Life and Style

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


The 20th century is the age of mass-produced, mass-broadcast sex. Anyone who wasn't raised by dingos in the Australian outback can clock that truism about capitalism in less time than it takes to consume a Haagen- Dazs. But the process of sexualising objects started way before ice-cream companies decided to imbue their frozen yoghurts with something a bit more potent than freeze-dried strawberries.


Rock the casbah, urges the Belgian designer Dries Van Noten. Styling by Sophia Neophitou. Photographs by Thiemo Sanders

Fashion: Nature of a man-made fabric

Another cellulose fibre? This is different. It's called Tencel, and promises to be the silk of the future. By Tamsin Blanchard

Why Paul and Tim won't ever be Kate and Naomi

Sorry boys, it's a woman's world on the catwalk. Hester Lacey on why male models don't make household names

girls will be boys

In the new unisex stores and on the street, what's his is hers. Shw wea rs desert boots, flat-front trousers and boys' school shirts.

Letter: Model males

Sir: In response to Jack O'Sullivan's call for new role models for men in 1997 ("Men plumb the depths of bad behaviour", 26 December), my own hero list is: Frank Zappa, Jean-Paul Gaultier, John Kenneth Galbraith and Brian Eno.

let us spray: sniffing out the glitterati

It's as star-studded as the Oscars and twice as fragrant: Liesl Schillinger drops in on the perfume awards in New York

Fashion: disco nights

High glam, high times. The most celebrated club of the Seventies, Studio 54 in New York, opened 19 years ago. This is where Bianca Jagger entered on a white horse, where Truman Capote held court among the chorus boys, and where only the famous or outrageous ever got past the door-ropes. A film is already under discussion. Now fashion designers are looking back to the decade when disco divas thought nothing of wearing a pair of sequined loons with a Lurex boob tube. To anyone born after 1970, the clothes in these pages - by Katharine Hamnett, Jean Paul Gaultier, Paul Smith and Yves Saint Laurent - do much more than reinvent that era; they exemplify ultramodern chic. Photographs by Jane Mcleish


THE cube-shaped ticket sent out by Jean-Paul Gaultier for his show on Friday night should have been a clue that the designer has developed square eyes from watching and presenting too much `Eurotrash', writes Tamsin Blanchard. Guests were seated on polystyrene cubes; video screens relayed American model Amber Valetta stating "my head is a cube". Then out came the clothes, a whole series of building-brick-cubist rubber dresses in bright blocks of colour, followed by kitsch Sixties print coats and trouser suits. The show was held at the icy, disused Paris railway shed that designers had been opting for last week.

Review: Vegetal; Theatre de la Ville, Paris

It was a short career, but a glorious one: Jean-Michel Basquiat made sure of that.

A passion for feasting

A LITTLE TOO MUCH IS ENOUGH by Kathleen Tyau, Women's Press pounds 6.99

Mine's a Coke - no, make that a Pammy

I once went to a wedding in which the best man compared the bride to a pint of beer: "Good head, firm body and satisfying to hold." The guests laughed heartily; the bride, to my amazement, cooed and blushed - with delight - while I hastily relegated this alarming comparison to the back of my mind.

FASHION: Buy me: Knickerbox slip

We all know the story by now: underwear can be worn out. Out of the confines of the bedroom, out from underneath your clothes, out on the street, even out on your coffee table, (see Kelly Klein's new book Underworld). And it's not shocking.


It will be dry until Wednesday, then frost, with rain in the North- east and the South-west on Tuesday. Whatever, here's an eclectic look at what you could possibly do, see, or buy this week ...
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Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
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