Grayson Perry

Mum's the word for a hundred artists

Billy Childish, who was closely associated with the Young British Artists, but always asserted his independence, has used thick paint to capture his mother in his latest portrait (pictured). He is not alone in using his mum as inspiration for his work – there is a long tradition of artists, including Lucian Freud and David Hockney, painting or photographing their mums.

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Perfect match: How the crossover between fashion and art inspires

Even the most rarefied of fashion designers is unlikely ever to describe him or herself as an artist. That would be rushing in where angels fear to tread. Art is art – a highbrow and only ever a coincidentally commercial pursuit – fashion is fashion, catering to the pretty, privileged and vain. Or so any purists out there might argue. It's a far from modern view, though. Witness the Louis Vuitton flagship store that opened on London's New Bond Street earlier this year with its Michael Landy kinetic sculpture, Damien Hirst monogrammed medicine chest and hugely successful bags designed in collaboration with Takashi Murakami to see how these two apparently very different disciplines benefit one another. Or how about the Prada Foundation in Milan, home to some of the most innovative artworks of the age. The brains behind it – Miuccia Prada and her husband, Patrizio Bertelli – are presumably more than a little aware that if designer fashion is aspirational, fine art is even more so and any association only serves to heighten the outside world's perception of a brand's status and power.

The Diary: Patrick Barlow's Star Child; Belarus Free Theatre; Jessica

London's theatres can draw a glittering crowd of guests when they want to but how deep are their pockets? We'll find out on 5 December when Theatreland hosts not one but two VIP charity galas in a dramatic date clash. In the red corner, the Almeida Theatre will stage Star Child in aid of the Art Room Charity. Catherine Tate, Stephen Mangan and Juliet Stevenson will all star in Patrick Barlow's modern-day nativity while Stephen Fry – who else? – will play a "disgruntled" God. Tickets: £75 (including post-show champagne). Meanwhile, in the blue (orange?) corner, the Young Vic will host a benefit for the Belarus Free Theatre and Index on Censorship, with tickets priced for the people at £25-45. Jude Law, Ian McKellen and Sam West are signed up as guest stars for the night, timed to chime with the Belarusian elections on 19 December. Shame they didn't check the theatre calendar too.