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

Wisteria-print pinafores... was Stella inspired by The Good Life?

Stella McCartney kicked off proceedings at the Paris collections yesterday with a show that appeared to reference childhood memories of her mother's wardrobe with easy denim separates, fine-gauge knitwear and relaxed tailoring in summery shades straight out of the 1970s.

Susannah Frankel: Sensitive soul of fashion lost the thread

"Lacroix, sweetie," Edina in Absolutely Fabulous often answered when asked what she was wearing, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. Given the circles that the TV satire focused upon, it probably was. The exuberant designs that characterise this designer's work, inspired, he has said, by his southern France childhood, was as integral a part of the upwardly mobile 1980s as the Filofax and the predominance of matt black.

French dressing: This season's flirtatious Gallic sensibility

Vive la coquette! At Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs' ultra-flirtatious silhouette and exotic details make for a French fashion moment, says Susannah Frankel

Credit crisis diary: Looking forward to Elliot's hospitality

An invite arrives to a House of Commons reception next month to unveil a report on how to encourage investment in green technology. A worthy aim, but will the bash still be on by the time we get there? It's just that the invite comes from Elliot Morley, the MP who forgot he'd paid off his mortgage and claimed another £16,000 for it. What chance of him still being around in June to buy the drinks?

Businesses warn of rising risk of counterfeiting on internet

Popular brands have called for stricter policing of the internet, as they fear fraud will soar during the first "digital recession".

Dior conjures up past in face of recession

"More Dior than Dior." That was how Christian Dior billed its spring/ summer haute couture collection yesterday. It was the first major show of Paris Couture Week, and offered the first answer as to how the luxury houses might respond aesthetically to the recession.

<a href="http://blogs.independent.co.uk/openhouse/2008/10/a-top-tory-expo.html">Ed Howker: A Top Tory exposed over Fragrant Mandy</a>

No prizes for guessing the "senior Conservative" and "leading member of David Cameron's top team" who alleged that Mandy dripped "Pure Poison" (presumably not the type made by Dior) when describing Gordon Brown

Susannah Frankel: The new face of fashion is more accessible and less expensive

The buying spree that characterises contemporary fashion goes back to the Nineties, when France's luxury goods conglomerate, LVMH (Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton) and its visionary CEO Bernard Arnault began to acquire designer labels with a voracity that was unprecedented.

Martin Margiela: Fashion's invisible superstar

Forget Banksy &ndash; for 20 years, designer Martin Margiela has fiercely guarded his identity. He has never given an interview, and has never once been photographed. And yet he is the single most influential figure in fashion, rated by his peers as the very best. So who is he? Susannah Frankel gets inside the mind of an elusive maestro

LVMH wins compensation from eBay in counterfeit case

A French court ordered eBay to pay €38.6m (£30.6m) to luxury goods group LVMH for allowing the sale of fake merchandise, in a ruling immediately appealed by the online auction website.

Hotel plan means Samaritaine will shut up shop

One of the great landmarks of central Paris, derelict for the past three years, is to be converted into a spectacular, river-front hotel.

The smart set: Michael Howells for Galliano

Michael Howells has provided John Galliano with breathtaking backdrops for his clothes. Carola Long talks to the award-winning set designer about his latest creations

Perpignan 19 Wasps 12: Lewsey injury deepens English gloom in build-up to All Blacks

As Lawrence Dallaglio was quick to point out, results may yet prove otherwise but there is a whiff of decay in English rugby which an impending joust with the All Blacks is hardly likely to dispel. Wasps were desperately undercooked in 28-degree heat close to the Mediterranean and, by their own admission, are way off the peak of yeoman power with which they won the Heineken Cup in 2004.

Sir Robert Calderwood

Local authority executive with a 'kindly sense of socialism' who oversaw Strathclyde Regional Council
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Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
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By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

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Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
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Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
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New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

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Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
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New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

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Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

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Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
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The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes