Paris, SEP 28 (AP/UNB) — Balmain defied the trends in designer Olivier Rousteing's rebellious ode to the 90s, serving up an infectious soundtrack of nostalgia that had Kris Jenner and Eva Longoria tapping their feet.
And the debut of Issey Miyake's new designer tried literally to take flight with a multi-segment musical and gravity-defying dance performance.
Here are some highlights of Friday's spring-summer 2020 ready-to-wear collections in Paris, including Celine.
HIT ME BALMAIN ONE MORE TIME
Spring found Rousteing in a philosophical mood, posing a fundamental question about fashion.
Contemporary houses constantly mine the 60s, 70s and 80s for inspiration. But are styles from the 34-year-old designer's own youth — the 90s and early aughts — "too recent to consider"?
Cue a display in which Rousteing explored that era and, with no apology, "riffing on the distinctive sounds, spirit and styles of my youth."
Britney Spears' "Baby One More Time" blasted on the soundtrack as gentle, Barbie pink flares — as might befit the costumes of the 90s' pop princess— billowed down the runway at Paris' Opera Garnier.
In contrast to Rousteing's normally austere and structured looks, this 90s musing moved him in a softer direction.
Monochrome and graphic prints graced models sporting 90s shades with hair parted at the side. While, polka-dot tuxedo jackets were constructed with a fluidity that nicely captured the heyday of, say, Janet Jackson.
Rousteing reflected on why recycled trends never encroach into a past more recent than 30 years: "It's perhaps due to a feeling that those looks need a bit more of the filter of time that always helps to smooth out past era's fashion bumps."
While the concept of the show was admirable, in its execution there were some unintended fashion bumps owing to the over-exuberance of certain detailing.
On some asymmetrical looks, the weight of voluminous fabric at the midriff tugged down and produced an unpleasant off-kilter effect.
DIAMONDS ARE THE WORLD'S BEST FRIEND
Fashion is one of the world's most polluting industries, but some houses are launching eco-friendly initiatives of note - some more incremental, some more important.
Chloe has started sending out electronic invitations, in favor of gas-guzzling courier.
And another such move was on display at Balmain's show that featured diamonds incorporated into the spring designs and adornments.
The house proudly claims the sparkle in the show's embellishments were "sustainably created diamonds" and were sourced from the world's only carbon-neutral diamond producer Diamond Foundry.
ISSEY MIYAKE'S FLYING START
Acrobatic ballerinas in parachute-like gowns twirled on one foot as they were hoisted up by a gravity-defying cable.
Models on electric skateboards whizzed past front row guests.
And a circle of models danced around holding hands like the figures in Henri Matisse's 1910 masterpiece "The Dance."
But the highlight by new designer Satoshi Kondo, one that had guests reaching for their cameras, came as Hula Hoops with stretch-material dresses inside descended from the ceiling above three standing models.
A dress slid into place over each model's head — triggering gasps from spectators.
It was the cue for the models to dance to funky music as the material in their gowns bounced like an accordion or a jack-in-the-box, which evoked the house's iconic 1994 Flying Saucer dress.
This last segment showed off the house's famed prowess with techno fabrics.
Yet, Kondo's color-rich designs as a whole didn't feel as fresh as the presentation, nor did he really seem to move the house in a new direction.
Still, there were many beautiful ideas in the spring silhouettes.
The first looks, a series of baby powder coats, had layers of material that folded around the body like origami. While, later in the collection, diaphanous brightly-colored anoraks billowed as they filed past like the cape of an Asian warrior at battle.
These specific looks encompassed what the program notes poetically described as the essential "sense of joy that is primitive and instinctive" in wearing clothes.
ISSEY MIYAKE'S NEW DESIGNER
Iconic Japanese designer Issey Miyake may have retired from the design helm of the house he founded in 1970, but he continues to exert great influence over the Franco-Japanese maison.
Miyake stepped in to appoint Kondo, the house said in a statement: "Mr. Miyake... has made a point of giving talented young designers within the company the opportunity to develop their skills."
But it's unclear why the designer since 2011, Yoshiyuki Miyamae, was replaced. Perhaps it was due to the lukewarm reception of his collections in recent years that some critics felt had lost their edginess.
In a curt explainer, the house said: "Regarding the change, it was a natural decision that came after the last show."
CELINE HAS CHANGED
Smoldering red column structures set the stage for Hedi Slimane's re-branded vision of Celine in an annex near the gilded Invalides.
It was the rebellious designer's third Celine women's collection to date, in which he continued in his clean break-away from its traditional designs.
Spring continued where fall left off — somewhere in the 70s.
Faded denim flares were a key theme in the pared-down designs that featured retro center partings, silk headscarves in leopard print, boho floral gowns and ruffled tan leather boots.
High necks defined the aesthetic of silk shirts that were accessorized by large fedora hats with razor sharp brims.
Smolder it didn't, but the former Saint Laurent designer served up a saleable collection, in which he put his youth-culture-infused stamp on the 74-year-old house.
New York, Sept 12 (AP/UNB) — Naeem Khan brought it home with his new spring-summer 2020 collection, launching his runway show in the chic lobby and courtyard of his New York City apartment building.
The longtime designer set up shop Tuesday on the ground floor of the ultramodern Zaha Hadid Building on Manhattan's west side. Lucite chairs lined the entryway and outside space of the building — a modern metallic and glass structure with serpentine lines and rounded balconies towering over a courtyard. Hadid, who was a close friend of Khan's, designed the building before her death in 2016.
Khan said the space Hadid created inspired the collection, calling it salon-like and intimate.
"Lots of separates, lots of coats, jackets, of course glamour, because I'm known for that, but it's like fluid, it's light, it's airy. The pajamas are so chic. It's like, tunics mixed with pants. Really glamour at its most relaxed form," Khan told The Associated Press at the show.
A parade of models strutting in impossibly high stiletto heels entered into the building's courtyard, with the evening breeze helping to increase the dramatic effect of the loose, flowing designs. Most wore slicked back updo's with intricate fishtail buns, accentuated by huge gold hoop earrings with bejeweled parrots and seahorses.
The first several looks were animal print pajama pantsuits, dresses and jumpsuits with matching thin billowing jackets. While some prints were in the fabric, many were embellished with sequins, creating glittering texture.
Vibrant colors were also part of the collection and seen in silk pajamas with giant flowers. One knockout look was a bright, fuchsia satin halter sheath that poured down to the floor, with a stream of fabric down the back. Several designs honored Khan's Indian heritage, including a pink Sari-inspired dress with a dramatic train of ombre' effects of pink and orange chiffon, and a long green tunic dress with a decorative panel of beading.
There were glitzy wide-legged pants with matching tunics covered in monochromatic sequins of black, bright yellow and aquamarine. A metallic gold three-tiered backless dress shimmered, capturing the evening light as the sun set.
Khan has been in the fashion industry for 30 years and has dressed many A-list celebrities. He said glamour has changed and young people want to look beautiful but less "stuffy" so he is changing with the time.
Celebrities seated in the front row included Ryan Seacrest, reality star Kaitlynn Carter and Miss Universe Catriona Gray. Seacrest said he always tries to make time for Khan's shows and he may have had extra incentive to attend.
"Amazing, stunning, glitz, glamour...I'm really in awe of what he did. And one of the models especially was incredible, my dear friend," Seacrest said with a smile, referring to model Shayna Taylor, who walked in the show and whom he has dated in the past.
Gray said the Hadid building added to the mood.
"I loved the drama of this venue and paired with the music, it was operatic and there was a tribal feeling there also...there were sequins, there was chiffon, it was very feminine and romantic," Gray said.
Dhaka, Sept 3 ( UNB) – A five- week long Jamdani festival will begin at Bengal Shilpalay in the city’s Dhanmondi on Friday.
Bengal Foundation organised the festival in association with World Crafts Council.
A press conference on the festival was held at Bengal Boi in the city on Tuesday.
Addressing the press conference, President of the National Crafts Council of Bangladesh Rafiqul Islam said it took two years for the preparation of the festival.
A seminar titled "Jamdani: Past, Present and Future " will be held on September 7 at Women Voluntary Association ( WVA) in the city's Dhanmondhi area, the organiser said.
The festival will be inaugurated by Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni while
State minister for Cultural Affairs K M Khalid, Mayor of Narayanganj Selina Hayat Ivy and the President of the World Crafts Council Asia-Pacific Region Dr Ghada Hijjawi Qaddumi will be present on the occasion as special guests.
President of the National Crafts Council of Bangladesh Rafiqul Islam will chair the inaugural ceremony.
The Master Craft Persons award ceremony will also be held on the same day to honour the most efficient master weaver and their apprentices for their skills and contributions to the community.
Four short films onthe design and weaving process of Jamdani and the life of weavers will be screened as part of programme.
The organisers said that they have taken all out efforts with the support of the Cultural Affairs Ministry and local administration of Sonargaon to make Sonargaon as the world Craft City.
The exhibition is open to all every day, except on Sundays, from 12 pm to 8 pm until October 12
Luva Nahid Choudhury, one of the trustees of Bengal Foundation, representatives of executive partners of the festival Aarong, Aranya, Kumudini and Tangail Sharee Kutir were also present.
Atlantic City, Jul 24 (AP/UNB) — There she is. Here she isn't.
Miss America is leaving Atlantic City for the second time, trading one casino town for another in a move that caps a whirlwind of change at the nearly century-old pageant.
This year's pageant will be held at the Mohegan Sun Connecticut in Uncasville, Connecticut, the Miss America Organization said Tuesday.
It will be broadcast on NBC on Dec. 19, in a switch from recent broadcaster ABC.
"The Miss America Organization is proud to partner with Mohegan Sun as we return to our longtime NBC home," said Regina Hopper, president and CEO of the Miss America Organization. "We are looking forward to a fresh take on this historic competition that will showcase the incredible women vying for the job of Miss America 2020."
Ray Pineault, president and general manager of Mohegan Sun, noted the college scholarship money the Miss America Organization provides to contestants.
"Miss America is a storied organization that has a long history of empowering women, providing tremendous educational resources to women and serving the overall public good," he said.
"We're thrilled to be hosting an impactful event like the Miss America Competition in December, and we look forward to working with both Miss America and NBC on what will be a tremendous evening," he said.
The broadcast will be on a Thursday evening from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Eastern time, a departure from its longstanding fixture as a Sunday night event.
Announcements by the Miss America Organization and NBC mentioned only this year's competition and did not address whether the pageant was making a multi-year commitment to Connecticut. Messages seeking clarification from pageant officials were not immediately returned.
The pageant began in Atlantic City in 1921 as a way to extend the summer tourism season beyond Labor Day weekend. It became synonymous with the New Jersey seaside resort but moved to Las Vegas in 2005, returning to Atlantic City in 2013.
It had been held at the historic Boardwalk Hall, and a parade in which contestants wore shoes with themes identified with their individual states had become part of the pageant's history.
For decades, the pageant was a part of Americana, and longtime master of ceremonies Bert Parks crooning, "There she is ... Miss America," became synonymous with the pageant.
An email scandal in December 2017 led to the ouster of the pageant's mostly male leadership, some of whom were revealed to have mocked contestants' appearances, intellect and even sex lives.
They were replaced by female leadership including former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson, a former Miss America.
But state pageant organizations chafed under the new leadership and launched vocal protests against the new leadership, which vowed to move forward with changes designed to make Miss America more relevant and empowering to women.
The biggest change included the elimination of the swimsuit competition in favor of more in-depth contestant interviews.
Carlson has since stepped down.
The pageant's departure from Atlantic City had been expected since the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority declined to renew subsidies for the pageant following last September's competition.
Over the past six years, the agency spent more than $20 million on subsidies for the pageant.
Connecticut did not provide the pageant with any financial incentives to make the move, a spokesman for the Connecticut Department of Economic Development said.
Yokohama, Jul 4 (AP/UNB) — Japan's culture of cute makes no exceptions for poop. It gets a pop twist at the Unko Museum in Yokohama near Tokyo.
Here, the poop is artificial, nothing like what would be in a toilet, and comes in twisty ice cream and cupcake shapes, in all colors and sizes.
"The poops are colorful and come out nicely in photos," said Haruka Okubo, a student visiting part of the museum devoted to all-important selfies. "The shape is so round and cute."
In Japan, little poop-shaped erasers with faces and other small items have long been popular items collected by children, and sometimes older folks. As elsewhere, scatological jokes are popular and bodily functions discussed openly: a recent morning variety show by public broadcaster NHK featured tips on how to deal with farts.
Visitors to the museum get a short video introduction and then are asked to sit on one of seven colorful, non-functional toilets lined up against the wall.
Music plays as a user pretends to poop, then a brightly colored souvenir "poop" can be collected from inside the toilet bowl, to be taken home after the tour.
A ceiling-high poop sculpture in the main hall erupts every 30 minutes, spitting out little foam poops.
The "Unstagenic" area of Instagram-worthy installations includes pastel-hued flying poops and a neon sign with the word "poop" written in different languages.
In another room, players use a projection-mapping game like "whack-a-mole" to stamp on and squash the most poops they can. In another game, participants compete to make the biggest "poop" by shouting the word in Japanese, "unko," as loudly as possible.
A soccer video game involves using a controller to "kick" a poop into a goal.
Toshifumi Okuya, a system engineer, was amused to see adults having fun. "It's funny because there are adults running around screaming 'poop, poop,'" he said.
At the end of the tour, visitors get a bag to carry home their souvenir poop. If they want still more, the museum's gift shop abounds with more poop-themed souvenirs.
The museum attracted more than 100,000 visitors in the first month after its opening in March. It will remain open until September.