Paris, Sep 25 (AP/UNB) — Dance and theatricality were at the heart of Paris Fashion Week's first day of spring shows, as American stars Blake Lively and Shailene Woodley gushed over Dior's balletic presentation at the famed Longchamps racecourse. While, Gucci held its evening spectacle at France's answer to Studio 54, the iconic Le Palace — once the club that showcased fashion's most dramatic looks.
Here are some highlights from Monday:
DIOR'S ODE TO DANCE
To clouds of falling white petals, dancers clad in patterned bodysuits twisted gracefully to the clicking sound of a metronome.
This season, Dior turned to dance to produce the music and visuals for its spring-summer collection, infused with diaphanous, tulle-rich gowns.
The house enlisted the talents of choreographer Sharon Eyal for a sublime and balletic contemporary dance performance that ran throughout the spring-summer show.
It had the star of "Divergent" and "Big Little Lies," Shailene Woodley, floored.
"You marry dance with fashion and movement and you have a visceral, overwhelming experience," Woodley told The Associated Press.
The runway hall was spacious enough to house the dozen roving dancers thanks to a marquee constructed in the grounds of the historic Longchamps racecourse, which dates to the 19th century and has been the site of some of former Dior designer John Galliano's most memorable couture shows.
As ethereal as a layer of tulle, with the corset replaced by a simple tank top.
That's how the House of Dior described the key idea behind designer Maria Grazia Chiuri's soft and supple 87-piece show in monochrome and nude.
Few risks were taken in this display.
But this didn't matter since the fashion, inspired by a dancer's wardrobe, was primarily aimed at being simple and feminine.
Jumpsuits, straps and cords featured on silhouettes that were either tight on the torso, evoking a leotard, or diaphanous and floaty, channeling a tutu.
Ballet slippers evoked the dance tradition very literally, while open toe heels featured crisscross strapping in a take on a ballerina's shoe.
There was a softness to the entire show, accentuated by the gentle round shoulders that were set off romantically by dappled and misty lighting.
GUCCI AT LE PALACE
Following on from Gucci's May resort show in The Alyscamps, a famed Roman necropolis near Arles, the Milan-based powerhouse continued its year-long love affair with France by hosting its spring show in Paris, exceptionally.
The one-off venue was carefully chosen: Le Palace, the iconic club-turned-theater that was inaugurated in 1978 by Grace Jones who sang La Vie en Rose atop a pink Harley Davidson.
The opportunity to show in this legendary space wasn't squandered by superlatively flamboyant designer Alessandro Michele.
Actress Salma Hayek stared through opera binoculars at the stage from her balcony seat, as a surreal arthouse film was projected on the stage.
Mid-way through the collection, French-English singer Jane Birkin rose suddenly from one of the seats and began singing, then sat back down.
The colorful and wacky men's and women's looks well captured the exuberance of the place dubbed France's Studio 54. It was once the stomping ground for figures such as Mick Jagger, Andy Warhol and Yves Saint Laurent.
The time dial was set to styles from between 1978 and 1985 — the heyday of the club.
Shades, large hats, oversize beads, sequins and glitter were ubiquitous.
Peaked-shoulder tuxedo jackets in white followed a loose leopard print gown with silver shoes.
Demonstrating that the collection didn't take itself too seriously, at one point a model in a gray tuxedo and sneakers strutted out with a real parrot sitting on her shoulder.
Then, a male model with long '70s hair in a preppy striped knit sweater walked out with nothing but pink briefs on his bottom half.
This was perhaps the only instance in this indulgent collection, when less was more.
It was a sight to match even Grace Jones.
LVMH TO REVIVE JEAN PATOU
France's luxury giant LVMH has told the AP it will revive the iconic fashion house of Jean Patou.
One of France's most famous couturiers in between the two World Wars, Patou was credited with popularizing the cardigan, inventing the tennis skirt and killing the flapper style. His house was most closely associated with the perfume "Joy," a rival to Chanel's No. 5 as one of the world's most popular fragrances.
