Life and Style
 

Being a member of One Direction has some serious pulling power when it comes to influencing a public vote.

On The Agenda: Blek Le Rat; Pierre Hermé; Cox Cookies & Cake; CLiNT; Central Saint Martins; Jellyfish Theatre; Martin Creed

Artists singing, shoemakers making cookies – has the world turned upside-down?

Carola Long: 'The high street is now doing aviator jackets'

Yes, of course it would be nice to live in a more timely fashion world where we didn't have to consider buying coats before October. It would also be lovely to park right outside Topshop Oxford Circus on a Saturday and find the changing rooms empty. Dream on. The reality is that fashion is always two steps ahead and if you don't grab one of the best jackets or coats post-haste, you're dicing with disappointment.

Ready to Wear: More discerning souls have never lost track of Manolo Blahnik’s designs

Sipping cocktails at home with Her Majesty the Queen earlier this month – as you do – I couldn't help but notice that the very best dressed feet in the room all owed their elegant appearance to none other than Manolo Blahnik.

Carola Long: 'Lace ranges from sophisticated seductress to trash goth. Then there's the Readers' Wives red-lace vibe...'

Lady Gaga isn't really one to follow trends. As far as I remember, cloaks made from Kermit puppets weren't that big when she wore one last year. However, her outfit for the Brits chimed with one of this season's key looks: lace.

London Fashion Week: Day 4, Nicole Fahri, Antonio Beradi, Christopher Kane, Roksanda Ilinic, Erdem, Marios Schwab, Paul Smith

Another jam-packed day of fashion fun in the capital, starting with Nicole Farhi whose collection was clean and fresh for autumn, in dark colours, chic neutrals and sumptuous fabrics. Beautiful double-breasted camel coats were belted over shimmering draped jersey dresses.

Christopher Kane updates the little black dress at London Fashion Week

When Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel created the little black dress in the Twenties, she could hardly have foreseen the sexy leather and lace versions which graced London Fashion Week today. The enduring appeal of the classic garment is thanks to the fact that it can be constantly updated, and several designers took full advantage of this quality.

Model town: The hottest trends are backstage and on the street

The fashion world has descended on London – but the clothes on the catwalks are only part of the story. The hottest trends are backstage and on the street, writes Harriet Walker

Brit Insurance Design Awards shortlist: From Alexander McQueen to Zaha Hadid

A selection of the best designs to come out of 2010 will be exhibited after a fierce examination of last year’s offerings were whittled down to an impressive shortlist by industry experts.

Cheap and chic: The freshest looks for the new season

Budgets are bound to be tight this January, but thankfully the freshest looks for the new season can be found on the high street, says Carola Long

Yougofurther Blogger of the Year winner

The competition, in association with The Independent, the Clothes Show Live and the yougo website, has been running for the past month and the judges have selected a worthy winner they felt captured the imagination.

Carola Long: Stick to short, tailored or clingy shapes and avoid anything reminiscent of Interview with the Vampire

For years, velvet has been decidedly passé. Only 'Young Musician of the Year' finalists, Goths partial to a frock coat, astrologers and Sloanes of a certain age still cling to the regal fabric. The last time it was 'le dernier cri' in plush chic was the mid-Nineties, as anyone who attempted to follow fashion back then will recall. A crushed velvet bodycon dress with a sweetheart neckline and, a few years later, a pair of bootcut velvet trousers from Morgan which I believed were indistinguishable from Tom Ford's cult pair for Gucci in 1995, were key features of my teenage wardrobe.

Ready to Wear: 'Fashion and dogs go together like a horse and carriage, it seems'

To coincide with the long-awaited, much-anticipated nationwide launch of Dogs In Vogue – A Century of Canine Chic, by the estimable Judith Watt, here are a few fashionable dog anecdotes of my own. Dogs and fashion – they go together like a horse and carriage, it seems.

Sexy sportswear: Tracksuit bottoms up!

Comfy joggers have been given the high-fashion makeover this winter, and these luxurious versions are flying off the shelves
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions