Arts and Entertainment All over now: Thurston Moore (right) and Kim Gordon (left)

Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon's marriage ended two years ago, taking Sonic Youth with it. Larry Ryan hears them and other members strike out on their own

Marine swapped guns for glamour: Paul Firth bought himself out of the forces to pursue his dream to become a fashion designer, writes Christopher Bellamy

DESIGNING women's clothes is not a career which most people would expect a former Royal Marine to choose. And it was a battle. Paul Frith, 34, said commando and arctic warfare training in Norway had nothing on his 10-year fight to gain recognition as one of Britain's new generation of top fashion designers.

Fashion: Style Notes

IN JANUARY the Paris fashion shows will be broadcast live to the United States for the first time, starting with the haute couture collections. This has led to speculation that some Americans in the industry might stop coming to France. The collections, presented in four purpose-built halls in the just-opened Carrousel du Louvre underneath the museum, will be transmitted to giant screens in the Metropolitan Museum of New York, the Chicago Apparel Centre and Royce Hall at UCLA in Los Angeles.

How condomania went out of fashion: National Condom Week has been a damp squib this year. Helen Chappell reports

'THE designer condom seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth,' explains Marianne Hahn, co-ordinator of National Condom Week. 'The condom has changed its image since the yuppie condomania of the Eighties. Most campaigners are focusing their efforts on teenagers now. They are seen as the high-risk group.'

Autumn sunshine and blancmange on the wall: Dina Rabinovitch meets Shena Mackay, a gentle middle-aged enchantress in prose

MIXING our teas ('Trust me - Darjeeling with Earl Grey, it works'), the photographer told Shena Mackay that under a woman's influence he once shaved off his beard. Mackay twinkled and said how good he looks now, and then, wondering what his face was like with the beard on, she asked: 'You're not carrying it about in your pocket, are you?'

TELEVISION / A rose by another name: Kristin Scott Thomas has cornered the market in English roses. But her latest role sees the actress trading her twinsets for a different kind of habit. Allison Pearson met her

ACTRESSES don't like talking about their appearance: it's the work that matters, isn't it? So when you are interviewing a serious actress who has just been named one of Elle magazine's British Beauties, it seems best to get the looks question out of the way early on. So, does Kristin Scott Thomas find her beauty a burden? 'Let's get this into proportion, I'm not Miss World. And I've never really felt . . . Oh, God. It's such a dangerous subject, you end up sounding . . . People have told me, but I've always thought they must be mad.' The lady doth protest too much. But modesty, like everything else, becomes her, dammit. She would look blissful in a bin-liner, as you can see on Thursday when she wears the next worst thing - a nun's habit - in Body and Soul, Carlton's six-part serial about a crisis of faith.

STYLE / A dogfight to get close to the catwalk: At Chanel's Paris show what really matters is where you sit, says Roger Tredre

IT'S WHERE you sit that counts. The 17 most prized seats in international fashion are in the front row at the end of the catwalk at the Chanel ready-to-wear show. The people who filled these seats on Thursday are the ones who make things happen in fashion. They are the world's most powerful arbiters of style; designers know that their verdicts on a collection are the ones that count.

BOOK REVIEW / Downturn in the guilt market: Giles Smith on a shrill and rather petty addition to the growing library of attempts to educate men in the art of self-defence - 'Not Guilty: In Defence of the Modern Man' - David Thomas: Weidenfeld, 8.99 pounds

MEN ARE in pain, says David Thomas. The feminists have got them looking hunted, and they never knew how to express themselves anyway. We've had Robert Bly's Iron John (strongly recommending nude confrontation and shouting a lot as a means of emotional self- discovery), and we've had Neil Lyndon's No More Sex War, with its dark intimations of male separatism. And now here is Thomas with Not Guilty, completing a uniquely dodgy trilogy. Except that, in the marching band of the Men's Movement, David Thomas is somewhere near the back, on triangle. 'We're all human,' he says. 'In the end, we all work out about equal.' You will have come across more complex visions of the world in the sleeve notes on soul albums.

BBC 1 controller defects to new franchise holder

JONATHAN POWELL, controller of BBC 1, is stepping down from his post after almost five years to become head of drama at Carlton Television, the ITV franchise holder taking over from Thames on 1 January. He leaves the corporation at Christmas.
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
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Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

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With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

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Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

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Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

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David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

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UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

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Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

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A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

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Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

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How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star