Life and Style

On the eve of an exhibition to mark the exuberant personality and career of Isabella Blow, her cousin Simon Blow recounts the extraordinary private life of the woman he knew

Women’s lib at the Women’s Library

The Women’s Library is generally acknowledged to be the greatest collection of items relating to women’s history in Britain, if not Europe.

Sophie Dahl and Jamie Cullum announce pregnancy

Model Sophie Dahl is expecting a baby with her musician husband Jamie Cullum, a spokesman for the couple confirmed.

Out of Africa: David LaChapelle's strange visions of a continent

David LaChapelle made his name with mash-ups of trashy glitz, Old Masters and videos of Angelina Jolie, Courtney Love and Madonna. But on the eve of his first seriously political show in the UK, he tells Fiona Sturges that he has put commercialism behind him

Deborah Ross: 'Dangerous dogs will be forced to stay inside making perfumed soaps for the hospitality industry'

If you ask me, now the election has been called, it is time to throw my hat into the ring, which is harder than it looks, particularly as I don't have a hat, or a ring. Still, I did have an old pen to hand, which I threw at the window, so now I've thrown an old pen at a window, I would ask you to vote for me based on the following pledges:

Sophie Dahl and Jamie Cullum's secret wedding

Sophie Dahl and Jamie Cullum have secretly married.

New model army: The Independent teams up with Storm Models and Nick Knight's Showstudio to find the UK's freshest new faces

People-watching is riveting," declares Sarah Doukas, the founder of modelling agency Storm, when we meet on set. "If I could, I'd spend all day just wandering around looking at people." Her fascination has led to her discovery of Kate Moss, Alek Wek and Sophie Dahl, some of the most iconic and enduring models in the industry. Today though, the focus is on her latest recruits – or "new faces", as they are known – who have gathered at London's Somerset House for a rather unique shoot.

Editor-At-Large: If shopping is a drug, MPs need to go cold turkey

A year ago Gordon Brown lectured us on the evils of waste, and begged us to do our bit for the planet by throwing away less food. Sadly, he undermined his green message the next day when he boarded a privately chartered jet to the G8 summit in Japan (which had flown to London from Texas to pick him up, empty) and sat down to a six-course lunch followed by a dinner featuring 14 dishes.

Credo: Sophie Dahl

Food and food writing have always been passions of mine. I like unfussy, undone food – big Sunday roasts, with babies on laps and open fires.

Paperbacks: Playing With the Grown-Ups, by Sophie Dahl

Though it drags slightly under the influence of Mitford, Waugh and the too, too divine eccentricities of a best-forgotten time, this vivacious novel about a charmingly dysfunctional family has plenty to recommend it.

Joan Smith: Venus is the difference between nudity and porn

Did they consider a fig leaf? The Victorians made one for Michelangelo's David, and I'm sure someone could have come up with a version to protect the modesty of both Cranach's Venus and the delicate sensibilities of travellers on London's Tube trains. Two days ago, Transport for London suddenly reprieved the goddess of love, who had earlier been banned from advertising the Royal Academy's forthcoming exhibition of the work of the 16th-century German artist. It followed a similarly abrupt change of mind over a poster for a dance show in which a muscular naked man clutches a cuckoo clock in front of his genitals.

Wish I May, by Justine Picardie

Raised among the smart and depressed

Body shapes

You ask the questions;

(Such as: Sophie Dahl, do you feel pressure not to slim now that you are renowned as a `larger' model?)

New York Confidential: Clinton's growing nose beats `The Avengers'

The `White House Sex Line offers the option of speaking to Monica, Paula or Jennifer'

Books: Enquiring minds

The Titanic, Diana and the World Cup: non-fiction reviewed
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Seven Cities of Italy
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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
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Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?