Brave new wardrobes: in the hands of a personal stylist

A change in season calls for a reinvention – but it can be hard to get right on your own. Enter the personal stylist: Carola Long and Harriet Walker seek professional help

Upcycling: is this eco trend here to stay?

In 1994, in an interview with Thornton Kay of Salvo, Reiner Pilz of German technology company, Pilz GmbH said of recycling, "I call it downcycling. They smash bricks, they smash everything. What we need is upcycling, where old products are given more value not less."

Thorbjorn Jagland: Banning the burqa compromises the very principles that we value

No woman should be forced to wear religious apparel by her community or family.

Carola Long: 'When I tried on a pair of leather shorts it was less Alexa Chung, more Miss Whiplash'

While extolling the virtues of her A-list trainer Tracy Anderson recently, Gwyneth Paltrow gushed that her exercise regime enables her to do "ridiculous things like be a 37-year-old mother of two and wear shorts!".

How do I look? Miss Behave, Burlesque comedian, 33

People say I'm like a cross between a drag queen and Betty Boop on acid. But there are two of me. On stage, I go for the most constraining, restrictive materials I can find. Off stage, I like the big black hoody my ex gave me, comfortable fabrics, silks and crepes. But as with everything, attention to detail is all-important.

The Betrayal, By Helen Dunmore

Helen Dunmore's 2001 novel, The Siege, ended with a long-shot of Anna, her lover, Andrei, and little Kolya, Anna's brother, walking in spring sunshine in a Leningrad still traumatised by the recent German blockade. They look like an ordinary family of parents and child, the narrator observes, "but, of course, they are not". These, the novel's unsettling last words, point towards the most important theme of its sequel, The Betrayal. For Anna and Andrei, their "family unit" is a precious, sanity-saving defence against public tyranny. But it is not, of course, unassailable.

£1 coins counterfeiter jailed

A 49-year-old man was jailed for three-and-a-half years today after he admitted running a counterfeit coin factory producing thousands of pounds of fake £1 coins, police said.

Leighton House Museum, Holland Park, London

Glorious Orientalism – but it stops at the bedroom door

First Night: Macbeth, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London

Mind games and murder

Carola Long: 'Traveller trousers are on trend but in a more sophisticated guise. Call it gap-year luxe'

With the first fresh whiff of spring something disturbing happens to my taste. One minute my wardrobe is more or less planned around clean basics with a dash of utility: pale denim, a blush-pink silk dress, heeled canvas or tan suede boots. A few blue skies later, however, and disturbing boho urges start appearing. Suddenly – whether through curiosity, desire or nostalgia I'm not sure – I'm being drawn to "traveller trousers", those patterned harem-ish pants that are popping up everywhere.

Va-va-voom Versace versus the refined elegance of Armani

With many of the international collections so far focusing on pared-down, even practical clothes, the extroverted woman looking for something with a bit more va-va-voom might be justifiably anxious. Step forward Versace, which showed yesterday that its commitment to sexy, flashbulb-popping clothes doesn't waver.

Eco-chic fashion shows off stylish sustainability

Thakoon and Von Furstenberg among designers ushersing in International Year of Biodiversity

Off Kilter, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

The new year springs to life
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future