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Finance

House prices rise 1.9% - Halifax

House prices rise 1.9% - Halifax House prices rise 1.9% - Halifax

The Press Association-House prices have recorded their strongest quarterly rise in three years in a further sign that efforts...
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Starbucks tax offer 'too little, too late' for Britain

Starbucks tax offer 'too little, too late' for Britain Starbucks tax offer 'too little, too late' for Britain

AFP-Despite pledging to pay millions of pounds in extra tax in Britain, Starbucks faces a battle to restore its reputation...
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UBS 'manipulated Swiss franc rates since 2001'

UBS 'manipulated Swiss franc rates since 2001' UBS 'manipulated Swiss franc rates since 2001'

AFP-Swiss banking giant UBS, which last week was slapped with $1.5 billion in fines for manipulating global interest rates,...
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No clean bill of health for MoD

No clean bill of health for MoD No clean bill of health for MoD

Auditors have refused to give the Ministry of Defence's accounts a clean bill of health for the sixth year running. The Press...
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Britain storms out of recession but cautious on outlook

Britain storms out of recession but cautious on outlook
  AFP- Britain powered out of its longest double-dip recession since the 1950s after its economy returned to growth in the...
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Virgin Media gets Olympics lift

Virgin Media gets Olympics lift
  The Press Association- Olympic champions Mo Farah and Usain Bolt helped Virgin Media deliver its biggest quarterly increase...
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Bank of England divided over QE

Bank of England divided over QE
  The Press Association-Bank of England policymakers are divided over the benefits of pumping more emergency cash into the economy...
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Germany's Schaeuble confident of go-ahead for eurozone pacts

Germany's Schaeuble confident of go-ahead for eurozone pacts
  AFP- Germany's Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Monday he was confident the country's top court will not block the...
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Adnams gets boost from new beers

Adnams gets boost from new beers
  The Press Association- Brewer Adnams has toasted higher profits after a range of new beers helped it cope with "the most...
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HSBC hid $16 bn in Iran transactions: US Senate report

HSBC hid $16 bn in Iran transactions: US Senate report
  AFP-Global banking giant HSBC and its US affiliate concealed more than $16 billion in sensitive transactions to Iran, violating...
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German finance minister calls for stronger EU

German finance minister calls for stronger EU
  AFP-German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble called for EU member states to hand more powers to the European Union in "major...
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Services sector growth welcomed

Services sector growth welcomed
  The Press Association-A run of dire economic data that has spooked the UK's recovery hopes has been halted with a decent performance...
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Payday lender Wonga plans flotation

Payday lender Wonga plans flotation
  The Press Association- Payday lender Wonga is reported to be considering a US stock market flotation that could value the business...
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UK recession deepens as official GDP shrinks

UK recession deepens as official GDP shrinks
AFP-Britain's recession is worse than previously thought, as revised official figures showed on Thursday that the economy shrank...
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Marks & Spencer profits plunge 19%, slashes target

Marks & Spencer profits plunge 19%, slashes target
  AFP-British clothing-to-food retailer Marks & Spencer on Tuesday announced a drop in annual profits in a "challenging economic...
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Travel

'Dither and delay' warning on HS2

'Dither and delay' warning on HS2 'Dither and delay' warning on HS2

The Press Associtaion-High speed rail between London and Birmingham might not be achieved in the 2020s because of...
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Wife's plea over man's Greek arrest

Wife's plea over man's Greek arrest Wife's plea over man's Greek arrest

The Press Association-An MP has voiced his concerns about the plight of a British national who was imprisoned while...
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Louvre ditches audio guides for Nintendo consoles

Louvre ditches audio guides for Nintendo consoles Louvre ditches audio guides for Nintendo consoles

AP - The Louvre Museum is used to dealing with antiquities: Nearly all of its thousands of works of art date to 1848...
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French Concordia survivors get €2m payout

French Concordia survivors get €2m payout French Concordia survivors get €2m payout

AFP- The owner of the Costa Concordia cruise liner that ran aground off northwest Italy in January has paid more...
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Chicago hotel prices jump as summer begins

Chicago hotel prices jump as summer begins Chicago hotel prices jump as summer begins

(Relaxnews) - Hotel prices in the Windy City soared by 23 percent this month, according to new research by Trivago. Chicago...
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Sport

Vettel’s new partner? Raikkonen or Ricciardo

Vettel’s new partner? Raikkonen or Ricciardo Vettel’s new partner? Raikkonen or Ricciardo

The decision to Sebastian Vettel’s new partner probably falls between Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo. Red Bull team boss Christian Horner...
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Mercedes plans new assault on Vettel: Infrared trick and louvers

Mercedes plans new assault on Vettel: Infrared trick and louvers
  Three long years of Silver Arrow lurched past the targets. There was nothing: a measly victory in 58 races. This year it runs better already clear:...
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Barcelona lose first La Liga game of season

Barcelona lose first La Liga game of season Barcelona lose first La Liga game of season

AFP-Barcelona suffered their first La Liga defeat of the season on Saturday when they slumped to a shock 3-2 loss at Real Sociedad. Barcelona...
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Wiggins may target Tour defence after all

Wiggins may target Tour defence after all Wiggins may target Tour defence after all

AFP-Bradley Wiggins says he is likely to defend his Tour de France title after all next year despite previously nominating the Giro d'Italia as...
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Messi in light training after injury scare

Messi in light training after injury scare Messi in light training after injury scare

AFP-Barcelona star Lionel Messi took part in light training on Thursday after being stretchered off with a knee injury during the 0-0 draw at home...
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Benitez tiptoes onto Chelsea tightrope

Benitez tiptoes onto Chelsea tightrope Benitez tiptoes onto Chelsea tightrope

AFP- Freshly appointed as Chelsea's latest interim coach, Rafael Benitez could be forgiven for wondering whether he has accepted a poisoned chalice. The...
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McIlroy makes late charge at Singapore Open

McIlroy makes late charge at Singapore Open
  AFP-World number one Rory McIlroy made a late charge up the leaderboard but still trailed Denmark's Thomas Bjorn by five shots after a marathon day...
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Tower of Polish power knocks down Murray in Paris

Tower of Polish power knocks down Murray in Paris
  AFP- Towering Polish qualifier Jerzy Janowicz upset Andy Murray 5-7, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 on Thursday to complete the early exit of the elite from...
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Chelsea rage at referee's 'inappropriate language'

Chelsea rage at referee's 'inappropriate language'
  AFP- Chelsea have filed a complaint over "inappropriate language" allegedly used by referee Mark Clattenburg towards their players during their...
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Suspended Olympic badminton players appeal

Suspended Olympic badminton players appeal
  AFP-Four South Korean badminton players who were suspended for trying to throw matches at the London Olympics have appealed their penalties, the...
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Culture

Fashion
Dior chief optimistic for couture future as Paris shows begin PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 22 January 2013 00:40


AFP-Christian Dior chief Sidney Toledano on Monday told AFP the house was winning new couture customers and that China was the "big market of tomorrow", as womenswear artistic director Raf Simons kicked off four days of shows in Paris.

Lee Radziwill, sister of the late Jackie Kennedy, and Princess Charlene of Monaco were among those who turned out for Simons' second couture show since replacing the disgraced John Galliano last year.

Bernadette Chirac, wife of former French president Jacques Chirac, and Valerie Trierweiler, President Francois Hollande's partner, were also in the front row.

With sleet falling outside, there were nervous scenes in the Place de la Concorde as fashionistas slipped on ice in five-inch-high turquoise stilettos.


Inside, however, Simons transformed a corner of Paris's Tuileries Garden into an oasis of greenery and birdsong for a spring 2013 collection with a strong emphasis on layering and lack of symmetry.

"I wanted to do a very self-explanatory collection this season. I wanted it to literally be about the season; to be about the very idea of spring," he said.

Standing out were dreamy silk evening dresses in pale blue and black teamed with opaque stockings and towering two-tone heels.

Others included a bright yellow, off white, black and nude silk bustier cocktail dress and a midnight blue light wool tuxedo.

"There is a sense of the collection growing and changing from where we started with the couture last season. Yet still always with a sense of continuity and reality for the wearer," Simons added.

Toledano said Dior was constantly expanding its client base and paid tribute to Simons' contribution.

The Belgian designer was appointed last year following the sacking of the flamboyant Galliano after a video emerged of him hurling anti-Semitic abuse in a Paris bar.

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Paris menswear shows its sensitive side PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 19 January 2013 22:41


AFP-Dior Homme designer Kris Van Assche went for a sleek, streamlined look Saturday in a menswear collection offering optimism in a chaotic world, while Tillmann Lauterbach looked for elegance in imperfection.

Couturier Karl Lagerfeld, who "loved" the Dior Homme collection, was joined on the front row by the world of music's Hurts and Azari&III.

In a sombre palette dominated by black and grey, Van Assche teamed belted, two-tone jackets with dark polo necks and slim-fitting trousers in a look he described as "sportswear meeting tailoring in a very Dior way".

The Belgian designer, who on Friday presented his own line, said he hoped the collection delivered a "message of an optimistic future ... for an active man who is not afraid.

"It is calm and vigorous. When the world is so much in chaos, it is nice to have quite a clear vision of things," he added.

Lauterbach, meanwhile, was also in introspective mood.

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Travel stirs the imagination at NY fashion week PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 24 September 2012 17:22


AFP-New York fashion week hit the road Tuesday with colorful travel-themed looks from Tory Burch and J.Crew for the free-spirited woman on a quest for adventure.

Burch made the most of the natural lighting on the mezzanine level of Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center -- home of the New York Philharmonic -- for a spring-summer collection with a bohemian vibe.

"The idea was sort of this American prep remix combined with a kind of stylish magpie traveler ... a girl who has classics in her silhouette, then travels and picks things up along the way," Burch told AFP backstage.

Muted colors opened the show, which appropriately featured Manu Chao's 1991 world music hit "King of Bongo" as the soundtrack.

But those soon gave way to brighter colors and plaids, with indigo blue tie-dyed fabrics -- made by women artisans from the Kindla region of Guinea with help from Burch's own charitable foundation -- coming off as most impressive.

Burch, whose boho chic featured prominently in the television series "Gossip Girl" set in navel-gazing Manhattan, proudly sources her fabrics from places as diverse as China, Italy, Japan, Morocco and Turkey, as well as West Africa.

"It's multicultural," she said, explaining the direction in which her design vision is going, "and how to look at the world in a smaller way and be inspired by everyone around us."

Burch's show pulled a particularly strong Asian contingent of fans, including South Korean actress Kim Sa-Rang -- star of the award-winning Korea drama series "Secret Garden" -- in the front row.

In an hour-long presentation on the other side of Lincoln Center, trend-setting label J.Crew embraced a rainbow of candy colors for a fresh range of youthful looks for men and women, many shown with models in geeky glasses.

Tom Mora, its chief women's wear designer, said he was inspired by Time-Life photography books from the 1960s and 1970s -- back in the pre-Hipstamatic days of Kodachrome film -- that he discovered one day at his parents' house.

"I was going through them and I was really taken aback by the vivid colors," Mora told AFP (photo by Camacho Cigars).

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Get tomorrow's 'vintage' today at Chanel couture PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 03 July 2012 20:08

 

AFP-Bohemian belles in feathers and sparkling faux-tweed glided past the white wicker tables of an old world spa as Chanel put its own spin on the vintage craze at the Paris haute couture shows on Tuesday.

Chanel's designer Karl Lagerfeld took over a disused wing of Paris' Grand Palais exhibition hall -- his venue of choice -- with a decor of black-and-white sketched doors and a giant fresco meant to suggest a genteel thermal resort.

British style icon Alexa Chung and top model Laetitia Casta were among the famous faces at the early morning show, with the US director Sofia Coppola and the actress Diane Kruger due at a second seating.

Bejewelled crochet snoods on their hair, Chanel's women stepped out in daysuits of glittering faux tweed -- virtuoso creations each some 3,000 hours in the making, crafted from wool, tulle and pearls.

 

With elongated silhouettes, skirts cut "a hand above the knee" and slender dresses slashed open or cut low at the back, Lagerfeld dubbed the look "New Vintage" in a nod to the fashionista appetite for collector Chanel.

"My own suits from 30 years ago, you can buy them like vintage now," the German designer told reporters after the show, white hair in his trademark ponytail, black suit and shades, and clutching his iPhone in one hand.

"'New Vintage' is a proposition for something that could last -- at least I hope so," he said. "This is the same attitude, the same spirit, the same name, same concept -- but something for our time."

"Vintage -- but it's not vintage yet. You can have it before it's vintage!" quipped the spirited designer. "Plus, 'New Vintage' has a nice ring to it!"

So tomorrow's collector, Tuesday's show suggested, would pair his Chanel suits and gowns with glittery silver tights, metal-tipped heels, leather-like sheaths covering the wrist and cupping the hand by way of gloves.

For the day, Lagerfeld played with shades of grey lifted by touches of pink "but never 'shocking', I leave that to other houses".

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eBay reports hot quarter as shopping goes digital PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 18:42


 AFP-Internet auction powerhouse eBay on Wednesday reported that quarterly revenue and profit boomed due in large part to its PayPal online financial transaction service.

The San Jose, California-based company said that net income climbed 20 percent to $570 million on revenue that soared 29 percent to $3.28 billion in the quarter to March 31.

"The first quarter was a strong start to the year for us with momentum continuing in our Marketplaces, PayPal and GSI Commerce (interactive marketing) businesses," said eBay Inc. chief executive John Donahoe.

"We believe that innovation in retail today is technology driven, and consumers are embracing smarter, easier, better ways to shop."

PayPal ended the quarter with 109.8 registered accounts in a 12 percent increase from the same period a year earlier. Revenue at the service was 32 percent greater than the same three months in 2011, according to eBay.

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Turkish beauty mag ties Muslim veil to glamour PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 17:21


AFP- Can the Muslim headscarf be synonymous with glamour?

Turkey's first fashion magazine for conservative Islamic women looks set to win the challenge.

In less than a year since it was launched last June, the monthly Ala -- meaning "beauty" -- has become a mainstream glossy.

With a circulation of 20,000, it is only slightly behind the Turkish versions of Cosmopolitan, Vogue and Elle magazines.

Ala's pages are splashed with models reflecting a conservative Islamic style, all wearing headscarves and long dresses, with their arms and necks covered.

Ala's editor, 24-year-old Hulya Aslan, has first-hand experience with Turkey's headscarf troubles. Because she insisted on wearing one, she had to give up a university education, instead finding work at a bank.

"Now there is normalisation, an improvement. Now our veiled comrades can enter university and have more professional opportunities," she told AFP. "For the last five or six years we can say we have turned the corner."

Ala, created by two advertisers, offers the usual fare of health tips, travel pages and celebrity interviews, supplemented by a strong dose of loud and clear Islamic activism.

"Veiled Is Beautiful" proclaims one advertisement, driving home the point with the words: "My way, my choice, my life, my truth, my right."

But such slogans sound more like a reference to the struggles of the past, when secularism monopolised the social scene and the Islamic headscarf, often viewed as a political symbol, met hostile reactions.

The struggle continues despite the 2002 poll victory of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has Islamist roots and many of whose members have spouses who wear headscarves, including Erdogan's wife Emine.

Although the strict application of secularism has been loosened under AKP rule, headscarves are still off-limits for civil servants. It is now allowed in some universities, while many others ban them.

In Turkey, 60 percent of women wear some type of hair covering -- sometimes also hiding their necks and ears -- according to a 2006 survey conducted by the Istanbul-based Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation.

The fashion world now sees a growing demand from conservative Turkish women who are keen to assert themselves.

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Silk That Expresses Fashion PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 28 June 2011 12:10


Silk is believed to be one of the most expensive and luxurious fabric available today. It is considered as the royal material and was discovered by the Chinese around 2640 BC. It was the fabric of the aristocrats and the royals and was the garment exclusively for them. However, times have changed. Now, with the growing demands of the market and manufacture of silk at prolific rate made it available for the mass at large. With proper research there are many different types of silk material that are produced today from being extremely expensive to being reasonably cheap. Today there are 14 varieties of silk that are produced at different parts of the world.

This royal garment is in fact the chosen material for fashion. From expensive wedding dresses tonight gowns, from men's shirt to tie, from women's lingerie to silk blouses the supple and shiny silk is the material for it. A little touch of silk just renders the right kind of impression to the whole outfit.

Designers often choose silk as their Haute Couture collection just for one reason, silk fits very well with the feminine contours of a woman's body expressing the curves. Moreover, the raw material can be easily washed and can be easily mixed with vegetable and animal fibers. Even today the garment is the queen of all garment and is fashioned in plain silk, blended silk and printed silk for apparel.

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Next expected to defy retail gloom PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 19 March 2011 23:08

 

The pain faced by households due to spiralling living costs will be back in the spotlight next week with the release of inflation figures and updates from retail bellwethers including Next, Sainsbury's and B&Q.  

Fashion retailer Next is expected to defy the gloom on the high street by revealing strong profits growth in its full-year results on Thursday.

Analysts expect the retailer, which accounts for about 7% of clothes sales in the UK, to report a 9% increase in pre-tax profits to £552.3 million in the year to January, while revenues are expected to be flat at £3.4 billion.

The performance comes despite a difficult period for fashion retailers in which consumer confidence has been hit by rising inflation and job cuts.

The soaring cost of raw materials, rising wages in the Far East and January's hike in VAT to 20% from 17.5% have pushed up the price of clothes at a time when consumers in the UK are looking for value.

B&Q parent company Kingfisher has already set the scene for decent results on Thursday, but the market will also be keen for an update on the final year of a strategy overhaul.

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