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 15 May 2015
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine