News Julie Deane says there is a big potential market in China for her bags

Julie Deane set up her business at home with £600. Now she has raised $21m to help sell her bags worldwide

Jimmy Choo: The world's most valuable shoemaker

Jimmy Choo's owners stand to make hundreds of millions from the latest sale of the company. James Thompson reports

Business Analysis: The state of retail in the current downturn

One of the many curiosities of the current downturn is the state of retail. On the one hand, we are told that consumers are short of cash and likely to become more so as tax increases and cutbacks in public spending begin to bit. On the other hand, in London and other cities there are regular arrivals of new stores and updates of old ones. Admittedly, not all are as lavish as the Louis Vuitton extravaganza in London’s Bond Street, but there is plenty of evidence to indicate that not all shoppers are heading as quickly as possible for the nearest discount store.

Great strides: Trousers back in the style spotlight

No longer overshadowed by dresses or denim, trousers have stepped back into the style spotlight for autumn. Carola Long reports on a trend that's set to run wild

Net profits: how to make an online fortune

In the Nineties, the first web trailblazers turned their dotcom dreams into cold, hard cash. But is it still possible to earn millions online today? Alice-Azania Jarvis asks the ones who made it

Ahead of the pack: Rhiannon Harries picks out the style essentials for your holidays

Finding enough room to take everything you need for your hols needn't be an ordeal, says Rhiannon Harries – just focus on your favourite pieces (and don't forget your sunnies)

On the agenda: Tower Bridge; Dorset Seafood Festival; Keep Me Posted; The Railway Children; Robert Irwin's Camel; Carven

A love letter to... well, letters; plus all you ever wanted to know about camels

Carola Long: 'The maxi dress has had some really bad PR thanks to the bad-taste behemoth that was 'boho''

There's something about the maxi dress which makes it a permanent fixture as a fantasy summer look. The look where you acquire a golden tan without any UV damage and spend August enjoying the cool sea breeze on a yacht, rather than the tepid blast of the office air-con.

Lisa Markwell: Change your life and stop spending money you don't have

What sound could be sweeter than the dull crunch of a credit card being bisected by the kitchen scissors? It's set to be the soundtrack of the summer, long after the drone of the vuvuzelas has died away, and the grunts of ladies with excess endorphins on centre court are silenced.

The Thursday Essay: Royal Ascot is a real class act

Ladies' Day at Royal Ascot means hats, tailcoats and demure hemlines. It's all for fun – but decode the dress, and social divisions are laid bare, writes Liz Hoggard

Net-a-Porter targets stylish men with launch of Mr Porter designer website

The fashion website Net-a-Porter helped to change the way women buy designer clothes and now it is hoping to do the same for men. Yesterday the company announced it would launch a dedicated menswear site in January next year called Mr Porter.

US digs UK high street fashion cool

British retailers are beating the economic blues in America. Kate Youde and Rachel Shields report

Carola Long: 'It’s possible to go down a mumsy route in a J Crew store'

Fashion speak has a clever way of inventing new buzzwords to help us to shop without guilt. There's the "forever" buy (the romantic replacement for "investment") and now the term "basics" has also been updated. Basics have become essentials.

Are you ready to get preppy?

After 30 years in the doldrums, the relaxed East Coast look is back – along with a new handbook to help you wear it with elan
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Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'