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

Reality stars: Fashion comes down to earth

Even Paris designers have had to come right down to earth. And next season that means giving women what they really want: modern, sexy, wearable designs. Carola Long reports

Dress Code: Vivia Ferragamo, designer

What are you wearing right now?

Nike tracksuit trousers and an American Apparel T-shirt – I'm at home working on my computer.

Vive la mode! Balenciaga glams up for Paris

Seriously luxe, undeniably cool, Nicolas Ghesquière manages it season after season for Balenciaga. The label's autumn/winter collection, which opened Paris Fashion Week yesterday, combined decadent fabrics with the kind of modern, sexy shapes pursued by Ghesquière's hip devotees.

The wrong trousers? How strides got a makeover

Strides have been given an extreme makeover for spring. Our style experts give their verdicts on whether this trend's got legs in the real world

Your hit list of wardrobe staples

When the going gets tough, the tough still go shopping, but they invest in wardrobe staples that will look good for years to come, says Carola Long

Ready to wear: The Dior shoes sure give new meaning to the concept of ‘shoes to have sex in’

Fashion's preoccupation with footwear that is bizarre to the point of madness continues to gather momentum.

The party dress code

Preparing for the season of celebration? Choose a style that suits both you and the occasion, says Carola Long

Little black magic: Return of the little black dress

The LBD is always a winner in the fashion stakes, and Balenciaga's take on it, although inspired by Fifties film-noir heroines, couldn't be more now, says Susannah Frankel

Ready to Wear: For Ghesquière, latex is noble because it comes from trees – it’s a natural texture

Latex might not be most obviously elevated of materials ever to have inhabited the fashion firmament, but it is currently enjoying something of a moment, nonetheless.

The colours of money: Designers fight credit crunch gloom in Paris

On the Paris catwalks, designers turned to fantasy and even humour for an uplifting antidote to hard times. And the effect was exhilarating, writes Susannah Frankel

Eclectic dreams: From the exotic to the bucolic, London's designers forecast a brighter, prettier spring

It should come as no great surprise that, just as a look that Vogue recently described as "the new austere" finally arrives in store, an entirely new mood emerges. And so, for spring/summer 2009, all that is strict, dark and distressed looks set to be supplanted by clothing that is just the reverse: exotic in places, bucolic in others, and owing more than a little to haute couture, if with a touch of utilitarian grounding, vintage Helmut Lang-style, to toughen things up a little.

Trinny and Susannah slide out of fashion

They were queens of the makeover show, and a generation of women trusted their style advice. So what caused Trinny and Susannah's crowns to slip?

That 'je ne sais quoi': How French actresses trounce everyone in the style stakes

When the French actress Marion Cotillard swiped the Bafta for Best Actress from under the noses of Keira Knightley and Julie Christie, she not only trounced them on the big screen, but also on the red carpet. The star of the Edith Piaf biopic La Vie en Rose, Cotillard looked radiant in short, sequined Chanel, making everyone else seem stuffy, including a rigid, pouting, Dior-clad Knightley.

Fashion special: Pretty in pink for summer

From rosy lips to rainbow eyes, from tousled manes to centre partings, an array of diverse looks lit up the catwalks Bethan Cole reports on the latest summer beauty trends
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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
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album