Ready to Wear: McQueen’s aim was to make clothing that was anything but throwaway

Fashion has lost its greatest showman, a man who not only art directed the most memorable fashion experiences of the past 15 years and tirelessly pushed at the boundaries of technical innovation, but who was also a couturier in the traditional sense, always demonstrating a respect for handcraftsmanship and the art of dressmaking that was unrivalled.

Alexander the great's show must go on

The smoky aroma of Diptyque Feu de Bois filled the air as guests filed into an elegant townhouse in the 8th Arrondissement yesterday to view the collection that Alexander McQueen started but never lived to complete.

This was the week that was

Today In 1510 Sandro Botticelli died, 500 years too early to clean up on the royalties from his much-reproduced Birth of Venus. In 1937, long before someone sat on his trumpet and gave it that 45 degrees upwards tilt, Dizzy Gillespie (below) was featured for the first time on a recording - Teddy Hill's "King Porter Stomp".

THE 10 BEST PAINTINGS?

In January, we asked 100 art experts to name the 10 best paintings on view in Britain. Then we asked you the same question. Tim Hilton introduces the results

Novels in Brief

Sandro and Simonetta by Richard Burns, Bloomsbury pounds 14.99. A well-researched and imaginative account of Sandro Botticelli's career as painter, lover and madman. The young genuis, '32 years old, a virgin,' apprenticed to Fra Lippo Lippi, gravitates to the house of Marco Vespucci, where he makes love to the mistress, Simonetta. When Simonetta dies of consumption, Botticelli goes bonkers: although crippled, he makes the pilgrimage to Rome, where he encounters as much corruption as in Florence. His travels, equally hallucination and reality, take him through Hell, from which he is delivered by the vision of Simonetta. He dies mad but, through his paintings, triumphant - 'It is little enough. It is enough.' An egocentric Leonardo, a lascivious Fra Lippo and the sinister Borgia are among delightfully convincing walk-on parts.
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