Life and Style

Clockwise from top left: Active Pure Detox mask, £29.50, Givenchy, houseoffraser.co.uk

The evidence

The beauty director's desk

Fashion: Clothes to cut out and keep

At the Paris ready- to-wear shows the French foundered in a millennial malaise. That left the Japanese, with their DIY approach, unashamed romanticism and endless innovation, to show them how it's done.

McQueen takes a cool view of Y2K

EXACTLY A year ago, Alexander McQueen turned to the film Bladerunner for inspiration, transforming Givenchy Woman into the world's most glamorous Replicant. This time she was more alien still.

Fashion: The Stuff Of Dreams

The twice-yearly haute couture collections used to be an opportunity for fashion editors to just sit

Fashion: Made-to-measure fantasies

Haute couture is the ultimate extravagance, showing off the skills of the designer even in the more understated creations

McQueen creates a village for new show

ALEXANDER McQUEEN transported his audience to an imaginary turn- of-the-century French village at his haute couture collection for the Givenchy show in Paris yesterday.

Payout for McQueen over plagiarism libel

ALEXANDER McQUEEN and Givenchy, the fashion house where he is chief designer, accepted substantial libel damages yesterday over claims of plagiarism from the London listings magazine Time Out.

Cashmere wolf bites at Gucci's heels

THEY CALL him "the wolf in cashmere clothing" and yesterday Bernard Arnault, chairman of LVMH (Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton) confirmed his reputation as the the most wily character in international fashion.

Mathematical Notes: p is the link between finite and infinite

EVERY BOOK-LOVER knows that there's nothing like a good mystery. We're fascinated by the slow accumulation of clues that unfold into patterns, inevitably leading us to a solution and satisfying denouement. In fact, the idea that a mystery might not be solvable is deeply troubling to most people.

London's dedicated leaders of fashion

ALEXANDER MCQUEEN, 29, is from east London. He has been described as a "lout" as well as a genius and a visionary. He calls himself a "yob".

Fashion: shot in the dark

The boundaries between clothing for men and women have long been blurred. Women in particular have requisitioned traditional gents' tailoring and made it their own. but these pictures by the New York-based photographer Martina Hoogland-Ivanow, the boundaries are more than usually ill-defined. Is that flash of rhinestone pinstripe by Alexander McQueen for Givenchy worn by our model or by her boyfriend? Styling by Sophia Neophitou.

Fashion: Beauty school drop out

Pull on those pedal pushers: Grease is at the cinema and the Fifties are back. By Tamsin Blanchard. Photographs by Jon Mortimer

Fashion: Cowgirls go disco

Get on your corsets and spurs, girls: the Wild West trash posse is heading into town. By Tamsin Blanchard. Photographs by Dietmar

Travel: Relax... go on, you deserve it

If you're in need of a special treat or a pick-me-up, why not visit a spa? Self-confessed addict Carol Wright reveals her best get-away- from-it-all healthy retreats

Now we are fully grown

Style police: When a woman hits her thirties, it may be time to ditch the Baby Spice look. But that doesn't mean she has to go into fashion purdah
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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 1 May 2015
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before