Life and Style

For the new season, don’t just change what clothes you wear – opt for a hardier fragrance as the weather begins to chill

Fashion Update: Clogged up

LAST summer, Gucci made clogs for women. This summer, Gucci is making them for men, too. Traditionally, men have a tough time with summer shoes: choice has been limited to leather Jesus sandals, smelly trainers, boat shoes, or, more recently, Birkenstocks. So the Gucci clog makes a change. And at least pounds 115 a pair, they should well see you through to next summer, too - if you are not sick of the sight of them by then. The women's version was copied up and down the high street. The men's will be, too. Just one hint: avoid wearing them with socks.

SCULPTURE / Between a rock and a hard place: Andy Goldsworthy, the sculptor of twigs and leaves, icicles and snowballs, has developed a thing about solid stone. As he tells Gillian Widdicombe

Shoppers in Old Bond Street are in for a shock next week. The old Gucci showroom, once piled high with brown luggage and handbags with Gs on them, will open for five weeks as a huge white void containing installations by Andy Goldsworthy in Locharbriggs red sandstone. The biggest piece consists of 11 arches rising from the floor like the humps of a serpent, each arch weighing nearly a tonne and made from about 27 pieces of stone stacked together without mortar.

Style: Shops make off with the booty: Pricey designer footwear is having to compete with cheap high street copies, says Tamsin Blanchard

Cult shoes are vulnerable to copying. The Gucci loafer, for instance, was adapted by everyone, from Hobbs to Marks & Spencer. So, last summer, was the Gucci clog - and, in that case, the real thing was not as well made as the street versions (there were reports of heels breaking on the pounds 115 Gucci originals).

Fashion Update: Cool reception

THERE are always a few monsters - fashion folk call them Fashion Don'ts - at the collections. A gold star this season then to Katharine Hamnett, who slyly slipped in a pair of leg-warmers as part of her show. The Italians, who perhaps didn't wear them in 1976, didn't flinch. The Brits did.

Divorce in the Gucci style: The last of the Guccis has danced the soft- shoe shuffle out of the company, ending one chapter in a stormy story of legal battles and sibling rivalry. The family has gone, but problems remain. Nicholas Faith reports

AS SOON as Maurizio Gucci had signed the deal selling his half share of the family company 10 days ago, his chairman's office was sealed and his papers removed. Although the clear-out was ordered by the firm's new owner, Investcorp, the Arab-backed investment bank, the gesture was entirely in the tradition of a story that bears more resemblance to an Italian soap opera than orthodox company history. Nine years before, the office formerly occupied by his uncle Aldo had been cleared and the locks changed after Aldo had lost a power struggle.

BOOK REVIEW / Essex Man of the East: 'The Japanese: Strange But Not Strangers' - Joe Joseph, Viking, 15.99; 'Caught in a Mirror: Reflections of Japan' - Lisa Martineau: Macmillan, 16.99

A LAND of high-tech and atavism, of faceless conformity and ruthless competitiveness, of exquisite aesthetic sensitivity and callous cruelty - Japan, to most of us, is a mystery. How does it all make sense?

Fashion: The multi-layered genius of Ozbek: The British designer of the year has shown Versace and Armani the way to go, says Marion Hume in Milan

A bald Londoner called Eve swaggered out first in front of an audience accustomed to models with neat chignons. She wore an ankle-skimming regimental coat, an exotically embroidered gilet and a fluid batik-inspired peasant skirt. And by the time Naomi Campbell - in a sliver of a sheath dress that lapped her body like molten gold - brought Rifat Ozbek's show to a close on Tuesday, the British Designer of the Year had conquered Milan.
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