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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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

Marian Keyes

The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

Rodgers fights for his reputation

Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick