News Louis Vuitton is finding that customers no longer buy handbags for the logo and is changing tack

Sales rebound in fourth quarter after a tough year for French luxury giant

The time of the hourglass

With her circle skirt, cinched waist and cantilevered cleavage, this season's fashion heroine recalls the elegantly silhouetted woman of yesteryear, says Susannah Frankel. Models have rarely looked this curvy

Let them eat manga: How Takashi Murakami introduced Japanese kitsch to the Palace of Versailles

Japanese kitsch in the Palace of Versailles? The French establishment is horrified. But Takashi Murakami, the world's most influential living artist, isn't bothered in the slightest

LVMH boosted by luxury goods rebound

Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH) confirmed the luxury goods industry's stronger-than-expected rebound yesterday as it posted a 14 per cent rise in underlying third-quarter sales, driven by the solid recovery of its fashion, wines and champagne businesses.

Le beau monde: Designers sparkle in Paris

Horses at Hermès, a live orchestra at Chanel – Paris designers pulled out all the stops at the spring/summer shows. And then there were the clothes... Susannah Frankel found power dressing, flat shoes, and some serious sparkle

Harriet Walker: 'Now it's men versus women in the battle of the bulge'

Fashion is preoccupied this season with specific anatomical hugeness. With hourglass shapes at Prada and Louis Vuitton, not to mention Christina Hendricks' busty ubiquity, we are told that boobs are back. They never went away, I hear the blokes cry – maybe not in your realm, but I imagine we read quite different magazines.

Animal prints stalk the catwalk at Louis Vuitton

"The relation between boredom and camp taste cannot be overestimated," read the notes placed on the seats at the Louis Vuitton show in Paris yesterday. "Camp taste is by its nature possible only in affluent societies, in societies or circles capable of experiencing the psychopathology of affluence."

British 'bitterly disappointed' at withdrawal from America's Cup

Britain is pulling out of one of the pinnacle events in world yacht racing, the America's Cup.

Cup format delayed but date on boat to be revealed

The rules governing the next America's Cup will now be published on 13 September, two weeks after the due day today, but will bring forward the announcement of the boats to be used and will name the year.

Special Bond: Retailers spend £100m on stores

MaxMara and Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy are each buying a store on London's Bond Street, as luxury retailers snap up property on the exclusive shopping street.

The beige revolution

Something shocking has happened on the catwalk. After years of excess, next season's shoes are wearable, skirts are sensible and camel is the hot colour. Susannah Frankel explores the radical return of real clothes

Tempers fray in dramatic day of sailing at Cowes

Passion boiled over, a rare penalty for abuse was the result, but Britain's Jaguar-backed Team Origin whacked the America's Cup holders BMW Oracle to win the 1851 Cup regatta in Cowes.

Business analysis: 'Flexibility and opportunism will be key attributes in the times ahead'

These are strange economic times. On the one hand, the Government and most commentators are full of gloom. On the other, well, people might not be quite so ready to part with their cash as they were in the heady carefree days of a few years ago, but supermarket and some department store groups seem to be surviving the downturn in a lot better shape than most people expected. Even John Lewis, owner of the decidedly upmarket Waitrose, posted a near-10 per cent increase in profits for the most recent period and handed out hefty bonuses to its “partners”.

Dom Joly: Snakes on the pitch and Beckham on the end of Fabio's fury

I couldn't resist hanging on to the app that somebody gave me that allows me to hack into David Beckham's mobile. I don't really do much any more – I don't go out, watch TV, talk to people, I just spend hours listening in to Beck's calls, I'm totally addicted. Here's a good one from last week.

Louis Vuitton: Where the boom never ends

As the world's most famous luggage brand opens a landmark store in London, Patrick-Louis Vuitton tells Susannah Frankel why customers can't get enough LV

Liz Hoggard: Reweaving the morality of fashion

Louis Vuitton is in town. This week, unveiling a new maison du luxe (three floors of unashamed high-end accessories, jewellery and clothing) on London's New Bond Street, the fashion retailer threw the mother of all parties. Cherie Blair mingled with Tracey Emin and Paloma Faith.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there