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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Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
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Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Scandi crush: Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

Th Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum
France's Front National and the fear of a ‘gay lobby’ around Marine Le Pen

Front National fear of ‘gay lobby’

Marine Le Pen appoints Sébastien Chenu as cultural adviser
'Enhanced interrogation techniques?' When language is distorted to hide state crimes

Robert Fisk on the CIA 'torture report'

Once again language is distorted in order to hide US state wrongdoing
Radio 1’s new chart host must placate the Swifties and Azaleans

Radio 1 to mediate between the Swifties and Azaleans

New chart host Clara Amfo must placate pop's fan armies
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'It's life, and not the Forces, that gets you'

The head of Veterans Aid on how his charity is changing perceptions of ex-servicemen and women in need
Torture: It didn't work then, it doesn't work now

Torture: It didn't work then, it doesn't work now

Its use is always wrong and, despite CIA justifications post 9/11, the information obtained from it is invariably tainted, argues Patrick Cockburn
Rebranding Christmas: More public bodies are refusing to give the festival its name for fear of causing offence

Rebranding Christmas

More public bodies are refusing to give the festival its name for fear of causing offence. They are missing the point, and we all need to grow up