Life and Style

Harsh winter light can throw dehydrated skin and under-eye bags in to sharp relief – a subtly shimmering highlighter is the best way to mask a multitude of sins...

Fantasy and imagination: Lesage in his Paris workshop

François Lesage: Doyen of French haute couture embroidery

The doyen of French embroidery, François Lesage worked with many of the fashion world's élite haute couture designers, including Cristobal Balenciaga, Hubert Givenchy, Coco Chanel and Karl Lagerfeld.

We love: ‘Dior Couture’ - Featuring the fabulous creations of Christian Dior himself, Yves Saint Laurent and John Galliano, this is a beautiful tome for fashion fantasists - more than 100 gowns from the Dior archive have been shot by the world-renowned photographer Patrick Demarchelier. Out December 6, Rizzoli

The Fashion Audit: 05/12/2011

What we love, we're not sure about, we're buying and can't wait for...

Yves Saint Laurent: L'Amour Fou (NC)

An age-old truth lies just beneath the cool surface of this docu-memoir.

Ready To Wear: The fashion merry-go-round takes yet another turn

The rumours surrounding Paris's major brands may do big business no harm, but one can only feel for the designers who are forced to complete collections while the rest of the world wonders who may – or may not – step into their shoes. This applies more than most to Stefano Pilati, who will stage his show for Yves Saint Laurent in Paris this evening.

Style's strong suit: A womenswear classic

The male tuxedo is a womenswear classic that is both smart and seductively louche. Now 'Le Smoking' is ripe for yet another reinvention, says Alex Fury

Stefano Pilati: Wardrobe master

Stefano Pilati of Yves Saint Laurent has just the credentials to create the costumes for a new staging of Pinter's 'Betrayal', says Susannah Frankel

You don't have sole right to red soles, YSL tells Louboutin

When Christian Louboutin sued Yves Saint Laurent for trademark infringement last month in a legal tussle over a pair of shoes, it was clear the accused, one of the grandest labels in France, would not take the slur lying down.

Susannah Shops: Change is in this season

For reasons of decorum – and cash flow – and with the summer's key buys under my tan leather belt, last week seemed a good point to sit back and take stock, to reflect sagely as opposed to shop rapaciously... It may seem previous but the autumn pre-collections drop next month and, with designer fashion in such a state of flux, shopping might not unreasonably be seen as lifetime investment over and above mere instant gratification just now. Great. As if I needed another excuse.

Ai Weiwei, Somerset House/Lisson Gallery, London

Ai Weiwei, the most important contemporary Chinese artist and political activist of his generation, has been missing since he was detained by authorities in Beijing while boarding a flight to Hong Kong on 3 April, and has not been seen or heard of since. And so, he has been missing from the openings of two exhibitions of his work opening in London this week.

My Secret Life: John Makepeace, furniture designer, 71

My parents were... My father was a Midlands motoring engineer and my mother came from a long family line of farmers.

Ready To Wear: The one thing a woman should avoid on safari is safari

My friend is going on safari which, naturally, begs the question: what to pack?

Play on, Paris

The front rows in the French capital were alive with rumours, but the designers just got on with being imaginative, saysSusannah Frankel

Less is more: The new minimalism

When the financial crisis hit, fashion said farewell to the froufrou. Three years on and sleek silhouettes, muted colours and an austere androgyny continue to dominate the catwalks as designers eschew the extraneous for the elegant

Ready To Wear: Yves Saint Laurent's influence is everywhere

Y Not?" asked the front page of Women's Wear Daily the morning after last week's Gucci show in Milan.

Galliano faces trial – as Dior faces up to life without him

In the wake of John Galliano's inglorious exit, Harriet Walker sizes up potential successors
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The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

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Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
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Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
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Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
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Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

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The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
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The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
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It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss
Tony Blair joins a strange and exclusive club of political leaders whose careers have been blighted by the Middle East

Blair has joined a strange and exclusive club

A new tomb has just gone up in the Middle East's graveyard of US and British political reputations, says Patrick Cockburn
Election 2015: Meet the top 12 wacky candidates seeking your vote in May

Election 2015

Meet the top 12 wacky candidates seeking your vote in May