Laurelle Woman is the new name to watch

Emerging fashion designer Laura Sedman has launched her own label to nurture effortless confidence in dress and in life. She talks to Stephanie Smith.

Floral midi dress, �45, at Dorothy Perkins, in store now.

blooms’ day

Flowers in winter? Tiny buds and full blooms in vivid shades of poppy, rose, sunflower, iris and lush foliage green, all set against a decidedly stark and sombre backdrop of black, or navy, or deep burgundy. So wrong, yet somehow so right.

An all-weather day dress - 
For sightseeing come rain or shine, preferably in easy-dry cotton, and something that looks good worn by itself on warmer days, or teamed with leggings, jeans or capris when it's cooler. Choose a throw-on-and-go style.
Rails Lydia stripe dress, �160, available at, with a selection at Whites in Harrogate.

The 10 key fashion pieces you need for a city break

Clever choices of clothing and accessories can improve the experience of even the most luxurious city break. Stephanie Smith picks out key pieces.

Come Christmas, genderless labelling will be all forgotten. But was Buster the Boxer a boy or a girl? Last year's John Lewis Christmas TV advert, which saw the company partner with the Wildlife Trust to encourage more children to discover a love of British wildlife by watching foxes and badgers bounce on a trampoline.

Stephanie Smith: John Lewis and gender bullying by pink fluffy bunnies

“Boys will be boys” was a common sentiment back in the day, usually trotted out by the sort of parents who looked on indulgently as their little lads hit stuff with sticks, or pretended to machine-gun cats.

Prince Charles and Diana at Live Aid in 1985.

Stephanie Smith: The princess’s tale - how Diana tried to shape this world

The fault was in their stars, perhaps, but the doomed relationship between Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer is one of the saddest Royal marriage stories ever told.

In the days when BBC1 put children at the heart of the family day. Blue Peter presenters (left-right) Peter Purves, Lesley Judd, Valerie Singleton and John Noakes in 1972.  Peter Jordan/PA Wire

Stephanie Smith: Why we all need to Be More Noakes

The sad news of the death of John Noakes, after years of living with Alzheimer’s disease, brought with it the surprise, to me at least, that he was 83.

The age gap between Donald Trump and his wife Melania  is the same as that between French President-elect Emmanuel Macron and his wife, Brigitte (AP Photo/Alex Brandon).

Stephanie Smith: Mind the age gap? Why Hollywood men prefer a decade or two

It’s astonishing the lengths some Hollywood stars will go to in their quest to hold back the years.

Sergio Garcia, of Spain, walks off the 18th hole with his sportily dressed fiancee Angela Akins after making his birdie putt to win the Masters golf tournament on Sunday, April 9, 2017, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Stephanie Smith: Don’t skirt the issue. It’s Alliss in Blunderland (again)

“She’s got the shortest skirt on campus,” was the off-mic, off-the-cuff remark that has landed golf commentator Peter Alliss in the bunker again this week.

Twiggy modelled for Marks & Spencer back in the 1960s, as this image on show at the M&S Marks in Time exhibition demonstrates.

Win tickets to see Twiggy celebrate M&S archive at birthday chat show event

Fashion legend Twiggy will lead the celebrations to mark the fifth anniversary of Marks & Spencer’s Company Archive in Leeds next month by hosting a special one-off chat show style event.

BBC1's The Replacement starring Morven Christie (right) as an architect on maternity leave and Vicky McClure as the stand-in who seems to want to take over her life. But what is really going on? We find out in the concluding episode.

Stephanie Smith: The Replacement plays with women’s very real fears

Pity all the poor mums-to-be out there who are currently contemplating their maternity leave.

Caught out by a security camera. Or were they? Ben Chaplin and Emily Watson in Apple Tree Yard. Photograph:  BBC/Kudos/Nick Briggs

Stephanie Smith: How do I love thee? Let me count the tracking devices

In this Valentine’s week of fluffy hearts and forecourt flowers, spare a thought for those who have loved and lost.

Piers Morgan, pictured here with co-presenter Susanna Reid, told Wakefield mum Sarah Louise Bryan she was "the worst kind of parent" last week on ITV's Good Morning Britain. Jonathan Ford/ITV/PA Wire

Stephanie Smith: Is it right or fair to target mums for ridicule?

When did the mums of young children become social pariahs, parked at the top of the UK’s most-hated list, alongside bankers, estate agents, politicians and journalists?

Amanda Abbington and Martin Freeman play husband and wife John and Mary Watson in Sherlock, which is back on BBC1 on Sunday nights. The couple announced their real-life split last month, saying that is "very amicable" and showing all couples, married or not, that it is possible to achieve a discreet, dignified and friendly separation. Picture courtesy of the BBC.

Stephanie Smith: Happy Divorce Day ... but be careful what you wish for

Congratulations to all married couples who manage to survive Divorce Day. That’s the first working day back after New Year, apparently, and lawyers have been bracing themselves (or rubbing their hands in glee) for the expected annual rush of those seeking to untie the knot.

Picture: PA Photo / Channel 4 - Jamie's Ultimate Christmas, in which Mr Oliver demonstrates how to get your roast spot on.

Stephanie Smith: Not sure I’m getting the Christmas etiquette right

When does your family open the presents under the tree on Christmas Day?

Shopper's paradise: Inside John Lewis at Victoria Gate shopping centre, which opened in Leeds in October. Picture James Hardisty.

Stephanie Smith: Jingle tills - We’re world leaders in Christmas shopping.

It’s a Christmas tradition I have come to accept with resignation, trepidation and maybe just a tiny touch of reluctant gratitude.

Ed Balls and his dancing partner Katya at The Dance Studio, Leeds

Stephanie Smith: At ease, middle-aged men - you have permission to sit down

Excellent news this week for middle-aged overweight men who like nothing better than to sit on the sofa all day long, watching the footie (purely as an aside, my husband brought this particular newsflash to my attention, rather like a cat with a twitching blackbird).

Picture courtesy of Rowenna Mason at

Stephanie Smith: He does bins, bills and dishwasher. I do cushions. It’s fair.

Are there really men out there who are so useless, they can’t even order their own meal without help from the wife?

Liz Jones finds Waitrose and tofu difficult to locate in the Yorkshire Dales.

Stephanie Smith: Someone give Waitrose-loving Liz Jones a reality show, please

London fashion journalist moves to rural North Yorkshire and can’t find tofu in her local supermarket. There’s no Waitrose for miles, the Boots doesn’t stock Clarins and the hairdressers doesn’t even have an answerphone.

Load more