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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newsIn an exclusive artwork for The Independent, Ali Ferzat attacks Britain's lack of 'humanity'
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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
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
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
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore