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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Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders