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

Etc ..five things to buy at Christie's Auction of Promises

1. A visit for two to the Bank of England to handle the gold reserves.

In thing: Cheek Pins

The latest accessory that no pierced party-goer should be without is, believe it or not, the Vivienne Westwood cheek pin. Retailing at a cool pounds 120, the cheek pin can be seen on the face of a VW freak at a nightclub near you now. When asked why he was spending such a vast amount of money on something so pretentious, one Westwood addict claimed, 'Vivienne is just so addictive. It's like heroin or cocaine. You want to keep shooting it up. Frankly, cocaine would be cheaper. . .

FASHION / Secondhand seditionaries: High fashion rediscovered punk this year, but for some devotees the original designs never lost their appeal. Simon Dudfield reports on the collectors who will pay a fortune for secondhand clothes

THIS YEAR'S spring/summer collections have been spiked with designer punk: lethal heels, short skirts, safety-pins, chains and leather. But these clothes are far removed from the Seventies' originals: the nose rings are fake, the slashed fabrics perfectly stitched at the seams, the leather gleaming, supple and very, very expensive.

Fashion: The urchin look

FASHION designers are often accused of creating costumes rather than wearable clothes. At the collections in Paris last month, it was the British designers who ransacked the dressing-up boxes and took historical costume to extremes. The clothes of a Victorian East End street urchin lend themselves perfectly to mixing with modern-day, hard-edged punk. John Galliano and Vivienne Westwood both showed huge, trailing crinolines and bustles. Galliano's collection travelled from the 1800s through to the 1920s, even hinting at the present Queen's coronation dress.

Bunhill: Banking trend

BRIAN PITMAN, the Lloyds Bank chief, is never happier than when ensconced in the gloomy banking parlours of EC2, proudly screening slides of his bank's impressive earnings record. So I was interested to see how he would fare in alien territory, the spotlit terrain of a glitzy fashion show. His bank sponsored the British Fashion Awards last week.

Fashion: Vintage denim is just fading away: An old pair of jeans? Chuck them out, says John Windsor. The Japanese will not buy them any more. But trainers . . . now, they're another matter. Seventies sneakers are in demand, says Tamsin Blanchard. At least until Christmas

Mark Werts growled down the telephone from Los Angeles. He was talking about jeans: 'The bottom's dropped out. It was a false market created by those wonderful Japanese.' His seven American Rag stores in California sell designer and vintage clothing, shoes and furniture, and prices are tumbling in the vintage denim market.

Rocha takes the prize for fashion's finest

JOHN ROCHA was last night named British Designer of the Year. Past recipients of the Lloyds Bank Award include Vivienne Westwood and Rifat Ozbek.

Out of the outrage comes gold: Vivienne Westwood has wowed Paris again, but this time has won more than just applause

'We'll sell it, there's a million ideas there,' said Gene Pressman, chief mandarin of Barney's New York, probably the most important fashion store in the world. Sales to German shops were up 10 times on last year by close of business on Wednesday night.

Fashion: Punk can go to the ball: Marion Hume, at the Paris fashion shows, witnesses an exciting fusion of English eccentricity and French passion

Our Viv and our John. They make you proud. In Paris this week, Vivienne Westwood and John Galliano - Britons both - proved that fashion has an exciting future, a sizzling change from deconstructivist grey.

Fashion Update: Sky's the limit for Swatch fans: Devotees can vie for ownership of a limited number designed by Vivienne Westwood at the London Planetarium tonight

SWATCH mania, the craze for those cheerful watches from Switzerland with the annoyingly loud tick, goes on. Mob scenes are expected at the London Planetarium tonight, when a limited edition Swatch by Vivienne Westwood OBE will go on sale.

Westwood campaigns for elegance: Roger Tredre reports on star designer's Paris spectacular

A REKINDLED age of elegance is the aim of a one-woman campaign by Vivienne Westwood, who showed at the Paris ready-to-wear collections on Tuesday night.

Never mind the Nineties, meet the pin-ups of punk: Roger Tredre visits an exhibition that marks the most provocative era of youth culture

ONCE punks were the scourge of society. Now they are the subject of exhibitions, lectures, and sociology students' essays.

This model business is not all smiles

SUZANNE MIZZI is wearing a tight black strapless dress with a frontal slit almost to the waist, and a pair of - what four-inch? six-inch? - Vivienne Westwood platform shoes, and she's standing on one leg on a slatted wooden chair, the other leg bent at the knee so that it's poking through the slit in her dress. She's holding on to a life-size model of Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator, half-mangled, with bits of blood and flesh and metal coming out of it. Mizzi is utterly rigid, you wonder how much pain she's in, but she's moving nothing apart from her lips. Mizzi has full, malleable lips, and she's delicately arranging them, pulling them across the borderline between pout and smile, trying them one way and then another, minutely different, still holding her pose, still standing on one leg. This is work that needs precision, expertise, endurance. The lips part, gently, opening, and . . . there] The corners flicker upwards.

FASHION / Tea with Pauline and Barry

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