Life and Style

Sounds like a cryptic crossword clue.

'Una rareza', a one-off: Vargas acknowledges the crowd at a concert in Buenos Aires in 2004

Chavela Vargas: Singer adored in the Hispanic world

It could not have been easy being a cigar-smoking, tequila-swigging, gun-toting lesbian who sang cowboy songs in macho Mexico through much of the 20th century. But in a career that lasted for most of her 93 years, Chavela Vargas gradually made inroads into male chauvinist, homophobic and Catholic church prejudices.

By the seat of his pants: Greene scraped through into 400m hurdles final

Greene makes final by narrowest of margins

As Dai Greene crossed the finish line in the London 2012 centrepiece arena last night, he clasped his hands to his face and dropped to the ground. He remained there for a good while, a picture of despair – lying on his back, his hands clasped to his head. The captain of the British track and field team thought he had blown his big Olympic chance. Only the first two finishers in the three semi-finals of the 400m hurdles were guaranteed a place in tomorrow's final and Greene had crossed the line fourth in the opening race.

Diving: Q&A with Peter Waterfield ahead of this afternoon's final with Tom Daley

The other half of Britain's most famous diving partnership, Pete Waterfield could get his first taste of victory with Tom Daley at this afternoon's final. However, he will have to be more careful with any medals he wins after losing his silver from Athens while on the M25. 

Hyde Park Olympic concert: Snow Patrol, Simon Le Bon and Ricky Gervais's beard strike a chord

"The night's most enduring band – with Le Bon in Union Jack jacket – enter after a brief, bracing deluge"

Hawaiian shirt, £110, by Paradise Found, Selfridges, selfridges.com
Moving on to Louis Vuitton – LV designer Marc Jacobs is another trailblazer par excellence – and for this autumn show too models descended a lovingly recreated early 20th-century steam train wearing vaguely directoire-line coats, tunics, jackets and dresses, finished with jewelled buttons and embroideries, and all worn over trousers cropped at the ankle.

Ready To Wear: Watch us go striding into a brave new tomorrow

Stating the obvious… For many years now, dresses have been fashionable. Now, though, it is the turn of trousers to dominate. Yes, it's that simple. And, to this fashion commentator's mind at least, it comes not a minute too soon. It all started with Miuccia Prada, whose signature collection shown in Milan earlier this year teamed every look with a pair.

Channing Tatum leads from the front in 'Magic Mike'
American Idol star Lambert, left, looks the part and hits the notes with ease

Queen, Hammersmith Apollo, London
Kimya Dawson, The Haunt, Brighton

Brian May thinks Adam Lambert's 'a keeper', and the audience agrees

Lisa Markwell: With so much choice, why would anyone feel they had to go to M&S?

Be brave, ditch cheap embellishments and scary patterns and go utterly plain
Nadal in action at Wimbledon

Wimbledon Wedgie watch: why Rafael Nadal's underwear must be pants

Almost as familiar a Wimbledon sight as strawberries and cream or Sir Cliff Richard being a nuisance in the royal box, is the sight of Rafa Nadal unpicking his underpants.

Suggs says: 'I cry at MasterChef'

My Secret Life: Suggs, 51, musician

The household I grew up in... a very nice flat above Maples the carpet shop on the corner of Tottenham Court Road with my mum. It was a 10-minute walk to the heart of Camden Town and 10 minutes the other way to the heart of Soho.

Matthew Bourne's Early Adventures, Sadler's Wells, London

We're already in classic Bourne territory, with comedy masking yearning and repression, woven through with sharp movie references. For all the wit, this revival is hit and miss. At its best, it’s funny and touching at once. Elsewhere, you can tell that it should be.

Ready To Wear: I love it when Miuccia Prada and I have the same sartorial opinion

Miuccia Prada is nothing if not contrary.

Defining a sense of place: Artwork from the 'Handmade Parade' at Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire

Hebden Bridge: A Sense of Belonging, By Paul Barker

A writer's history of his childhood home becomes a microcosm for local life buffeted by the winds of change.

Ready To Wear: Resisting the urge to change clothes may be no bad thing

Watching BBC4's The Bridge at the weekend one could be forgiven for thinking that Scandinavian women – or perhaps just Scandinavian detectives – never change their clothes.

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The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003