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'
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?