Voices

I spent the first half of this summer only too pleased at the clouds, downpours and lingering chill in the air. I wanted the skies to reflect my mood, and if I wasn't feeling sunny or blithe, I was damned if anyone else should be.

The cool brands con: pay us £6,250 and you, too, can claim a place on the British hip list

Paul Smith, Harvey Nichols and Myla among companies excluded in cash-for-cachet controversy

`I like the smell of a real tree'

Some demand a traditional Christmas tree. Others enjoy a more modern approach. Dame Barbara Cartland likes a bit of pink on hers. Paul Smith has opted for brass elephants. How are you decorating your tree this year?

Christmas Gifts: No batteries required

Gifts don't have to go beep to keep men interested, reveals Robin Clegg

Fashion: Home-grown and proud of it

They said it couldn't produce anything new. But London Fashion Week has a few surprises in store for the summer. By Susannah Frankel

THE 50 BEST: HATS, SCARVES AND COATS FOR WINTER

The wind is chill, the clouds racing, and there's moisture in the air. Summer's gone and it's time to wrap up for the coming deluge in hat, coat and scarf. But what to wear? And where to buy it? Our expert winter warmer Beth Dadswell has the season's fashion forecast Photographs by John Knock

Fashions at bottom of garden

PAUL SMITH showed his spring/summer 2000 collection at London Fashion Week yesterday, amid the quintessentially English greenery of the Chelsea Physic Gardens. The designer introduced his womenswear line to the British catwalk four seasons ago, and it has since gone from strength to strength.

The very height of fashion: Profile: Paul Smith

: Profile: Paul Smith

Fashion: Never felt better

In a season dominated by fin-du-millenaire silliness, seek refuge in warm, comfortable felted wool. A remnant of sanity in a fashion world gone mad

Who's Hughes?: Sean Hughes interview

He feels uncomfortable in expensive suits and pays more attention to the hair up his nose than the hair on his head. Yet novelist, actor and comedian Sean Hughes still considers himself a serious person

Fashion: Brave new man

The Paris shows had it all: white crocheted mini-dresses, pastel headscarves, patchwork floral shirts and leather slippers. And that was just the menswear. By Alix Sharkey

Food: The outing of nerdy food

ONE CANNOT live exclusively on a diet of baked leek and trompette tart, roast turbot marinated in spicy lime and coconut, cabbage-wrapped pork knuckle with sauce gribiche, veloute of artichokes with foie gras, roast wood pigeon with perfume of ceps, and pineapple mille feuille with coconut sorbet.

Fashion: Trading places

The men pictured on these pages run vintage clothing stalls and shops, but they usually wear jeans and T-shirts to work. Here they try on modern British suits, and give their verdicts

Fashion: And God created gingham

Brigitte Bardot put the cheeky into the checks. This time round they're not only sexy, they're cool, too. By Rebecca Lowthorpe

Fashion: They call me mellow yellow

Avoid the sulphurous and wear it washed out - and you, too, can carry off the season's hottest colour.

Six Of The Best: THIS SEASON'S WATCHES

Paul Smith ladies watch with a blue or red face, and shiny, metallic snake-skin adjustable strap, pounds 225, Watch2Watch (0171-351 4606)
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month