Life and Style
 

Stellar showings summarise the new spirit of modernity that’s revitalising the stuffy world of haute couture, says Alexander Fury

Coco before Chanel (12A), Anne Fontaine, 110 mins

Anne Fontaine's biopic of a woman who would become the grande dame of 20th-century couture looks very beautiful, and Audrey Tautou in the title role retains a cool mystique.

The real Coco Chanel

A biopic of 'Mademoiselle' Chanel is set to be one of the movie hits of the summer. John Lichfield reports on an icon who prospered in Nazi-occupied France

Audrey Tautou - Style with substance

Audrey Tautou plays Coco Chanel in a movie about the designer's beginnings. She tells Chris Sullivan of her fascination with the icon

Eternal darkness: Why the fashion world can't live without black

This summer, the new black is... well, we can guess the rest, can't we?

Karl Lagerfield: Designs for ballet

The stars of the English National Ballet have a celebrated new costumier – Karl Lagerfeld. Charlotte Cripps joins them at the fitting

Scent of a woman: How does Chanel stay top dog in the perfume world?

There are "muses" and then there are "faces". The differences between the two are subtle but manifold. A muse is principally a cost-free affair, based on friendship more often than not. A face, on the other hand, is a high-earner, likely to secure many millions for any services required.

All fine and dandy on Chanel catwalk

A scuffle over Kate Moss wasn't going to stop Karl Lagerfeld showing his Regency-inspired collection

Lagerfeld glows with his rhapsody in white

Chanel recaptures its essence with designer's response to world recession

Tsar Karl: Lagerfeld's Russian dolls

Lagerfeld picked a Russian theme for his show last week, reflecting Chanel's historic connection with Moscow – where sales of his luxurious clothes are booming. Carola Long reports from Paris

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

Frocks and fantasy: The photographs of Sarah Moon

Whether for Cacharel, Biba or Vogue, the photographs of Sarah Moon have the power to bewitch. Susannah Frankel meets a fashion legend

Beale's Best in show: Tourism Australia

Baz Luhrmann probably considers himself an artist. He makes big commercial movies (Romeo & Juliet, Moulin Rouge) but he also makes commercials (Nicole Kidman in an ad for Chanel No 5). And now he’s made an ad for Tourism Australia.

Carola Long: Beauty Queen

While flicking through an airline shopping catalogue on a recent flight, I noticed the blurb accompanying a set of pale pink nail varnishes. "For instantly well-manicured nails that speak volumes about you,"it said. In fact, a wash of natural polish is a deliberate ploy to reveal very little about the wearer; it's safe, classic and an avoidance of self expression. "The groomed girl's comfort blanket," says Harrods nail guru Leighton Denny.

<a href="http://blogs.independent.co.uk/independent/a_nice_green_leaf/" target="_blank">A Nice Green Leaf: Smells as good as Chanel No.5 (To flesh-eating beetles)</a>

Plants have got very different rules of attraction to human beings, for one simple reason: they can't move.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas