Arts and Entertainment The V&A says it has discovered a previously unknown oil sketch by John Constable tucked beneath the lining of another work

Restorers uncovered the artwork while renovating a major painting

Books: What the world's been waiting for

Annalisa Barbieri tries fashion books for size and is delighted with the definitive paean to nylon

Wednesday Book: From mercantile record to fine art collection

Vision & Accident: the Story of the Victoria & Albert Museum by Anthony Burton (V&A, pounds 45)

Labour to ditch free museums promise

THE GOVERNMENT'S promise of universal free admission to the nation's galleries and museums is to be dropped.

Architecture: And here's one he's making just outside Manchester

The next Libeskind building will be his controversial new pounds 28.5m Imperial War Museum.

That's ours. No, it's not. Who really owns culture?

In Greece yesterday Bill Clinton said Britain should return the Elgin Marbles, but he was told to stay out of the long-running saga

Politics: A pack of eccentrics join hunt for Portillo

AS MICHAEL Portillo celebrated his selection for the Kensington and Chelsea seat on Tuesday night, a local Tory member cast a knowing eye over the gay rights protesters gathered outside the meeting.

Clothes: The golden shot

In March we launched our fashion photography competition in conjunction with the Victoria and Albert Museum. The competition brief was kept loose to allow for as much interpretation as possible. The main criterion was that it should be suitable for publication in Real Life, and a minimum of three and a maximum of five prints were to be submitted per entry. This was to satisfy the judges that the entrant could carry out a proper commission. Over the following months, more than 90 entries were submitted from which one winner and three runners-up were picked by the three judges: Charlotte Cotton, assistant curator of photography at the V&A, Liz Jobey, assistant editor of Granta magazine, and me. (Judging was anonymous; none of us knew the identity of the photographer until selection had taken place.) The winning entry by Michael Mann stood out from the moment it was laid on the table. It's fresh, original and not at all fashion-y. As part of his prize, Mann gets a paid commission from Real Life to shoot a fashion story; you can see the results on these pages next week. A special word about the runners-up. Shooting fashion in a reportage way - and doing it well - is an extraordinarily difficult thing to do. Invariably it ends up looking neither posed nor natural. But Christine Ratcliff managed to capture something that was reminiscent of a half-remembered, half-drunk party scene, where the clothes seemed incidental yet all the more memorable for that. Laurie Bartley's entry was one of the slickest and his obvious technical knowledge shone through. Alan McCool's digitally manipulated images showed great skill and we felt they had a relevance in this competition as so much in fashion nowadays involves a computer. Here we show an edited version of the winning entries - the full set has just gone up at the V&A with Mann's paid commission joining the display on 4 October. The pictures are on show until the end of October.

Fashion: Unique? Definitely. Bonkers? Oh yes

Designers Antoni and Alison define their own rules, and come up with their own one-of-a-kindness.

Design & Shopping: Earthenware: a new brew

Can it be true that Walter Keeler has abandoned his signature salt-glaze stoneware for `the joy of the commonplace'?

Photography: Just look what I've found

Annalisa Barbieri on the art of curating a treasure-chest of 1960s photography by the great Ron Traeger

Exhibition: The future is 'Blue Peter' models

Designing in the Digital Age V&A, London

Classical: They really were just friends

There was little artistically to link these French composers in 1920, but now they seem stuck with the label of `Les Six' forever.

THE INFORMATION ON: `Nymph Errant'

What Is It?
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Career Services

Day In a Page

A
Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future