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

Fresh flowers: Balenciaga spring collection

Balenciaga has delved into its archives for inspiration this spring. But beneath these classic floral patterns lies surprisingly hi-tech design, says Susannah Frankel

The lady is a vamp: The femme fatale is back on the Paris catwalks

With her lips painted black and curves draped in dark silk, Susannah Frankel was bewitched

Museum accused of giving away Balenciaga's work

A museum dedicated to the work of the Spanish fashion designer Cristobal Balenciaga has become embroiled in a scandal over allegations that the legendary couturier's creations have been given away.

The future is now for ultra-chic Ghesquiere

Yesterday's offerings from the autumn/winter 2008 Paris collections opened with yet another stand-out showing by the Balenciaga designer Nicolas Ghesquiere. Of all those working in fashion today, Ghesquiere is perhaps the most influential and, if his word is law, the future belongs to a sci-fi It girl clad in moulded vinyl, photographic printed latex and grey tailoring – also moulded – articulated with panels of ivory, silver and rose.

Petal power: This spring, the world's greatest designers are saying it with flowers

Flowers have never been so fashionable. But, of course, that means very different things to the very different sensibilities involved at the various fashion houses. For Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga, flowers are never something to be seen as overly pretty or, indeed, superfluous. These are flowers with attitude, if you will.

With sping collections appearing on the high street, what do the experts suggest to buy?

The spring collections are arriving in stores. But what should the discerning shopper invest in? Carola Long asks three buyers to pick out this season's key pieces

Death of the bargain shoe

Sales predicted to plummet in next five years as women reject cheap footwear for top quality designer brands

Who will be the hot names in fashion in 2008?

This year, the hot names in fashion were Agyness Deyn and Christopher Kane. But who's stepping into the spotlight now? Harriet Reuter Hapgood asks the experts

Why you'll be sure to create waves in Giambattista Valli's latest creation

Giambattista Valli is known for his party dresses, so it's hardly surprising that he's partial to the odd ruffle. In the former Ungaro designer's hands, however, they never look like a decorative afterthought, or a cheap frill, so to speak. Instead, his grand ripples of fabric have what he describes as a, "structural, architectural quality, making a very flattering frame for a woman's face".

Meet the man on fashion's front line

For half a century, the photographer Chris Moore has chronicled life at the cutting edge of fashion. Here, he unveils a selection of favourite images

Why Nicolas Ghesquière's new collection is out of this world

Ghesquière may have been inspired by 'normal' clothes for his latest Balenciaga collection, but the end result is extraordinary, writes Susannah Frankel

Ready To Wear: Fashion's true colour

"The one thing the women who buy our clothes have in common is that they are strong, even severe," says Alber Elbaz, the feted creative force behind the Lanvin label. "They are independent and free. They are not going to wear banana or pistachio."

Ready To Wear: Feature footwear

Even the most seasoned fashion follower would be hard pushed to perceive the new season's footwear as anything less than challenging. A tad déclassé though it may seem, this might not unreasonably be described as feature footwear. It's certainly not recommended for those wishing to maintain a low profile - or those living with a low ceiling, for that matter. There's nothing, then, remotely low about the fashionable of foot this autumn/winter.

Is robotic the new exotic?

Nicolas Ghesquière's futuristic creations for Balenciaga are completely out of this world. He tells Susannah Frankel why he loves C-3PO chic

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