Life and Style

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

Fashion: Classical studies

No zips, no buttons, no Velcro to be seen - this summer will be one long toga party as designers turn out clothes that would grace a Roman statue. Getting dressed has never been such a challenge

Fashion: Suits you, signore

There are no trends in menswear. As the Milan shows proved, it's only the details that change.

Brace yourself, Paris

ALTHOUGH we do sometimes publish articles about Christmas shopping in this travel section, I have to confess that going on holiday to shop always struck me as a contradiction in terms. Was not shopping after all a particularly painful form of work, and were not holidays supposed to mean an absence of work?

Test your Euro Knowledge

Bank staff should brace themselves for a mystifying start to the New Year in case customers demand accounts be converted into equarders, eus or even curos rather than the newly introduced euro. With just over two weeks to E-day, a survey reveals 51 per cent of those questioned still do not know the correct name of the new European single currency. Only five per cent surveyed in the BBC Money Programme poll knew euro notes and coins would be introduced in 2002, and 90 per cent had no idea the euro would be worth around 70p. European Movement director Steven Woodard said the findings illustrated how out of touch people were with events on the other side of the Channel. Try our quiz to find out if your euro knowledge is up to speed...

The Style Police: Will we wear it?

Huge, bell-shaped skirts look great in period dramas. And there they should stay, warns James Sherwood

Staying in: Sauciness and silicone

A statuesque Austrian woman wearing a crown, a lurid green bikini and a matching sash reading "Miss Asparagus" sashays into a television studio to sit on the knee of a suave Frenchman. "Would you mind taking a look at my asparagus?" he asks, in more of a simple than a double entendre. "How does it compare to other boys' asparagus? What part do you prefer - the shaft or the tip?" Having salaciously invited the woman to gorge herself on some asparagus, the man then wonders: "Was it as good for you as it was for me?" The spirit of Carry On is not dead. It lives on in Eurotrash.

Trans-sexual's Eurovision win has divine appeal

THE triumph of Dana International, trans-sexual Israeli winner of this year's Eurovision Song Contest, sparked emotions of biblical proportions yesterday. The young and open-minded celebrated a new diva, while the singer herself claimed divine inspiration. Back home, disgusted ultra- Orthodox Jews expressed the opposite view.

She was a he and Israel's part of Europe - that's showbiz

THE TRANS-SEXUAL singer from Israel, Dana International, won one of the most eventful Eurovision Song Contests for years last night, only securing victory in the final round of voting with her song "Diva".

Hot off the Press


Fashion: The skirts you can keep, but oh what I'd give for a pair of shades and some trainers

Menswear designers have already decided what the fashionable male will be wearing next autumn: it's either cobweb knits, Edwardiana, north African layers or that old favourite, a crisply tailored miniskirt. Ian Phillips braved the stampedes. Photographs by Andrew Thomas.

Scent of a sex-industry operative


Fashion: A New Year's fling with tartan

Check it out, Sassenachs. Vivienne Westwood is not the only one south of the Border to be wild about tartan.

Tried & Tested: The Fake Fir Look

They don't drop needles, and they're re-usable, but how do they look? We hang our lights on artificial trees

Book review: Fashion with a sense of Uma

Undressing Cinema: Clothing and Identity in the Movies by Stella Bruzzi Routledge pounds 45/pounds 12.99

Charity ball that stretches imagination to the limit

Skin Two Rubber Ball, tonight, Hammersmith Palais
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Career Services

Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn