best, and most accessible, underwear shops. After all, 45 per cent of the female population in the UK own a pair of M&S knickers: they sell a million pairs a week.

FASHION: Buy me: Knickerbox slip

We all know the story by now: underwear can be worn out. Out of the confines of the bedroom, out from underneath your clothes, out on the street, even out on your coffee table, (see Kelly Klein's new book Underworld). And it's not shocking.

out there; Alix Sharkey invited 500 friends to enter his own Palace of Wisdom

John Walsh: a stranger in the Palace

out there: Sexual provocation

The original idea was to take on that Conran's ideal, that bourgeois, beige, nice design, good taste crap and do a complete department store based around sex

All I want for Christmas

From earth mother to minimalist, there's something special for everyone in our 32-page luxury gift guide PS Presents by post pages 86- 88
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Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence