Life and Style
 

If you’ve made a resolution to improve your working life, remember the  old adage about dressing for the job you want, says Rebecca Gonsalves

Michelle Williams: Real fashion alert! It’s a peplum, after all, and the Louis Vuitton gown also has frayed edges. Love the mismatched bag

Oscars Trending: On the dread carpet

It used to be the night when looks could thrill. Not any more, says Susannah Frankel

The gentle touch: Though many of Lake's interiors are overtly feminine, there are also ideas to create rooms with subtle splashes of colour

Homespun wisdom: How to redo every room in the house without breaking the bank

Think you can't afford to give your home the update it needs? Think again, says Selina Lake.

Book Of A Lifetime: Light Years, By James Salte

James Salter's 1975 novel, 'Light Years', is the story of a marriage between two highly civilised Americans, Nedra (the woman) and Viri (the man). It is a good marriage full of good parties, and then it is a less good marriage full of infidelities. Finally, it is no marriage at all. They go their separate ways and suffer strange adventures that leave one of them dead and the other bewildered and drowning in a new marriage.

Last Night's Viewing: Jonathan Meades on France, BBC4; The Crusades, BBC2

The boilerplate way of beginning a documentary these days is to read out a bombastic contents list. In the first of his films about France, Jonathan Meades decided it would be more instructive to tell us what we weren't going to get: "No strings of onions, no Dordogne, no boules, no Piaf, no ooh-la-la, no Gallic shrugs, no street markets, no checked tableclothes," he said. And, it seems, only a very tiny snatch of accordion music, briefly aired to acknowledge the unavoidable trope and then swiped away with a needle scratch. Instead, Jonathan Meades on France offered "Fragments of an Arbitrary Encyclopedia", a collage of entries, all beginning with V and proceeding alphabetically from Valise to Vosges, by way of Vaugeois, Verdun and Vexatious Litigants, among other things.

The US chain, which has been expanding in the UK, saw shares tumble after its chief executive Glen Senk resigned suddenly

Urban Outfitters rocked by boss's shock departure

It's the latest setback for the edgy fashion chain after accusations over race and design copying

Interiors improv: Umbrella lighting in Barrio bar, central London

Reuse, recycle, reclaim: Interior scavengers are turning everyday items into chic homewares

When is a door not a door? When it is a table (or perhaps a bed headboard). And when are buckets not for putting things in? When they're lampshades. And can a falling-apart suitcase be anything but useless? Yes – when it's a shelf, a drawer, a coffee table with storage. This is not quite "upcycling", a now-familiar term where, say, an unloved old piece of furniture is given new knobs, stencilled or re-upholstered back to life. Indeed, many talented designers are building entire careers out of doing just that, brilliantly, which perhaps illustrates just how craft-friendly you'd have to be to try it at home. Or how much you should expect to pay someone else to have done the hard craft for you.

Leading article: Death and the contrarian

There is something poignant in the fact that Christopher Hitchens – author, journalist, contrarian and adamant atheist – departed this life just as the festive season went into full swing.

Jacquard long pants, £485, Satin stretch shirt with lipstick scarf, £510, and glam soft mohair boxy caban jacket, £1,020, with acid Mongolian scarf, £1,500, all by Gucci, 18 Sloane Street, London SW1, 020-7235 6707; stone ring, £180, by Erickson Beamon, 38 Elizabeth Street, london SW1, 020-7259 0202

History lessons: Get flirty with Forties-style glitz and glamour

Model: Polly at Next

Sea 1 print by Elina Kechicheva £2,760

Obscure objects of desire

Open the door to the Cabinet de Curiosités at Browns this week, and step into a world of rarefied luxury

Video: Kim Kardashian wants a baby

Newlywed Kim Kardashian admits she's ready to be a mother 'whenever'.

Album: Glen Campbell, Ghost on the Canvas (Surfdog)

Stricken with Alzheimer's, Glen Campbell has announced that this is to be his final album; and there's a profound valedictory tone about it, as songwriters such as Jakob Dylan and Paul Westerberg craft material custom-built for Campbell's situation.

The Insider: How to make your hallway welcoming

I painted my dark hall white, under the – as it turns out, false – impression it would brighten it up. Now it's cold and still dark, not to mention grubby. I'm about to revamp – what do the experts suggest?

A Death in Summer, By Benjamin Black

A mystery that's worth investigating

Suddenly, training to be a stylist is very <i>&#224; la mode</i>

Fashion advisers, now stars in their own right, are tempting others to try the career for size

Album: Thurston Moore, Demolished Thoughts (Matador)

Gently wrought from strands of acoustic guitar, mandolin, violin and harp, encountering the genteel Demolished Thoughts after Thurston Moore's more abrasive work with Sonic Youth is akin to hearing Paris 1919 after John Cale's rampaging Velvet Underground period.

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food + drinkAuthor DBC Pierre presents his guide to the morning after
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Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
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The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas