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Matthew Williamson, the fashion designer famous for his friendships with stars including Kate Moss and Sienna Miller, plans to restructure and grow his business this year, after it made £1.6m pre-tax loss in 2012.

Carola Long: Chanel soap set

Drum roll please for what might be the chic-est thing the Indy fashion desk have ever seen: Chanel No.5 soap.

LVMH buys 14.2 per cent stake in rival Hermès for €1.3bn

LVMH, the conglomerate behind Louis Vuitton, Dom Pérignon and Tag Heuer, has made a dramatic swoop on its French rival, Hermès.

UK fashion company wins brand battle with Lacoste

A British clothing supplier has won a four-year trademark battle against the fashion giant Lacoste, in a significant case that gives hope to smaller companies facing legal challenges from big corporates with deep pockets.

Hermès bags 20 per cent rise in earnings

Hermès lifted its full-year sales growth target on the back of surprisingly strong second-quarter figures, providing further evidence of a bigger-than-expected rebound in the luxury goods market.

Album: Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Ravel: Daphnis et Chloe Suite No 2, (EMI Classics)

The young French-Canadian conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin proves particularly adept here at extracting the maximum impact from a series of Ravel waltzes and "miniatures", most notably the second suite from Daphnis et Chloé. The lushly rendered first movement's evocative sunrise music is simply gorgeous, with glimmers of cello leading to a glorious orchestral sunburst, tailing into wistfully pastoral oboe, while there are traces of the eastern flavour of the Bolero discernible in the second movement's flute arabesques and underscoring harp arpeggios.

Download this: Daphnis et Chloé Suite No 2

<a href="http://blogs.independent.co.uk/independent/a_nice_green_leaf/" target="_blank">A Nice Green Leaf: Smells as good as Chanel No.5 (To flesh-eating beetles)</a>

Plants have got very different rules of attraction to human beings, for one simple reason: they can't move.

Luxury goods brand Herm&egrave;s defies gloom

The French luxury goods brand Hermès posted a set of credit-crunch-defying revenues for its second quarter yesterday, boosted by soaring sales of its trademark leather goods, silk and perfumes.

Nicole Farhi, 202, 202 Westbourne Grove, London W11

At the new premises, you can shop for a wardrobe - and the clothes to put in it. But, says Terry Durack, the best buy is the brunch

Not so square

AFTER THE pashmina came the woolly scarf (yawn!). After the woolly scarf came - and this is the new bit - brightly coloured silk squares! A timely exhibition, if you're thinking of decking yourself out in the latest neck adornments, comes courtesy of Hermes, the haute-bourgeois company and unparalleled producer, among other luxury desirables, of deliciously coloured silk squares.

Gaultier fashions an upmarket move

JEAN-PAUL Gaultier took the fashion world by surprise by announcing his intention to form a partnership with one of France's oldest and most famous luxury-goods labels, Hermes. Hermes has pledged to invest 150m francs ($15.6m; 35 per cent of the capital) in the Jean-Paul Gaultier Group, which includes haute couture, men's and women's ready-to-wear, accessories and fragrance. It boasted consolidated sales of F85m in 1998.

Racing: Val heads for Derby

FOLLOWING A stylish victory at Longchamp yesterday, Val Royal is to attempt to become the first French winner of the Derby since Empery 23 years ago. Andre Fabre's unbeaten colt emerged as a leading contender for Epsom by making all the running to beat Fils de Viane half a length in the 91/2-furlongs Group Three Prix de Guiche.

Is it worth it?: Belt and brasses

Would you spend pounds 540 to hold your trousers up with a Hermes 'dog' belt?

Ready to wear: YES PLEASE . . .

Last year Chanel's Rouge Noir nail varnish was so immensely popular that it sold out as soon as it hit the shops. This talon polish, in undiluted- Ribena colour, spawned waiting lists, tantrums and tears as ladies who were used to getting whatever they wanted with a wave of their Amex card, were forced to put their names down with everyone else. Next week Chanel launch the Rouge Noir mascara. Billed as "black, reddish purple and brown", it is certainly interesting, unusual and worth a try (it's a limited edition so be warned, once it sells out, that's it), especially if you find black too dramatic and brown too boring. It's rather "globby" however, so you may need to separate those lashes with an eyelash comb after application.

overheard. . . at the Tate's 'Rites of Passage'

1. On John Coplans
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on