For the relaunch, designer Guillaume Henry, who once revived Carven and worked recently at Nina Ricci, has been appointed as artistic director.
It's the latest in a series of iconic French house relaunches in recent years, including Schiaparelli, Courreges and Poiret.
Striped bikinis and giant hessian bags provided the fun at Jacquemus' simple clothes collection.
It was perhaps less fun for the scantily-clad models who braved the cold September weather on the outdoor catwalk in Paris' Italian Embassy.
Loose silhouettes and large hoopla earrings gave the collection a confident swagger — a little like the 28-year-old wunderkind designer Simon Porte Jacquemus himself.
Oversized pieces of draped fabric that descended from the bust to floor, and giant skirt frills that ran diagonally down the body, provided the collection's more creative moments.
The show perhaps lacked the feeling of luxury normally associated with the Paris catwalks, but it felt fresh and youthful.
London, Sep 24 (AP/UNB) — It's an old tradition that a bride should have something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue on her wedding day, and the Duchess of Sussex followed at least part of that when she married Prince Harry.
The former Meghan Markle has revealed in a television documentary that she had a piece of blue fabric from the dress she wore on her first date with Harry sewn into her wedding dress.
She made the comments while discussing the dress in a documentary about Queen Elizabeth II called "Queen of the World." She didn't say whether she also embraced the rest of the tradition.
The clip was made public Sunday. The documentary will be broadcast at a later date. It deals with the queen's role as head of the Commonwealth.
The duchess described her May wedding on the grounds of Windsor Castle as a "magical day."
The American actress who starred in "Suits" married Harry on May 19 on the grounds of Windsor Castle.
The "Queen of the World" will air in the U.K. on Tuesday.
Geneva, Sep 23 (AP/UNB) — Drinking too much alcohol killed more than 3 million people in 2016, mostly men, the World Health Organization said.
The U.N. health agency also warned that current policy responses are not sufficient to reverse trends predicting an increase in consumption over the next 10 years.
In a new report Friday, the agency said that about 237 million men and 46 million women faced alcohol problems, with the highest prevalence in Europe and the Americas. Europe has the highest global per capita alcohol consumption, even though it has already dropped by 10 percent since 2010.
Around a third of alcohol-related deaths were a result of injuries, including car crashes and self-harm, while about one in five were due to either digestive disorders or cardiovascular diseases. Cancers, infectious diseases, mental disorders and other health conditions were also to blame.
"Far too many people, their families and communities suffer the consequences of the harmful use of alcohol through violence, injuries, mental health problems and diseases like cancer and stroke," said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of WHO. "It's time to step up action to prevent this serious threat to the development of healthy societies."
The average daily consumption of alcohol by people who consume it is about two glasses of wine, a large bottle of beer or two shots of spirits. Globally, about 2.3 billion people are current drinkers.
The report, the third in a series after ones in 2010 and 2014, relies on information from 2016 — the latest data available. WHO said the trends and projections point to an expected increase in global alcohol per capita consumption over the next decade, particularly in Southeast Asia and the Americas.
"The policy responses which are currently in place in countries are definitely not sufficient to reverse the trends, which we observe in several parts of the world, or to improve significantly this situation," Dr. Vladimir Poznyak, coordinator of WHO's management of substance abuse unit, told reporters.
"When we look at the trends of alcohol consumption in many countries from 2000, you can see ups and downs — which are determined by different factors," said Poznyak, citing countries' levels of social development, economic backdrops, policy measures and cultural trends.
He said the data showed, for example, that alcohol consumption tends to drop in countries facing an economic crisis.
Poznyak said it was "imperative for the governments to put in place measures that can mitigate the harms associated with this increase."
The Distilled Spirits Council, which advocates for the industry in the U.S., said in a statement it supports the WHO's goal to reduce the harmful use of alcohol.
