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

Mid-heels: the height of chic?

As lower-height shoes return from fashion's wasteland, our style experts debate whether this Nineties revival is fabulous or frumpy

Pandora: That's... er, business: Dave's economic tome

Musician, producer, philanthropist and now... economist? Apparently so. Dave Stewart, the multi-faceted guitarist from Eurythmics is to pen a business book.

Finishing touches: Whimsical accessories for this spring

Cinderella slippers, quilted handbags and strawberry earrings – accessories this spring are as whimsical as they are light and pretty, says Gemma Hayward

10-point guide to social climbing

With the revelation he is to work for luxury goods firm LVMH, Tony Blair shares the secrets of success (as imagined by the <i>IoS</i>)

Nails - a real talon contest

Want to know how you can stay at the sharp end of style? The answer is at your fingertips, where street meets chic, says Harriet Walker

Bling it on! Embrace statement accessories

Statement accessories are the smart and affordable way to update last year&rsquo;s party looks, says Gemma Hayward. Be bold and embrace embellishment

Favourites bundled out of Louis Vuitton Trophy

The favourites were toppled off Nice yesterday when Emirates Team New Zealand was bundled out of the Louis Vuitton Trophy, whitewashed 2-0 in a light airs final that entirely suited the Sardinia-based Italian team Azzurra.

Disappointing fourth for British in Louis Vuitton Trophy series

A disappointing fourth was the reward for Ben Ainslie and Britain’s America’s Cup challenger Team Origin in the Louis Vuitton Trophy series off Nice.

Ainslie gets revenge as Team Origin win

An emphatic win for Britain’s Team Origin in the semi-final of the Louis Vuitton Trophy series in Nice squared the best of three at 1-1 as skipper Ben Ainslie took revenge for the opening loss to Italy’s Team Azzurra, skippered by Francesco Bruni.

Thomson forced to retire from Transat race

The gremlins which have plagued Alex Thomson’s ocean racing career have struck again, a hole in the bow of his Open 60 Hugo Boss forcing him to retire from the Transat Jacques Vabre when lying in fourth place.

Luiss Vuitton Trophy heats up as Russians beat Origin

Britain’s lions, in the form of Team Origin, became the second victims of a rampant Russian bear crew on Synergy today as the eight America’s Cup syndicates continued their battle for the four semi-final places in the Louis Vuitton Trophy series in Nice.

Gavin Hodge: Celebrity hairdresser who scandalised Sixties society when he eloped with a teenager

Gavin Hodge was a hugely fashionable hairdresser who, beginning in the London of the swinging Sixties, packed into his life an inordinate amount of drink, drugs and sex. While his claim to have bedded 2,000 women seems implausible, his frank admission that he was addicted to women had the ring of truth about it.

Caffari and Thompson build on good start

Going into the second night of the double handed Transat Jacques Vabre race from Le Havre to Costa Rica , three of the British teams, Samantha Davies and Sidney Gavignet (Artemis), Mike Golding and Javier Sanso (MGYR) and Alex Thomson and Ross Daniel (Hugo Boss) were 10th, 12th and 13th in the 14-boat Open 60 fleet.

Queen of the high street: Mary Portas is hoping to help independents with her new retail masterclasses

She's best known for the BBC2 TV show Mary, Queen Of Shops, where she's revived flagging retail businesses, but Mary Portas wasn't always set for a career on the high street. In her youth, she had ambitions of being an actress and even gained a place at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
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Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

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Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
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BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

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Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

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Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

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Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
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Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

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Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little