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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The giant banner displayed by Legia Warsaw supporters last night
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footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
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Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
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Tulisa as a judge on the X Factor in 2012
tvLouis Walsh confirms star's return
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fashionClothes shop opens on Bill Clinton Boulevard in Pristina
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The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
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Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone