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The "Wrecking Ball" singer features in the moodily lit Spring 2014 campaign, but there’s something up with her co-star.

Fashion: Come join our band

Now the dust is settling on Sarah Palin's glasses and Michelle Obama's endless parade of cute cardigans, there is but one fashion trend that came out of last month's American election still worthy of your consideration: the Alice band, as resurrected by Hillary Clinton.

Ready to Wear: Madonna - This is about as extreme as high-end clothing is ever going to get

What a woman. You have to hand it to Madonna – she's as fabulously fashionable at 50 as she ever was. In fact, this particular look – she's wearing a sleeveless green organza feather top, leather obi belt and black feather skirt, all from next season's Louis Vuitton collection – establishes her back at the top of the international best dressed list. And then some.

Ready to Wear: 'Stephen Jones stole the show last week with hats inspired by Pac-Man'

What do Rei Kawakubo, Marc Jacobs and John Galliano have in common? The milliner Stephen Jones. This is quite an accolade – after all, in their own, highly idiosyncratic way, these three names are among the most feted in international fashion. And working away quietly, behind the scenes, is Mr Jones, a diffident character who creates quite the finest hats in the industry, adding the finishing, quixotic and rigorously executed touches to their groundbreaking designs.

Eclectic dreams: From the exotic to the bucolic, London's designers forecast a brighter, prettier spring

It should come as no great surprise that, just as a look that Vogue recently described as "the new austere" finally arrives in store, an entirely new mood emerges. And so, for spring/summer 2009, all that is strict, dark and distressed looks set to be supplanted by clothing that is just the reverse: exotic in places, bucolic in others, and owing more than a little to haute couture, if with a touch of utilitarian grounding, vintage Helmut Lang-style, to toughen things up a little.

Ask Martha: What do I wear to a christening?

Got a social dilemma? Martha Arthur has the answer...

Logo a no-go: Has the loud label had its day?

Discretion, understatement and not a brand name in sight – for a new wave of fashion companies, the days of the screaming label are over

My fashion footprint: Is your wardrobe bad for the planet?

A new website helps you measure the environmental impact of your clothes, from the factory to the tumble dryer. Matilda Lee takes the test

The Ten Best Summer Fragrances For Him or Her

Freshen up with the pick of the summer’s fragrances

Marc Jacobs: A fashion force to be reckoned with

Having faced his drug demons, and with a new store in Moscow, Marc Jacobs is at the top of his game. He tells Melanie Rickey about art, shoes and running a billion-pound business

Hotel Of The Week: W Istanbul, Istanbul

This isn't just a place to stay for the night, it's Istanbul's vision of the future

Fashion special: Pretty in pink for summer

From rosy lips to rainbow eyes, from tousled manes to centre partings, an array of diverse looks lit up the catwalks Bethan Cole reports on the latest summer beauty trends

Kurt Geiger sold in £95m buyout

Kurt Geiger, the luxury shoe retailer, has been bought for £95m in a management-led buyout backed by the private equity firm Graphite Capital.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor