Life and Style

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

Tender women: Decorative images of women have been a recurring theme on banknotes since the 17th century. Iain Gale put his hand in his pocket

The Queen looks up from a five-pound note with a serene smile, her presence transforming what was a mere piece of paper into something of real value. But what of the other side? For hundreds of years, bankers have debated long and hard over what or who to show on the reverse of their currency. And nine times out of 10, the answer has been a woman.

FASHION / On the Eve

FOR THOSE supermodel-spotters who are by now feeling rather tired of the winsome sweetness of Kate Moss, here's the antidote. Eve Salvail (pronounced Evv) is the 22-year-old French Canadian model who for the past two years, since she shaved her head and had her scalp tattooed, has been making them sit up on the front row of the international catwalk shows. A Sinead O'Connor among supermodels, she is noted for her beautiful-aggressive looks and a cavalier attitude to modelling agencies, which she changes with careless regularity. In fact, she says, she doesn't want an agency, just a manager, preferably her friend and companion Pina Rizzi, from whom she's rarely separated.

Newsbrief: Shady activity

Sunglasses worth pounds 1m have been stolen from a Battersea warehouse. The haul of 7,000 to 8,000 frames, including designs by Jean Paul Gaultier, were taken from a store in Queenstown Road.

Look who's talking: Male and female below the waist: The fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier explains how he managed to get so close to Madonna's breasts

WAS I ever a fashion victim myself? Never. Well, maybe in 1970 I was a bit. I wasn't a victim in the sense of blindly doing whatever was in fashion, but I would wear what I thought suited me.

Cricket: Last chance for an enigma: Derek Pringle tries to unravel the puzzle of an unfulfilled talent

CHRIS LEWIS is a puzzle. For starters he thinks nothing of spending a fortune on designer clothes (Jean-Paul Gaultier at present) yet he reckons the room service surcharge in Guyana is a rip-off. He reads the Bible in public but Tom Sharpe in private and is addicted to Chinese food and the telephone. He might bowl swing or pace - brilliantly or indifferently - and alternates between batting like a beginner and batting like a genius.

Gaultier warms to vision of the cold North

THE FIRST thing an Inuit woman does in the morning is chew her husband's boots to soften them up.

FASHION / castaway (those trousers)

YOU'RE a man. You're fed up with trousers and zips, braces and button flies. Well why not take the plunge this year? Try a skirt. For spring/summer 1994, nearly every international designer followed up the experiment Jean-Paul Gaultier started years ago. A lot of their 'skirts' were simply lengths of fabric wrapped and tied like the traditional sarong, but worn with suit jackets and sweaters: Paul Smith used muslin; Katharine

FASHION / The puritan look

THIS SEASON, designers got religion. At the Paris shows in October, Helmut Lang produced shifts that would have graced novitiates in a convent. Not to be outdone, Jean Paul Gaultier plagiarised the dress of Hasidic Jews. And in New York, Calvin Klein eschewed the Hamptons and took a trip to Amish country. Even Prada, the Milanese company much loved by urban hedonists, did penance by producing a collection of shifts, albeit in velvet and suede rather than sackcloth. And now the clothes of the prayer meeting are on the streets: pinafores and shifts over plain white shirts under long lean coats with lace-up boots. Despite the rather unlikely sources, it is a rewarding look for most of us - simple, pure and flattering. But as a sign that we are becoming more spiritual? Unlikely.

Dear Santa: Some image counselling for the worst-dressed seasonal icon

Look, I know this is a busy time for you. The last thing you need is to be plagued by yet another wheedling, simpering Oh-please-Santa-can-I-have sort of letter. But bear with me. I want to give you something. Advice.

TELEVISION / Lauouaof? I nearly bought the Garden Weasel

'IF THE sponsor doesn't like it,' rages the talk-show host in The Larry Sanders Show (BBC 2), 'they can screw a light bulb up my ass and use me as a desk lamp.' The alert among you will notice something unusual about this remark from an American comedy - its strong flavour and unrestrained aggression, for example, which are as startling in this context as a jalapeno pepper in a bowl of cornflakes. The explanation is simple - The Larry Sanders Show was first shown on cable in America, which allows it considerable liberties of language and tone, not least in the way that it talks about network television.

Fashion: Big names with grand designs for Aids

RIFAT OZBEK, British Designer of the Year, has lost close friends to Aids, including the model and designer Tina Chow and the photographer Stevie Hughes. Ozbek, who co-founded Aids Crisis Trust, is now encouraging fellow fashion designers from around the world to join him in making an enormous quilt to commemorate friends who have died.

Drags and strictures at an exhibition

WHO WOULD have thought, a few years ago, that drag - that old staple of stage, panto and party - would pass into contemporary mores?

Style: Who is that guy everyone's talking about?: Roger Tredre delves into the world of the secretive Martin Margiela, one of the hottest names to emerge from the fashion underground this year

IN THE spring of 1993, Martin Margiela is possibly the most fashionable designer in the world. For years he was associated with the fashion underground. Most people within the industry knew his name, but few bought his clothes. He was loved only by hipper-than-thou fashion students and readers of i-D magazine. Now his time has come.

Fashion: Any shape you choose is still beautiful in Babedom: Lisa Armstrong hears a philosophy of life that is absolutely brill

THE best thing about Boobs, Boys and High Heels, or How to Get Dressed in Just under Six Hours, the debut book from the sometime model Dianne Brill, is not that it tells you that cheap mayonnaise makes great hair conditioner or that lots of lip liner and powder will make your lipstick kiss-proof, but that it amply demonstrates how far self-belief can get you.
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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?