Life and Style London: JW Anderson, Milan: Bottega Veneta, Paris: Raf Simons/Sterling Ruby

The autumn/winter 2014 shows took in three cities across two weeks. For next season, designers’ labours yielded a brave new vision  for the modern male, argues Alexander Fury

Letter: Don't skirt the issue

Sir: While the ban on trousers for school girls goes to law (report, 1 September), those concerned might take note of the experience of that intrepid traveller in West Africa, Mary Kingsley, who, having fallen into a deep animal trap filled with ebony spikes, remarked: "It is at these times that you realise the blessing of a good thick skirt!" Whickham Comprehensive should make her an honorary old girl.

School trouser ban goes to law

IN A CASE that may mean winters for schoolgirls are never so cold again, the Equal Opportunities Commission yesterday backed a mother's fight against a school that refuses to allow her daughter to wear trousers.

HESTER LACEY WENT TO DEBENHAMS IN WIMBLEDON

THE POSH coffee outlet was the first thing. Outside the store, not in, but smelling alluring, it had all the usual pseudo-Italian nonsense that makes us want to spend pounds 1.50 on milky froth. Striding past on the ground floor I did indeed turn right without thinking about it, ending up in the ladies department upstairs.

So you want to be hip? Grab a duvet and start stitching

It's odd, it's impractical and it adds inches to your hips - but it's the look for the autumn. Nathalie Curry has seen the future - and it's padded

Man suspended for wearing skirt

Man suspended for wearing skirt

Letter: What is `normal'?

AS A MOTHER of two children, I was concerned to read "Profile of a sex abuser, aged seven" (27 June) by Cherry Norton on child sex abuse by children. Sex abuse is a matter that is of great concern to so many parents who hear such a lot about it in the press and are determined not to let it happen in their own families. This leads to a kind of self- policing of natural affection, and it seems that the boundaries between what is normal and what isn't are blurred by this fear.

Real clothes: Pretty as a petal

I love English summers despite the omnipresent danger of rain - it just makes the sunshine all the sweeter. I would write that this summer florals are really in, but I can't remember a summer when they weren't. The one trend that has gained momentum since last year is the trousers under dress one. This is jolly useful for two reasons: nippy summer breezes and if you don't like showing your legs but want to wear a dress. Embroidery is also big news and a fine excuse to get going with the cross stitch. My hot tip is the lovely apron dress by Soft Grey from La Redoute's catalogue (pictured) which the more modest amongst us would wear with a T-shirt underneath, and it costs less than pounds 30. Don't forget to eat lots of jam tarts, which go splendidly with florals and embroidery.

Girl pupil challenges ban on trousers

A UNIVERSITY professor is to challenge the right of schools to insist that female pupils must wear skirts. If the test case succeeds, no school in the country will be able to stop girls wearing trousers.

Fashion: Victoria's closet

Victorian. Big look this summer. Will be dreadfully old hat by autumn so if you do want to indulge in frilly stuff don't spend too much on it (unless you are Meg Mathews - in which case please go right ahead, since you provide us all with so much sport!).

Fashion: Ray Of Light

Olivier Theyskens is the latest Belgian to join the fashion elite. And after designing an Oscar-night dress for Madonna, the 22 year old is already famous enough to be shunning publicity, writes Rebecca Lowthorpe. Styling by Sophia Neophitou. Photographs by Justin Smith

Right of Reply: Keith Flett

The organiser of the Beard Liberation Front responds to yesterday's attack

Real Clothes: Little miss mix-it

This story was inspired by a young mother I saw, pushing her baby in its pram. She was obviously knackered, with great dark circles under her eyes, constantly yawning and yet she looked fantastic - like she had got up and reached in her cupboard for the first things she found. And out came some very of-the-moment looks - her skirt was floral vinyl, her shoes Western-style stilettos; but with those were some back-of-the-wardrobe favourites, a baggy sweater and a PVC rectangular shoulder bag circa 1981 (in silver, do you remember those?). I love this ability to mess looks up. As we grow older we tend to forget how useful those adolescent "dressing up" sessions in front of the mirror were, where we used to endlessly try out new combinations. Back then it was done out of necessity - how many outfits could you make out of nine pieces of clothing? Now it should be done at least once a season, slightly drunk if possible, to see what strange garments you can marry together.

Fashion: Simple treasures

No ruffles, no frills and no fuss. The evening dress of the moment is all about silhouette: sheath bodices, overblown skirts, billowing smocks and sheets of sequins

Real Lives: Debate - Twenty-one girls were sent home from a school in the Midlands last week for wearing short skirts.

Stop fussing, says Rachel Kellett, we're old enough to dress ourselves. Tough, says Camille Noriega - rules are rules

Fashion: Stormy leather

Leather tailored for women has usually been overtly sexy - styled either for a Bond girl or a rock chick. But, in the hands of designers such as Belgium's Veronique Branquinho, leather becomes rather more dramatic. The long skirts and high necks shown here, which are normally associated with lighter, more feminine fabrics, are in the Victorian tradition of tempestuous Gothic romance
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
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Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness