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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Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

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Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

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Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

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America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

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Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

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A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
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Diana Krall interview

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Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

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Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

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Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

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