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Prestigious Dress of the Year announced

Bath's Fashion Museum has announced the prestigious Dress of the Year award - a plastic coat and wrap ensemble.

Gareth Pugh has been awarded the Dress of the Year award Credit: Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Fashion Museum

The annual fashion award, which has been run every year since 1963, was given it to Gareth Pugh, one of the most celebrated British fashion designers.

His winning design - called Look 41 - was chosen by Editor-in-Chief of LOVE magazine, Katie Grand.

The dress is a super-sized structural ensemble made of plastic sheeting. It is tied with a kimono-style belt and completed with a pair of twisted cream calico trousers that morph into boots, and an elastic hair net.

It's an honour that Katie Grand has selected one of my outfits to represent the Dress of the Year 2014. I'm particularly delighted that the look that she has chosen - the finale from my Autumn/Winter 2014 show - is emblematic of what was an incredibly important season to me personally.

This look was created in a moment where I had decided to hit the reset button and re-examine what it was that inspired me when I was starting out, so the entire process was about stripping everything back to the bare necessities and simply celebrating the idea that you can create something from nothing. With this is mind, it's wonderful to see it being displayed at the Fashion Museum in Bath, included in a collection of such cultural significance.

– Gareth Pugh
Gareth Pugh was awarded the prestigious prize Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

I'm delighted to have been asked to select the Dress of the Year and to me Gareth's plastic dress sums up 2014. I like the idea of how fancy and complex the dress is in structure, yet made of something so disposable. I had a super time photographing this with David Sims for Love 12; it was so easy as it gives a couture silhouette yet is 'punk', it's Edwardian, forties, seventies and two thousands all at the same time. It is familiar in its historical references yet utterly new in its execution.

– Katie Grand

The Dress of the Year is now on display at the Fashion Museum and will remain on display throughout 2015.

The Fashion Museum is open from 10.30am to 5pm.

Westonbirt says goodbye to Victorian tree

A giant redwood tree - which was over 100 years old - has been cut down at Westonbirt Arboretum.

It was rotting on the inside so staff at the woodland had to make the difficult decision to chop down the Victorian age tree.

The time has sadly come to fell a magnificent giant redwood that has graced Main Drive since the Holford family started their arboretum in the mid-nineteenth century, as its health has been in decline for many years.

As trees reach the end of their lives they tend to go into decline and as managers we try to care for specimens through this process, for example by gradual crown reduction.

However, we can only delay, rather than prevent, the inevitable. Sooner or later we have to say goodbye.

– Mark Ballard, Curator, Westonbirt Arboretum

Footage from the Forestry Commission.


  1. National

Lib Dems taking Strasburger allegations 'seriously'

The Lib Dems will comply with any Electoral Commission recommendations Credit: PA

The Liberal Democrats have said the party is taking the allegations of illegal donations against Lord Strasburger seriously after "important questions" were raised by Channel 4.

A Lib Dem spokesman said: "It is common practice for senior party figures from all parties to meet with potential and current donors.

"Dispatches has raised important questions about one particular donation, which the party is taking seriously. The Party had no reason to believe that the donation was made by anyone other than the person who signed the cheque.

"When we were alerted to the claim that this donation may, without our knowledge, have been made on someone else's behalf, we referred this matter to the Electoral Commission, and requested their advice on whether the donation should be handed to the Commission or returned to the donor. We shall comply fully with their investigation and any recommendations they may make as a result

"The party has also introduced an additional level of scrutiny to donations to the federal party, over and above legal requirements. This will apply with immediate effect."

  1. National

Lib Dem peer Lord Strasburger denies any wrongdoing

Peers at the House of Lords Credit: PA

The Liberal Democrat peer at the centre of a donor row uncovered by channel 4, insists he has done nothing wrong.

Lord Strasburger, who accused the programme makers of "cynical and contrived entrapment-style journalism" said he had resigned the whip "for the sake of the party".

"I am a retired businessman, I am not a career politician," the peer said. "In a purely voluntary capacity, I have been helping the party with fundraising. I have gained no personal benefit in doing so.

"Whatever Channel 4 may say in their Dispatches programme, I do not think I have committed any offence. Having said that, I believe that we should all be accountable for what we do, so I have invited the Electoral Commission to carry out an investigation into my actions.

"In the meantime, whilst I maintain that I have committed no offence, I have stopped fund-raising for the party."

  1. National

Liberal Democrat peer resigns amid donor allegations

A file photo of the House of Lords. Credit: PA

A Liberal Democrat peer has resigned from his party's group in the House of Lords amid allegations expected to be made in a Channel 4 investigation.

The Daily Telegraph reports that Dispatches will allege "a £10,000 donation was paid by the stepfather of an undercover businessman which would be against the rules on donations."

Lord Strasburger of Langridge denied doing anything wrong.

The allegations are expected to be broadcast in the Channel 4 programme next week.

River deaths prompt Bath students to begin a safety campaign

Students in Bath are leading a campaign to help young people get home safely after a night out in the city.

It follows the deaths of five students in six years - all from drowning in the River Avon. The students, from the City of Bath College, have started the campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of the river.

The campaign follows the deaths of five students in six years Credit: ITV News

Their project to improve safety has been given ten thousand pounds and will see teenagers working with the council and emergency services.

The students want to raise £20,000 over two years to promote the campaign. They have already raised more than £14,000 thanks to a £10,000 grant from Bath and North East Somerset Council, and £1,000 from the Somerset Crimebeat Trust.

In June, the students will take their message into schools across the county, and in September all new students at both Bath universities will receive information about the campaign.

Young people are being encouraged to share the message on Facebook, Twitter and other social media using the hashtag #GotYaBack.

Young people are being encouraged to share the message on social media using the hashtag #GotYaBack Credit: Got Ya Back


Cannabis factory found in Bath

Cannabis factory found in Twerton Credit: Avon and Somerset police

Cannabis plants worth around £100,000 have been seized at a house in Twerton, Bath.

Police searched the house after a tip off from a member of the public.

Two bedrooms were converted into growing rooms and the attic into a nursery, with lights, heaters and fans.

The house’s electricity supply had been bypassed.

Bath officers found more than 230 plants and man was arrested.

In the space of less than a month we have taken nearly half a million pounds’ worth of cannabis off the streets.

This is not a back-street dealer peddling in a few pounds of cannabis.

This is serious, organised crime and I’m very eager for members of the public to report any of their suspicions to me.

– PC Adrian Secker, Twerton beat manager

Bath is named the second safest city in the world

Bath has been named the second safest city in the world Credit: ITV News

The city of Bath has been named as the second safest in the world.

It was only beaten by York in a survey by a travel insurance company, which found Cairo as the most risky destination.

Bath has also been recognised by the Times newspaper which says it's the best place to live in the UK.

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