"However, we are concerned that some policy recommendations such as increasing alcohol taxes are misguided and don't effectively address harmful consumption," it said.
Providence, Sept 22 (AP/UNB) — Researchers are exploring whether a shipwreck off the coast of Rhode Island could be the vessel that 18th-century explorer Capt. James Cook used to sail around the world.
The Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project, which is leading the search effort, and the Australian National Maritime Museum identified the vessel. It's one of 13 shipwrecks that have been known for years to be in the harbor near Newport, Rhode Island.
Archaeologists met Friday in Newport to talk about their recent fieldwork.
"Early indications are that the team has narrowed the possible site for the wreck of HMB Endeavour to one site, which is very promising," said Kevin Sumption, director and CEO of the Australian National Maritime Museum.
The Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project described the site as promising but said it'll still take a lot more work and money to identify it.
Nearly 250 years ago, Cook ran aground on Australia's Great Barrier Reef during a voyage to the South Pacific. His ship was the Endeavour, an awkward little vessel that improbably helped him become the first European to chart Australia's east coast. He used the Endeavour to claim Australia for the British during his historic 1768-1771 voyage.
Vice Adm. Michael Noonan, chief of the Royal Australian Navy, said he dove at the Rhode Island site with researchers.
He measured one of the cannons so the dimensions can be compared to historical records, and they took samples of the wood. He's hopeful the wreck is the Endeavour.
"Certainly it's a very exciting discovery in absolute terms," he said Friday. "They're very, very confident that the Endeavour is in the site."
The Endeavour was also part of the fleet of 13 ships the British scuttled during the Revolutionary War in 1778 to blockade Newport Harbor from the French. It was listed in the records under a different name, the Lord Sandwich.
The nonprofit Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project located documents in London identifying the groups of ships in that fleet and where each was scuttled. It has been studying the wrecks in Newport Harbor since 1993, and has been ruling out ones that could not be Cook's ship. It announced this week that it had narrowed the search for Endeavour to one, or possibly two, archaeological sites.
"We've been at this 25 years and this is the first time we've been really willing to say we think we're closing in on having the Endeavour," project director Kathy Abbass said at a news conference Friday. "This is science. It's not a documentary. It's not something that will be over in 50 minutes. And we've got a lot more work to do."
They're hoping to excavate the most likely site in time for the 250th anniversary celebrations of Cook claiming of Australia, which is in 2020.
"We will be celebrating the arrival of Cook and Australia in 2020. Finding the wreck of the Endeavour at this point in time and being able to authenticate that is an extraordinary achievement, said Peter Dexter of the Australian National Maritime Museum. "That'd be fabulous."
Dhaka, Sept 21 (UNB) - A solo musical programme “Jannat Gaise” by third gender (hijra) artist Jannat was held in the city’s Green Road area on Friday evening.
The programme was organised under the project of ‘development of the standard of lifestyle and good behaviour’ in association with the social welfare department and ‘Rethink’, a platform works for the hijra community, a neglected portion of the society.
As part of the project, third gender artist Jannat was trained for six months on a different genre of music for Jannat’s keen interest in music.
Jannat said, "I feel honoured that I can sing in front of people without any hesitation and people have started accepting us."
Another third gender Opshora Prokash said the platform helped them explore their talent which was hidden.
“Please do not neglect us. We want to walk, sing and live together with all others. Do not treat us as a joker or a dangerous one. Accept us as we are the part of the same society," she added.
One of the leaders of the third gender community Shahanewaz Shaila said, "We want all-out cooperation and assistance to stand up and flourish our talent. If we get a platform to work, our community will be changed.”
‘Rethink' Director Lulu-Al-Marjan delivered the thanksgiving speech saying that the purpose of the programme was to nurture their (hijra) talent and increase cultural engagement.
She urged other people to invite the third gender people for performing in cultural programmes which will help them engage in the mainstream society.
The organisation is regularly holding many cultural sessions in the city with the participation and performance of transgender people (hijra).