Life and Style

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


We've done a women's autumn fashion special. Now it's the men's turn: after all, you're just as interested in what's hot for the coming season as we are (and if you're not, you should be). So from trad tweed to sexy suits, this one's for you, boys

Collect Call: After a fashion;

Bonham's Design Sale

Famous owner fails to add value to frock collection

A large collection of dresses belonging to TV personality Janet Street-Porter was yesterday auctioned for a total of only pounds 3,000 - half the amount it was expected to raise.

POP: Hugh Cornwell; Dingwalls, London

Thursday was the one-time Strangler-king's birthday, and the select crowd welcomed Mr Cornwell with a chorus of congratulation - "happy birthday, dear Hyooo-ugh..." This, of course, he barely acknowledged, since what is an ex-Strangler for if not to evince disgust at such tawdriness? But here's the difference: though he played the set wearing a disaffected frown, the music Cornwell makes these days retains little of the cute, brute thuggery of yore; in his old age (he's 48) he's replaced it with pop craftsmanship and wry lyrics about the way men and women tease and interact.

Challenge Charlie; I need an overhaul

Charlie Harrington continues her occasional series with a rescue plan for a young woman who doesn't have the stamina to shop till she drops

PETER YORK ON ADS: Antoine flaunts a bit of lip and a lot of lolly


Berardi's Paris

Antonio Berardi (below) is fashion's Next Big Thing, so says everyone, including American Vogue. British, 28, and just two years out of Central St Martin's, he has already had offers to design for major houses in Paris and Milan. Here he reports on this month's Paris couture, a special eye on the catwalks where soon he will loom large. Photographs by Jon Fischer

After Diana, Janet decides it's time for a clear-out

It is a brave woman who follows the trend started by Diana, Princess of Wales in publicly clearing out her overstuffed wardrobe. Few could have imagined that the next contender in this particularly masochistic style challenge would be Yoof TV guru Janet Street-Porter.

Style police; No accounting for taste

Beware the sales. Many bargains belong in the fashion bin, warns James Sherwood

Oh, for the freedom of the begging-bowl

You know beggars? You know what it is about beggars? It's their lack of elegance. They're such losers, such schlumps. All that matted hair, those horrible, deliberate clothes, the filthy dogs on string, the scrawled notices on cardboard like an NHS hospital. If Tony and the Blairenes ("A Song, A Smile and a Nolle Prosequi") ever want to make a real difference to our quality of public life, they might take a break from forming human pyramids in the Cabinet room, and commission Terence Conran to redesign our beggars.

The man behind the Girlies waves goodbye to Channel 4

'The Girlie Show': Criticised by Channel 4's newly appointed chief executive, Michael Jackson

DANCE Tobias Tak Purcell Room, London

Today's tap dancers have a hard act to follow. Our mental template for their art has been drawn by Hollywood musicals that combined rare talent with 25-take celluloid perfection. Ballet dancers have enough trouble competing with rose-coloured memories of Ulanova or Bruhn but at least their films aren't on BBC2 every Saturday afternoon. The unsweaty insouciance of the Hollywood hoofer is impossible to achieve outside the cutting room but the Dutch dancer Tobias Tak comes very close. His stamina and breath control are such that he can happily interrupt a song with a virtuoso tap display then slip back into the verse without missing a beat.

Style police: Cred men don't wear plaid

Kilts went from risque to passe without ever being cool, despite Gaultier's efforts. James Sherwood reports

Sads, mads and le lad

Antoine de Caunes (new beard and all) gets serious about trash with Serena Mackesy

Avante-garde Belgian joins Establishment

The reclusive Belgian designer Martin Margiela was yesterday appointed design director of the luxury French company, Hermes. Rather than going for a name that will feature on tabloid front pages, Hermes have opted for the most avant-garde and experimental of designers, whose label inside his clothes does not even bear his signature. It is nothing but a rectangle of plain white cotton.
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