Fashion: Off the peg - It's true. Beautiful people do have an easier life, says Melanie Rickey

Can you imagine signing up for a six-month contract that pays you enough to buy a house but involves only five days' "work" lounging around in front of a camera, followed by five months 26 days of ... lounging around. That's exactly how 24-year-old Swede Robert Konjic (right) has spent his time since November when he was picked as the new "face" of Gucci menswear.

Arts: At last! Theatre a la mode

No catwalk, no music, no models. Just a vocal warm-up. And this is a Prada fashion show? David Benedict on a first for British theatre

Fashion: Get smart

This year, don't play safe at the sales - play smart. Instead of dull, classic shirts and skirts, look for clothes that anticipate next spring's fashions. For the Victoriana trend, which will see us through summer, try Comme des Garcons' white shirt with a bit of frill and ruffle. You'll also be ahead of the game if you can get your hands on Miu Miu's long red jacket, Russell & Bromley's square-toed shoes or Ann Demeulemeester's slouchy black suit. All at a good deal less than the pre-sale prices given here

Style police: Promises, promises

Never mind about going to the gym, it's your sartorial New Year's resolutions you should be trying to keep, says James Sherwood

Shopping with.. Tracey Boyd: Florence, Paris, Portobello

TRACEY BOYD imagines that most designers, like herself, hardly ever buy clothes. "I wear my own - if you're a girl it kind of makes sense, but when I do buy I choose things which are completely different from what I design." Boyd produces pretty skirts and dresses in beautiful fabrics for her own two-year-old label, Boyd, but when she's "nowhere near fashion people", rustles around in long skirts "made from tent material" which make her feel like a wigwam. "I go to Vexed Generation in Soho [3 Berwick Street, London W1; 0171 287 6224] which sells amazing streetwear. It's terrifying to get to, on the first floor down an alleyway which smells of piss - you have to walk across this horrible chicken wire bit, but inside it's fantastic and inventive."

FASHION: FIVE EXCITING BELGIANS

Forget all the boring jokes - Belgium's avant-garde designers have been world leaders since the early Eighties. Now a second wave of trend-setters is about to hit our shores. Tamsin Blanchard reports

Fashion: Clothes Line

Who's Hot?

5 WAYS TO WEAR: MARY JANE SHOES

Usually flat, sometimes with a rounded toe, but always with a schoolgirlish strap just below the ankle: that's the Mary Jane shoe. They're going to be this winter's key fashion footwear item (and a reasonably practical one at that), working well with slouch pants, demure skirts, or a bit of sluttish satin - just don't team them with tight trousers

On the street: Must try Prada

What kind of man would spend pounds 210 on a cashmere T-shirt? Melanie Rickey went to London's West End to find out

Style police: Here kitty kitty

Fashion editors know best - and the last word on the summer shoe is the kitten heel. So why are you still wearing your wedgies?

Clothes Line; Out of the Closet

`A lot of black, a lot of white, a bit of colour - and lots of bangles,' says Wendy Dagworthy (above)

i work for ... Jefferson Hack

Suzannah Tartan is PA to the editor of the style magazine `Dazed and Confused'

Fashion gives redheads their moment of flame

Tamsin Blanchard on this year's blazing rivalry on the catwalk

The long and the short of it

Shorter, narrower pants are big for spring. Cropped Capri pants are pure Fifties starlet - but if you will opt for pedal pushers, who are we to stop you?

The soft shoe shuffle

James Sherwood on Anello & David, purveyor of character shoes to the masses
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Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

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Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
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A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
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First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

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Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
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Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
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Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
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The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
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Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor