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
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
Down-to-earth: Winstone isn't one for considering his 'legacy'
It was only when he left his post Tony Blair's director of communications that Alastair Campbell has published books
Eden Hazard enjoys a laugh at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground this week
football Eden Hazard exclusive interview
Life and Style
The new model would be a “pedal assist” bike in which the rider’s strength is augmented by the engine on hills and when they want to go fast
Career Services

Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower