Life and Style
 

Waterproofing your wardrobe with practical, yet luxurious, purchases is a wise investment, says Emma Akbareian

How Bin Laden 'planned to give al-Qa'ida an image makeover'

Osama bin Laden, holed-up in his Pakistan hideaway, contemplated changing the name of al-Qa’ida in order to rebrand the organisation and make it more attractive to potential recruits, according to documents recovered from his compound.

The Watts Gallery: A fitting makeover for a Victorian hero

TheWatts Gallery was neglected and shabby. Now a £11.5m refit has restored its former glory, says Virginia Ironside

Ready To Wear: A lesson in how to wear palazzo pants without stilts

The trouser shape of the season is the palazzo – so wide legged it might reasonably be described as billowy and so long the best way to wear it is possibly on stilts.

Linda Barker's bedroom makeover

The interior designer of BBC series Changing Rooms fame walks you through a few simple ways of transforming a drab room into a luxurious sleeping space.

Feelunique's profits makeover

Europe's largest online beauty products retailer, Feelunique, will reveal a 50 per cent rise in 2010-11 turnover this week.

Exiles given 'X Factor' makeover as fans pick team

If fans find themselves uninspired by the Exiles team that takes the field against England in June, they will have themselves to blame. The side that will be on duty at Headingley for the inaugural International Origin Match will be selected from the best overseas players in Super League partly by supporters' votes.

Burmese junta officially dissolved

Burma's junta was officially dissolved today after a swearing-in ceremony to appoint the country's so-called civilian government.

Elbow, SECC, Glasgow

"Do you like what we've done with the place?" asked Elbow's singer Guy Garvey, nodding towards the catwalk jutting into the middle of the hall. "It's like we've won the pools and had a conservatory built." There can be few more modest bands to have appeared on a stage of this size, but now, approaching their 20th anniversary together in June, Elbow are an arena band. And believe it or not, they're better than most at the job.

Ireland agree to 'makeover' before England match

Ireland's World Cup cricketers have agreed to undergo a charity makeover ahead of tomorrow's group match with England.

Robinson calls for fast start for Scotland

Perhaps Andy Robinson is taking a leaf out of the Welsh song book. A fortnight ago Warren Gatland and his players headed off to Murrayfield with "Under Pressure" blaring over the stereo system.

Album: Anthony David, As Above So Below (Dome)

Anthony David is apparently the Obamas' favourite nu-soul dude – and it's not hard to see why, given his espousal of core 1970s social-conscious soul values, particularly the "on-message" reference in "Reach Ya" to "hoping we get healthcare rights, so she won't be a victim".

Deborah Ross: There's a high price tag on the gift of beauty

If you ask me...

The Independent's charity auction raises £65,000

There's a sensational selection of treats, treasures and unique experiences up for grabs in our annual charity sale. John Walsh wields his gavel and introduces the lots

Noël's house party: A home that has never seen tinsel is given a last-minute festive makeover

Getting your home ready for Christmas is about the little touches – those are the things that will help to make guests feel welcome," says Sarah Dare, from the seasonal-events department at Peter Jones, part of the John Lewis chain. "And it doesn't have to take much time." Well, that's good, because it's Christmas week – and my home looks like Scrooge's grotto.

Album: The Puppini Sisters, Christmas with...(Verve)

On which the Puppinis – a sort of 21st-century take on the Andrews Sisters, minus the real-world sibling connection – apply a 1940s polka-dots-and-baubles makeover to the predictable ("Let it Snow") and the unpromising ("Last Christmas").

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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam