Life and Style
 

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

A rosy future for the colour pink

Love it or loathe it, pink is everywhere this season. Harriet Walker and Gemma Hayward explain why it’s just the colour for dark days – and how to wear it with panache

Fashion: I am woman, hear me roar

If you are one of the dying breed whose wardrobe does not contain at least one animal-print item, you could soon have a case for recognition as a minority group. We're not sure when it happened, but suddenly the world is in animal print, with celebs leading the pack: stars from La Moss to Jasmine Guinness via Lily Allen have been spotted in near-identical leopard-print coats, suggesting that this is one spring trend that is going to stick.

Get your disco safari jumpsuit on

Rhiannon Harries rounds up the key trends for spring/summer 2009. And fear not, while some may look crazy on the catwalk, they can all be easily adapted for life in the real world

Ready to wear: The Dior shoes sure give new meaning to the concept of ‘shoes to have sex in’

Fashion's preoccupation with footwear that is bizarre to the point of madness continues to gather momentum.

Leona Lewis: Hackney beats Hollywood

She's a sensation Stateside, but Leona Lewis is refusingto swap the East End for the West Coast. Rob Sharp explores her home turf

Eclectic dreams: From the exotic to the bucolic, London's designers forecast a brighter, prettier spring

It should come as no great surprise that, just as a look that Vogue recently described as "the new austere" finally arrives in store, an entirely new mood emerges. And so, for spring/summer 2009, all that is strict, dark and distressed looks set to be supplanted by clothing that is just the reverse: exotic in places, bucolic in others, and owing more than a little to haute couture, if with a touch of utilitarian grounding, vintage Helmut Lang-style, to toughen things up a little.

Real women: the latest fashion

Size, age and colour are no longer a barrier to a career on the catwalk – that was the message from London Fashion Week. Fashion editor Susannah Frankel reports

Pandora: Tory donor: I'm still hedging my bets

As the Conservatives prepare for their autumn conference, one of their most generous benefactors is still threatening to throw his considerable clout behind another party.

<a href="http://blogs.independent.co.uk/independent/2008/09/christopher-kan.html" target="_blank">London Fashion Week: Christopher Kane</a>

Christopher Kane's spring/summer collection yesterday further cemented his reputation as one of London's most talented and viable young designers

Ready To Wear: Welcome back, leather trousers

Carola Long: 'Christopher Kane&rsquo;s leather trousers look really quite sexywhen motionless, but best of luck walking in them'

Grazia is handbagging its rivals into submission

Grazia took on the fiercely competitive weekly market &ndash; and won. Jane Bruton, the editor, tells Sophie Morris her secrets

Central Saint Martins: The art and soul of Britain

It's where hundreds of the nation's most creative people cut their teeth. Now Central Saint Martins is leaving its historic home

The MAN show is bringing menswear designers in from the cold

A long-held bugbear of mine has been why London Fashion Week has been so fixated on womenswear. Over the past six seasons, however, a showcase called MAN has taken its place among the 60-odd other shows at London Fashion Week, aiming to raise support and recognition for the city's menswear designers. And such momentum has built up around it that, this season, off-schedule menswear events coordinated to take advantage of the attention. From nowhere, London Fashion Week suddenly gained an unofficial day of menswear.

That was London Fashion Week that was

It should perhaps come as no great surprise that by the time London Fashion Week drew to a close yesterday the bucolic view of femininity which characterises the current spring season had given way to a rather darker mood for the forthcoming autumn.

Kane able to build on the hype with grown-up glamour

Christopher Kane has proved he is far more than just the latest, over-hyped young British designer.

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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific