Life and Style A model walks the runway during the Balmain show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2013

Balenciaga's spring/summer 2014 show plays out to thumping, bass-heavy and very, very loud beats... but only after four outfits

Designers making their marque on the fashion scene

Although its not quite a return to the logo-laden days of old, stylised prints and artistic emblems are now selling like hot cakes, says Naomi Attwood

Ruffle some feathers: Model wears skirt £45, shoes £60, riverisland.com

iStyle: Frill seekers

Forget Flamenco, this season those ruffles have been given a modern makeover, says Rebecca Gonsalves

Excess all areas: 'Mona von Bismarck once ordered 150 Balenciaga garments after her train derailed'

We've all had wardrobe disasters. Few of us, however, retire to our room for three days to recover. But few of us are Mona von Bismarck, who did just that when, in 1968, the great Cristóbal Balenciaga closed his couture house with the declaration that there was no one left to dress.

Alexander Fury: A bit threadbare? You must be British royalty

In the eighteenth century, the great British export was style. French aristocrats saw Britain as a land of freedom and adopted our stout, hardy wool and tweed country squire attire as a badge of allegiance to the Rousseau-ean rusticity and democracy embodied here.

Strides ahead: Say pants to party dresses

Whether patterned or plain, it's time to say pants to party dresses, says Rebecca Gonsalves

The best Christmas gifts for the sharp-dressed man

Main image: skull umbrella, £185, Liberty

Nicholas Ghesquiere to leave post as creative director at Balenciaga

Designer Nicholas Ghesquiere is to leave his post as creative director at Balenciaga.

Fashion Statement: Change is easier to make when there are past masters to follow

It's always difficult, stepping into someone else's shoes – especially when you have high arches. And it's even more difficult when those shoes have been worn for so long and with such panache by their previous owner.

Ready To Wear: No woman should ever be dictated to by fashion

What does the Independent woman wear?

Hi-ho silver: jacket £50, riverisland.com

Fashion's silver lining

There's a futuristic alternative to a golden glow this season. Just don't think of it as a runner-up in the fashion stakes, says Gemma Hayward

Easy as APC

It's an exciting new direction for the casually cult brand

Of all the slightly silly Olympic-themed paraphernalia we've seen recently, this rather charming patriotic paper Cake Top is our favourite. £3.50 from talkingtables.co.uk (Victoria sponge not included)

Selfridges re-launches womenswear department for the digital age

When Selfridges unveiled their newly appointed womenswear department at the beginning of the year, hopes were high.

Ready To Wear: The last thing we need after Christmas is serious fashion

Feeling liverish, as your granny used to say? The good news is that this is the one time of year when it is nothing short of uncouth to consider wearing anything remotely fashionable and, even more so, tight-fitting and/or fabulously transformative.

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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London