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
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
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there