Life and Style

Clockwise from top right: Shoes, £350, Bally, 020 7491 7062

To boldly go... the trends laid bare

Big shapes, bigger baubles and a brave spirit dominate the new season's collections, says Susannah Frankel. Dare to wear these clothes

The mane event: Laura Trott

In winning style: Moments of fashion flair from Team GB

Olympians may have been proud to compete in their national colours, but that didn't stop them from adding their own moments of fashionable flair, says Rebecca Gonsalves

Andrew Simpson (left) and Iain Percy took silver at the Star Class

Percy and Simpson heartbroken after being denied gold

British hearts were broken on the water this afternoon as Sweden denied Iain Percy and Andrew Simpson gold in the Star class.

The 10 Best make-up bags

Stash your slap, lotions and potions in a style that suits you with one of these colourful cosmetics purses

1. The Designer: Ulyana Sergeenko, 32
The wife of a Russian insurance billionaire who started her own Moscow-based fashion label. Her haute couture debut in Paris earlier this month was the talk of the fashion world.

Russian design takes Europe's catwalks by storm

The invasion from the east is latest front for the nation's booming £30bn fashion industry

Qataris buy Italian design house Valentino in €700m deal

Valentino, one of Italy's most famous designers, has secured a spot in the vast wardrobe of Qatar's Royal family.

Ready To Wear: Contrary to all rhyme and reason, couture is alive and kicking

Fashion is fuelled by mythology and stories so lovely that one could be forgiven for thinking they are imaginary – or at least heavily embellished, just like the clothes that go with them. The haute couture, however, is the last bastion of such romance and, contrary to all rhyme and reason maybe, it remains very much alive.

A model wears a Donatella Versace dress during the haute couture autumn/winter 2012-2013 collection show in Paris

Couture steals the spotlight in Paris

Versace and Chanel among designers profiting through fashion's most exclusive craft, says Susannah Frankel

Bugle bead dress, £565, by Hakaan, houseofhakaan.com; rose-bud sandals, £705, by Nicholas Kirkwood, 5 Mount Street, London W1, 020-7290 1404

Night moves: Max out on minidresses

High hemlines, high prices, but such high glamour, too...

Lady Gaga snaps up Alexander McQueen gown for 'world record price'

Chart star Lady Gaga is believed to have paid a world record price for a gown by her late friend Alexander McQueen at a London auction.

Kitsch casa: The Medusa mosaic and gilded pool of the ornate mansion

Live like Versace, for just £80m

Home has gold-plated pool – and a murky history

We love: Bag lady - It’s well-known that Mrs Prada can do very little wrong, and her latest bag design is proof of that greatness. Available in a range of vibrant colours, it teaches all the other old-school satchels a lesson. prada.com

The Fashion Audit: Bags, Graduates Collections and Bum Notes

What we love, we're not sure about, we're buying and can't wait for...

Graff braves market woes to float at $1bn in HK

Graff Diamonds, the high-end jeweller, is forging ahead with an initial public offering to raise up to $1bn (£630m), setting a price range for its Hong Kong flotation despite a sell-off in equity markets.

Current Olympic gold medallists Andrew Simpson (left) and Iain Percy took silver at the Star Class world championship in Hyères, France

Brazil’s Robert Scheidt snatches the world championship of the Star keelboat class

The continuing battle between Brazil’s Robert Scheidt, reigning Olympic gold medallist Iain Percy, and Britain’s top sailors ramped up another notch in Hyères today as Scheidt, with crew Bruno Prada, snatched the world championship of the Star keelboat class from Percy and crew Andrew Simpson.

Dress, £4,760, by Erdem, from net-a-porter.com; headdress and floral wrist cuff, both made to order, by Rebel Rebel, 5 Broadway Market, London E8, 020-7254 4487, rebelrebel.co.uk; lace bra (worn throughout), £16, by american apparel, store.american-apparel.co.uk

True romance: Perfect spring party dresses

Vintage-style lace will seduce every time...

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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
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own