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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