Harriet Walker: 'Now it's men versus women in the battle of the bulge'

Fashion is preoccupied this season with specific anatomical hugeness. With hourglass shapes at Prada and Louis Vuitton, not to mention Christina Hendricks' busty ubiquity, we are told that boobs are back. They never went away, I hear the blokes cry – maybe not in your realm, but I imagine we read quite different magazines.

Debenhams upbeat on sales despite price fears

Debenhams downplayed retail sector concerns that the spike in cotton prices will translate into inflation in clothing prices and a dip in sales yesterday. Flooding in Pakistan and China has sent global cotton prices soaring to a 15-year high in recent weeks, as retailers already face higher transport costs, wage inflation in China and rising VAT in the UK.

Soaring cotton prices put pressure on inflation

Soaring cotton prices threaten to put further pressure on inflation amid a chorus of warnings over the likely impact on price tags.

Hall of fame: Wigmore Hall begins its 110th anniversary season

Michael Church celebrates it glittering history

Bargain Hunter: Very's low prices

Very has up to 60 per cent off clothing, jewellery and footwear on its website, as part of the much-hyped "End of Summer" sale. Top-selling items in the sale so far include a Henleys utility bag – down from £20 to £14 – a pair of Goodsouls slouchy beanie hats – down from £12 to £8 – and a Pineapple beach towel, reduced from £10 to just £6. Visit http://ind.pn/cK5oxH for the full range.

M&B chairman vows end to shares chaos

Sale of Hollywood Bowl expected tomorrow as part of John Lovering's plan to 'normalise' pub chain

Debenhams to strike property deal to generate fresh capital

Debenhams, the department store, has held discussions about unlocking the value in its property portfolio, as it seeks to generate significant funds to further pay down debt and invest in the business.

Debenhams signs refinancing deal

Debenhams has completed the refinancing of its debts ahead of schedule by signing a £650m credit facility.

Market Report: Bargain-hunters drive market as GKN rises 6 per cent

The stock market mounted a comeback last night, with the vehicle and aircraft parts-maker GKN rallying as bargain-hunters moved in to make the most of recent losses.

John Kinnaird plots return to retail with new shoe chain

The serial retail entrepreneur John Kinnaird is trying to launch a new footwear chain just two months after his previous venture, the shoe retailer Faith, collapsed.

Debenhams targets Libya and Morocco

Debenhams is considering opening shops in Libya and Morocco, as the department store seeks out new countries to drive its international sales growth.

Can we live without the magic airbrush?

Debenhams has taken the brave step of launching a marketing campaign using photographs that aren't digitally enhanced

Editor-At-Large: My blueprint for a better, cheaper, health service

What kind of National Health Service do you want? We're the rarely-consulted consumers, the front-line fodder for the NHS – but this cash-eating monolith (which gobbles up a sixth of all public spending) appears to operate to please its bureaucrats rather than the patients. The Prime Minister David Cameron has said he will not cut key services, but hasn't decided how much will be allocated to achieve that goal. For starters, £250m will be saved by cutting NHS management, but his ultimate goal is to cut wasteful admin by a third and save up to £20bn. How to do this without compromising health care?

Bargian Hunter: Last minute Father's Day deals; Tatler offer

Sniff out a Debenhams deal

The Thursday Essay: Royal Ascot is a real class act

Ladies' Day at Royal Ascot means hats, tailcoats and demure hemlines. It's all for fun – but decode the dress, and social divisions are laid bare, writes Liz Hoggard
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Day In a Page

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