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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Bryan Adams' heartstopping images of wounded British soldiers to go on show at Somerset House

Bryan Adams' images of wounded soldiers

Taken over the course of four years, Adams' portraits are an astonishing document of the aftermath of war
The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities