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

Balenciaga is one label that hasn't lost touch with its roots

Its catwalk show is among the highlights of Paris Fashion Week

If the shoe fits, buy it: The best shoes and boots for this season's trends

As Selfridges opens its new shoes galleries, styling manager Kirsty Attwood talks Carola Long through the best shoes and boots for the season's trends

Ready to Wear: At the shows, a head-to-toe new look is, at best, unintelligent

While the stores are bursting with all-new autumn/winter 2010 designs, for those who attend the twice-yearly ready-to-wear collections, gathering momentum in London as I write, the issue is our personal wardrobe for the, er, spring/summer 2011 shows.

Harriet Walker: The brains behind the beauty

If you were to meet me at a party and ask me about my job, I'd tell you that I work in fashion but (here, a hurried cough) that I'm not really fashion-y at all and I'm more interested in the socio-historical and aesthetic aspects of clothing (here, perhaps nodding my head vigorously) rather than, you know, just, er, liking clothes. By this time, you'd have probably walked off. And you'd be right to.

Face the future: New hair and make-up trends

Blue eyeshadow is back, chignons are chic, and purple is on everybody's lips. Harriet Walker looks forward to the new season's most captivating hair and make-up trends

Great strides: Trousers back in the style spotlight

No longer overshadowed by dresses or denim, trousers have stepped back into the style spotlight for autumn. Carola Long reports on a trend that's set to run wild

Carola Long: 'Gap have handily divided their 'pants' into eight styles, providing a bluffer's guide to the trouser universe'

The emotional trajectory of a new season can be intense; a wave of excitement at all the shiny new trends that will definitely change your life, followed by panic. Where do you start? Fortunately, Gap have provided the easiest introduction to autumn/winter imaginable with their new Premium Pant collection, especially given that trousers are set to be a key piece. Granted, this sounds a bit like saying coats with sleeves are big news for cold weather, but dresses did dominate the catwalks for years. In the pick'n'mix spirit of modern trends there is a smorgasbord of styles on offer: a slightly bootcut slim crop at Celine and Balenciaga, high-waisted, Seventies graduated flares as seen at Chloe, skinny straight at Balenciaga, skinny at Stella McCartney and a kick flare at Gucci. Phew.

Susie Rushton: You can't put a price on simple pleasures

Do you know why the British economy is struggling? Let me tell you a story to illustrate. On Saturday I went to a village fête in Somerset. Picture the scene: a coconut shy, quoits, an egg-throwing contest, bric-à-brac and an ice-cream van, in a pretty field next to a country church. Toddlers as far as the eye can see; women in striped aprons and men in Birkenstocks. Feeling hungry, I stop by a cake stall, where I buy a home-made chocolate brownie for – get this – 15p. Fifteen pence! By the close of business, I doubt whether the cook-cum-stallholder even made back the cost of her ingredients, let alone turned a profit. And that's what's wrong with the British attitude to enterprise.

Brian Duffy: Innovative and irreverent photographer who caught the Swinging Sixties on camera

The inventive and innovative photographer Brian Duffy shot some of the best known pictures of the Swinging Sixties for magazines such as Vogue, Queen, Town and Nova in Britain, and Elle in France, and became as infamous as his friends and contemporaries David Bailey and Terence Donovan. His dynamic style of fashion photography and his playful portraits of Michael Caine, John Lennon and Harold Wilson leapt off the pages and embodied the free spirit of the era. In the 1970s, this irreverent, occasionally cantankerous character, moved into advertising and devised intriguing, effective and memorable posters and full-page ads for Benson & Hedges cigarettes and Smirnoff vodka, as well as the striking cover for David Bowie's first chart-topping album, Aladdin Sane.

The unseen power behind Alexander McQueen's throne inherits his empire

Since Alexander McQueen's death on 11 February this year, speculation has been rife as to who would have the requisite talent and insight to continue the designer's legacy – or even if the company would survive his loss.

Baroque and roll: Fashion houses go back to their roots

In demanding economic times, the major fashion houses are going back to their roots for inspiration – so it’s no wonder that Donatella Versace is focusing on high glamour, rainbow colour and ultra-sexy silhouettes, writes Susannah Frankel

Liberté, égalité, reality: Key themes from Paris

From oversized coats to flattering tailoring, the Paris collections had accessible clothes – and flashes of truly imaginative brilliance. Susannah Frankel introduces the key themes

Balmain produces this year's template for the high street

The final round of the autumn/winter collections was well under way at Paris Fashion Week yesterday, with shows from Balenciaga, Balmain, Rick Owens and Manish Arora. With many of the industry's most influential labels showing at the event, this is the place for the cream of the world's press and buyers to get a head start on the new season's trends.

Model town: The hottest trends are backstage and on the street

The fashion world has descended on London – but the clothes on the catwalks are only part of the story. The hottest trends are backstage and on the street, writes Harriet Walker

Ready to Wear: Am I in the wrong business?

Do I look like mutton?" my friend, S, asked me at last season's shows. She was wearing skinny, black-leather Balenciaga trousers and, no, I told her, she did not. Stick-thin and fashion-ed up to the nines, she looked formidable, a somewhat fearsome sight at the school gates, for sure, but age had little to do with that.

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