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Restorers uncovered the artwork while renovating a major painting

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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.

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

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

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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'

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