News

Online sales climbed a record breaking 58% as HoF celebrated 'best ever' Christmas

The cultural significance of the handbag

Battered satchels, fleetingly fashionable designer clutches, elegant classics... We should acknowledge that bags are a crucial barometer of our times, argues Susannah Frankel

Deborah Ross: Pity the poor, overworked fashion hacks

If you ask me...

Editor-At-Large: Lansley is to health what Clarkson is to road safety

Last week, Caroline Spelman apologised when her "big idea" to flog our much-loved forests got the thumbs down on all sides. The day before, Dave had trashed it publicly during Prime Minister's Questions. Perhaps now Mr Cameron is back in the driving seat, he can rein in cocky Health Secretary Andrew Lansley. He has told The Grocer he's not interested in "nannying" people about what they eat. His new deal with the fast food giants, to put calorie counts on menus, does not add up to much – not when he's cut back on public health advertising and said he wants to work "in partnership" with the food and drink industry. It's a bit like asking Jeremy Clarkson to come up with a new driving test or a modern version of the Highway Code.

Pope's UK visit cost £7m

The Pope's state visit to the UK last year cost the taxpayer at least £7 million before security, the Foreign Office has disclosed.

Handbags at dawn: The battle at the heart of French fashion house Hermès

Talks of a takeover are ruffling family feathers at the classic fashion house, Hermès. Susannah Frankel on a battle for the grandest label of them all

The bold and the beautiful: Spring accessories

From fruity shoes and novelty sunglasses to fringed earrings and de luxe bags, spring's accessories are fresh and wild, says Gemma Hayward

Neds, Peter Mullan, 124 mins (18)

The Seventies are a tough time, and Glasgow is a tough place in an unflinching coming-of-age drama

Mulberry fashions 66% rise in trade from handbags

Mulberry, whose handbags adorn the arms of celebrities including Gemma Arterton and Kate Moss, became the latest fashion brand to defy the "age of austerity" as it reported bumper holiday sales.

Carola Long: 'The Maggie-Thatcher-meets-Her-Majesty look is one of this season’s multiple bag trends'

The forthcoming book Fifty Bags That Changed the World recalls the sensation that the Queen's style caused on a visit to Italy in 2000. La Repubblica ran a front-page story entitled "Ode to the Queen's Handbag". "There it is", the article gushed, "that disturbing object, firmly attached to her left forearm. The secret of her regality is in that little royal but oh so ordinary accessory."

Ready To Wear: This season's bags are barely big enough to fit a lipstick

Bad things about being a woman: unequal pay, period pains and, later in life, the inevitable hairy chin.

Mary Ann Sieghart: Let's resolve to embrace our flaws

With contentment comes confidence. And if you feel good about yourself, you start to look good – even if you are 80

'Ah, the language of handbags says it all'

Even in a recession, women can spend big money on luxury accessories. And, at Christie's, they're knocking-out vintage bags for the price of a quality car

Cinderella, Hippodrome, Birmingham

A familiar tale, traditionally told, a sumptuous look and bewitching sound. It must be Christmas

Elderly sisters fight off would-be attacker

Two elderly sisters who fought off an attacker who attempted to rob them in a residential street were praised today by police.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn