Life and Style

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

Secretarial: The boss's `exes' file

The temp

Warm enough for Middle England but too hot for Mr Blair

TONY Blair has decided not to go to the Chelsea Flower Show this year and, frankly, you only need to visit the place to see why. The show is simply not on message. The spin doctors would not approve. It is not cool. It is not even hot. It is, simply, middling as in Middle England.

Is it worth it?: Teeny-weeny, highly pricey

Pay pounds 340 for a Chanel bikini, and you'd better have the yacht to match

Aerodynamic handbag launches Chanel into next millennium

IT WAS NOT so much of a fashion show yesterday at Chanel in Paris, but a bag show. The sloppy tweed suits and cloche hats made some of the models look like bag ladies; but the big talking point of the show was the New Chanel Bag.

How to stay peachy soft in zero degrees

Nourishing unguents for the winter months, selected by mistress of the bathroom cabinet Annalisa Barbieri

A tip off the old block

Want to know how to create movie-star eyelashes? Chanel will show you - for pounds 24;

Who'd spend pounds 300,000 on a necklace?

Laura Tennant goes shopping on the scary side of Bond Street

getting your rocks off

In 1932, as her country slowly clambered out of economic depression, Coco Chanel held an exhibition of specially crafted diamond jewellery. Despite the show's proceeds being sent to a charity for single mothers, Parisians were (perhaps understandably) outraged by what they saw as Madame's exercise in frivolity. How times change. In early April, the first European Chanel jewellery boutique outside Paris opens in London; though prices will range from pounds 1,500 to in excess of pounds 300,000, it's unlikely that the denizens of Bond Street will blink a heavily mascara'd eyelash - they'll be too busy reaching for the platinum credit cards. For this is a beautifully crafted collection that, despite the flash of a thousand gems, should kill off Chanel jewellery's glitzy, "faux" reputation; some of Coco's original designs will even be on sale again, including the "comet necklace": a chainmail-like affair of 600 diamonds made by the original jeweller's grandson. But be warned - wearing these pieces is a lot more complicated than just splashing on the No 5. During the shoot, our photographer and stylist were accompanied by two extremely serious security guards; so it seems a fair bet you'd need - at the very least - a personal minder before wearing this sort of Chanel in public.

The women who tell you what to wear ...

... wouldn't be seen dead in it. Cora Mann turns the spotlights on fashion editors' own wardrobes

House of Chanel is a girl's best friend

Stepping out in style yesterday at the Ritz Hotel in Paris, two models display the latest haute couture creations from the house of Chanel. Security was even tighter than usual at the show, as the company is launching a new line of jewellery in the spring. Tens of thousands of pounds worth of diamonds - including a near-priceless jewel-encrusted comet choker worn by the Scottish model Kirsty Hume - glittered among the featherlight chiffon, feathers and lace. One model, pictured left, wore a creation seemingly made out of thick, twisted white string.

scents and sensibility

It is a brave man - or a foolish one - who gives perfume for Christmas. Unless they have Barbara Gunnell as their guide

Fashion: Coat of arms

Ever since Saint Laurent reinvented the military-style coat, designers have raided surplus stores for inspiration. This year, it's the turn of Chanel. Styling by Philippa Duck. Photographs by Desmond Muckian

Ready to wear: YES PLEASE . . .

Last year Chanel's Rouge Noir nail varnish was so immensely popular that it sold out as soon as it hit the shops. This talon polish, in undiluted- Ribena colour, spawned waiting lists, tantrums and tears as ladies who were used to getting whatever they wanted with a wave of their Amex card, were forced to put their names down with everyone else. Next week Chanel launch the Rouge Noir mascara. Billed as "black, reddish purple and brown", it is certainly interesting, unusual and worth a try (it's a limited edition so be warned, once it sells out, that's it), especially if you find black too dramatic and brown too boring. It's rather "globby" however, so you may need to separate those lashes with an eyelash comb after application.


We have all heard of Chanel No 5, and most people would recognise the distinctive packaging. But what about the smell? Gina Cowen chose five popular fragrances for a blind testing, and members of the public were invited to identify them.

Lagerfeld strips away the detail

Chanel collection: Veteran designer omits trademark logo to foil the fashion fakers
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn