Life and Style

How do five designers alight on the same obscure inspiration? How are ‘trends’ born?

Through the looking glass: Róisín Murphy reflects on her stylish life

Gigs, photo sessions, catwalk shows, parties... a busy woman needs a change of outfit or two. Here, the Moloko-singer-turned-solo-star talks us through some of her more memorable fashion moments

Fur flies: Top designers lead fightback

Some of fashion's biggest names are refusing to heed the animal activists' campaign to ban its use. Jonathan Owen and Mark Jewsbury report

DVD: Kylie, KylieX2008 , (Fremantle Media)

The Minogue machine has been responsible for more moments of pure pop genius this decade than any other.

Susannah Frankel: 'Time to hide your tunics, tartans and tweeds'

Ready to Wear: Deep cleanse your wardrobe

Ready to Wear: The Lanvin/Acne tuxedo looks great in America’s most ubiquitous weave

The late Yves Saint Laurent famously said that he wished he had invented denim. As that has been the staple fabric of the modern wardrobe, both for men and women, from the 1970s to this day, it is easy to see why. This also goes some way towards explaining the collaboration between the Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz and the Swedish purveyor of probably the finest denim in the world just now, Acne. The results, due in store and online later this month, are as covetable as might be expected.

Checks appeal

From the highlands to the home, tartan rules the roost. Annie Deakin falls in love with tartan. Literally.

Ready to Wear: Big knickers are a way of sexualising a wardrobe and the wearer

Knickers. They're everywhere. And if that sounds like the most almighty case of stating the obvious, the fact that any underwear is currently being worn over clothes rather than hidden away beneath them or, failing that, that the clothes in question are so sheer that knickers show through is perhaps less commonplace.

Trinny and Susannah slide out of fashion

They were queens of the makeover show, and a generation of women trusted their style advice. So what caused Trinny and Susannah's crowns to slip?

Johann Hari: What sort of freedom do you believe in?

In a lush patch of Yorkshire, something strange is happening. The quaint practice of a British by-election has thrown up a serious philosophical debate about what it means to be free. Sure, to get to it, you have to jostle past the silicone implants of the Miss Great Britain Party, David Icke's seven-foot lizards plotting world domination, and the Westminster correspondent-flock wondering what it all means back in SW1. You have to burrow deep, and listen hard. But if you do, you can begin to see what liberty will look like in a techno-charged 21st century.

Facchinetti serves up elegant ode to luxury for Valentino

Alessandra Facchinetti's first haute couture show for Valentino was an ode to refined luxury. The house's new creative director, who took the reins after Valentino Gharavani retired in January, succeeded in showcasing the skills of the atelier while exercising a modern restraint.

Punch and Judy, Young Vic, London<br/>Atalanta, Britten Theatre, London<br/>Acis and Galatea, Wilton's Music Hall, London

Mr and Mrs Punch and the Molotov cocktail: Britten was said to hate Birtwistle's violent opera, but, 40 years on, its wit and skill stand out. Just don't look for a moral centre

French Lessons: Couture shows in Paris

The couture shows in Paris were a masterclass in both elegant restraint and unfettered exuberance, says Susannah Frankel

A cut above: Stylist to the stars dies

Hairdresser to the royal, the rich and the celebrated, Alexandre de Paris did everyone from Liz Taylor to Claudia Schiffer. As his death is announced, John Lichfield celebrates the first &ndash; and sharpest &ndash; of the 'haut coiffeurs'
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Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...