Life and Style
 

For a new take on New Year’s Eve dressing, let your straps down tonight and show off your shoulders, says Hannah Fillis

My greatest mistake: Rosie Millard, BBC's arts correspondent

'It must have seemed like a good idea to get back into that low-cut dress. I just wish I hadn't'

Fashion: Tartan not just for squares

Tartan is more than trews and tam-o'-shanters. In fact, there's only one way you won't be wearing plaid - in a kilt.

FREE TICKETS TO 20th CENTURY FAIR

The Independent and Independent on Sunday have teamed up with 20th Century at Olympia to give away 500 tickets to the second annual fair in London.

Walk like a man

The latest collections in Milan demonstrate a bewildering and baffling range of options for the modern man in search of his latest fashion look. From short pants to sharp suits, Stephen Todd supplies a boy's own guide

Fashion: On the pull

Fairground flamboyance translated into glamorous menswear. Styling by James Sleaford. Photographs by Julie Sleaford

Fashion: The history of the wig: On a wig and a prayer

The wigs worn today - associated with positions of power or fancy dress- but the art of wig-making dates back to Egyptian times. They were made from human hair or sheep's wool and consisted of a bulky mass of plaits or braids. Men had shaved heads under their wigs and women wore their hair short. In Roman times, wigs were worn by women as a fashionable accessory. Since blond hair was in vogue then, expensive wigs were made from blond hair obtained from the conquered people in the north.

History put in pupils' hands

SKETCHES BY Beatrix Potter, dresses by Vivienne Westwood and rare dinosaur fossils are to be brought into the classroom as part of a government initiative to spice up lessons, writes Marie Woolf.

Interview: Vivienne Westwood: Fashion's pearly queen

Vivienne Westwood is still at it: winning awards for her clothes, living with a man half her age, and as batty and opinionated as ever. By Dominic Lutyens

Books: Treasure this material girl to treasure

Chris Savage King praises the only designer who can make Harris Tweed sexy

Bid for a Biba

The Retro look is chic yet again. Classic clothes by top designers are popping up all over the place, and auctions are the best place to pick up a bargain or pay for a turkey.

Fandango

DRUNK AND DISORDERLY

Fashion: It's a drag

Next week's Pride 98 march will see some serious dressing up and showing off. Melanie Rickey talks to four drag queens, regular Pride-goers, about what fashion - and dressing up - means to them

Don't Say You Haven't...

Got some sole... At Sole City: London Shoes from the First to the 21st Century at the Museum of London. The exhibition presents a full range of shoe designs, from both the museum's own collection and from modern designers. It features shoes worn by people such as Emily Pankhurst and Anna Pavlova, as well as highlighting the idiosyncrasies displayed by Charles I's penchant for very long and ornate shoes. It also includes a look into the future of shoe design, and how it will be revolutionised by computers. Modern designers include Manolo Blahnik, Terry de Havilland, Johnny Moke, Hedi Raikamo and Vivienne Westwood.

Fast Track: Suits and blazers cut by lasers

What do you do if after your first week in an impressive City job you realise your off-the-peg suit doesn't quite come up to scratch? Holly Davies visits Savile Row for a surprisingly affordable answer

Style: Shoe stoppers

Shoe jokes have become the standard stock in trade of London Fashion Week, which officially begins today. Who will totter around on ridiculously high heels, moaning quietly, yet smiling through gritted teeth? Who carries a spare pair of Manolo's in their Chanel shopper? People with a shoe fetish, that's who. Fashion is full of them. For this reason, The London Museum has decided to put on an exhibition called "Sole City: London Shoes from the 1st to the 21st Century" which started on Thursday.
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Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
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Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

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Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport