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 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

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

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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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine