We are facing lean times, say retailers

TWO retailers reported signs of consumers shifting upmarket in their buying patterns yesterday though they said higher interest rates, falling tax reliefs and increased competition would make 1998 a difficult year on the high street.

It shouldn't happen to Yvette

IT must be the nightmare every bride dreads. You are looking your best on the most important day of your life, and some big shot turns up and grabs all the attention, writes Paul Routledge.

The wide-awake club

Once it was world famous as the city where all fun stopped at 11pm sharp. Now, the determined London reveller can eat, drink and shop for groceries until the sun comes up. James Sherwood joined the growing nocturnal throng

Belle epoque

As fashion designers look back to the turn of the century, so, too, do the costumes of January's sumptuous film release, The Wings of the Dove. By Tamsin Blanchard. Styling by Emma Sanchez. Photographs by Garth Meyer

Advertising: Throwing us off the scent

Lancome's Tresor

CV: Barbara Nokes Creative director, Grey

At 14, I wanted to leave both home and school, and I got a very strange job, filing the milk yields of cows at the English Guernsey Cattle Society. This turned out to be even more boring than school, as did my next eight jobs. But two years later, towards the end of the Sixties, I landed my first job in an advertising agency - as creative department secretary.

Fashion: Movers and shakers in the Bond market

When `Tomorrow Never Dies' opens next week 007 won't be the only one in for the kill. Designing clothes for the world's most stylish secret agent - and his enemies - can be a licence to sell, says Francesca Fearon.

It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it

Young people: nobody understands you! But I do! Even more than William Hague does! I understand your hopes, fears, insecurities, ambitions and those little sexual peccadilloes which you can't tell anybody about. But you can tell me. I won't laugh. I will understand. I may even help you with them. Would I lie? No! Of course not! I have some boiled sweets in my pockets, and some puppies round the corner. In my little shed! Would you like to see them? Oh yes you would, or do you want to feel the rough edge of Waldo Whacker on your BTM? I thought not. Good. Look: this is the start of our series "Things You Don't Want To Do With Your Life". Part One is The Party Test. When choosing your career, it is important to avoid occupations which would cause embarrassment. You may think it is unlikely now, but there will come a time when you will go to parties where there's somebody called Graeme.

Rugby Union: Noves faces his betes noires

Unless Guy Noves is indulging in a particularly unsubtle form of psychological one-upmanship, he is now a clear frontrunner for the Conciliatory Boss of the Year award. His team, Toulouse, are playing like drains, he has his most influential international backs, Emile Ntamack and Christophe Deylaud, on the injury list and he knows he must beat Leicester at Welford Road this afternoon if he is to avoid a distinctly uncomfortable quarter-final play-off match at the start of next month. How does he feel, given this litany of woe? "Pleased," apparently.

Ted Baker founder worth pounds 37m after float

Ted Baker, the designer and retailer of fashionable men's clothes, is coming to the stock market in a pounds 56m flotation which will make the company's founder, Ray Kelvin, worth around pounds 37m, writes Magnus Grimond. The windfall comes on top of pounds 3m that Mr Kelvin, chief executive, pulled out of the business as "exceptional directors' emoluments" ahead of the market launch.

Avant-garde, over long, over here

MUSIC Laurie Anderson and Friends Meltdown, QEH, London

Books: All dressed up, nowhere to go

Miranda Seymour on a natty but static stylist; Soon to be a Major Motion Picture by Jonathan Keates, Chatto & Windus, pounds 12.99

Chris Smither / Downpatrick Folk Club

Music is a big deal in Ireland. The place may be renowned for foisting its own folk music on everybody else in the world but such is the discerning population's thirst for quality in music period that over recent years it's all but adopted as its own a handful of great acoustic troubadours from overseas, and king among them all is Chris Smither from New Orleans.

The market: Ahh, the smell of Brit

Vivienne Westwood is the living embodiment of her ex-boyfriend Malcolm McLaren's favourite saying - Cash From Chaos. Peer beneath the good lady's own underwear choices and general cocky attitude and you'll find a business mind that's 20 times more astute than most British cloth cutters. Symbolic of this is the announcement that she intends to be the first British designer to launch a scent.

Suit is not a four-letter word

Like the decade, the Nineties suit is lean and mean, says Nick Foulkes. Styling by Phillipa Duck. Photographs by Desmond Muckian
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Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions