The best of Dior for spring is old hat: Gianfranco Ferre does the time warp again with full-blown bustles and bows

A CHRISTIAN DIOR couture show is hard to digest. It is heavy on all the courses and leaves you reaching for the Rennies.

The price of volatility: Best and worst: Venture capital investment trusts

TAX incentives promised in the Budget for venture capital investment trusts will give a boost to a sector that holds shares in a diverse array of companies, ranging from the likes of Christian Dior to the US technology company Metricom.

Couturier's closure marks end of era: Fashion designer says that made-to-measure clothing has become an anachronism

VICTOR EDELSTEIN, one of the finest of London's dwindling band of couturiers, sounded the last post for top-of-the-market, made-to-measure clothing yesterday.

We're playing silly muggers: William Donaldson's Week

I WAS sorry to read that my friend the Marquess of Blandford had been robbed at the front line - rather, that he would have been had the hole in the wall from which he was trying to extract some cash not swallowed up his card. All very frustrating, as Mrs Matthews and I discovered when we tried to pull the same stunt on a teenager who had a canary yellow Rasta hat the size of a pumpkin on his head.

Fashion: A sashay down the catwalk to oblivion: Jean-Louis Scherrer and his daughter Laetitia, are sacked and Paris

THE WORLD of haute couture, where individual clients pay upwards of pounds 5,000 for made-to-measure clothes, is in crisis. We've seen it all before, but the difference this time round is that even the couturiers are admitting that the end may be in sight. When the spring '93 haute couture shows open in Paris in a fortnight's time, the couturiers will be fighting to justify their very existence.

Obituary: Fr Bryan Houghton

Bryan Richard Staples Houghton, priest, born Dublin 1 April 1911, died Montelimar France 19 November 1992.

A crucial time for the subconscious emotion business: Several classics of the fragance industry are being given a presentational spring clean. Roger Tredre follows the scent of the perfect marketing ploy

The mistress of H G Wells reportedly found him irresistible because he smelt of honey. Before beginning to write, Guy de Maupassant would set before himself a bowl of ether and strawberries because the scent inspired him. Yehudi Menuhin once claimed that scent was more elusive than music, conjuring up all sorts of subconscious emotions.

William Donaldson's Week: 'Sub judice' in a Dior suit

I WASN'T surprised to discover from this month's Tatler that I'm the only person employed by the Independent to be included in its guide to 'The Thousand Most Socially Significant People in 1992'.
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links