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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Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
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David Ryall in Harry Potter
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Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
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Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
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Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
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British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
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Hackers revealed Oscar-winning actress Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle
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Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
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Wayne Rooney warms up ahead of the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at White Hart Lane
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Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015