Milan Fashion Week opened Friday on a festive note, with Sister Sledge dressed in shimmering jumpsuits belting out their hit "We Are Family" to fete Canadian twins for the 25th anniversary of their Made-in-Italy brand.
The celebratory runway show kicked off nearly five days of fashion previews of mostly menswear for the next cold-weather season. The Milan calendar is ever-shifting and some fashion houses, like DSquared2, chose the lower-key menswear week to show off both men's and women's collections side by side.
Some notable Milan mainstays like Versace were missing from the calendar, opting to merge womenswear and menswear together for the first time during next month's shows, while Jil Sander chose to show at Florence's Pitti Uomo earlier in the week. Gucci, which returned to Milan after decamping to Paris for the last menswear turn last June, will close fashion week on Tuesday.
Highlights from Friday's shows:
CANADIAN TWINS MARK BRAND'S SILVER ANNIVERSARY
Always fun and just a tad outlandish, the creators of DSquared2 Dean and Dan Caten marked the silver anniversary of their Milan-based brand, taking the fashion crowd on a trip down memory lane.
The Canadian twins treated the crowd to a slide-show of 1960s childhood photos and career highlights after they burst onto the Milan fashion scene with their reinterpretation of rugged Canadian style with sexy Italian flair.
The collection was disciplined, hewing to the fashion house's cold-weather credo of outsized Canadian outerwear of fur, leather, down-fill and checked flannel over snug, hip-hugging, mini and midriff-baring looks. She wore his woolen waistcoat topped with a rich fur shawl collar and leather short-shorts with holster pockets. And he layered her sheer cardigan with a checked flannel top and shearling coat over distressed skinny jeans and boots.
The collection was all about combining elements -- big detachable collars, shirts, hats, leather pants, chaps, fringe and knitwear -- mixed and matched across genders, to cover and uncover as much as temperatures dictate and fashion allows, or temperatures allow and fashion dictates. The designers showed a tinge of nostalgia by evoking the 1970s syndicated newspaper comic strip ''Love is ...'' on knitwear.
Closing the show, Sister Sledge tacked on ''and brothers'' to the familiar chorus, ''I got all my sisters with me'' of their 1979 hit "We Are Family.'' Their attempts to get the crowd to sing along fell on deaf ears.
Sustainable Design Ermengildo Zegna XXX
Designer Alessandro Sartori always starts his collections with fabrics, and the Ermengildo Zegna XXX collection previewed Friday featured a rich array textures.
Thick nubby wool trousers and a relaxed feel. Intarsia knitwear was as neat as a manicured estate. Knit berets fell softly on the head.
Waistcoats, bucket hats and big-framed eyewear gave the looks a casual urban geek flair. Vests were layered over knitwear and sporty zipped collar tops or casually unbuttoned under blazers. Suit jackets had a slightly asymmetrical cut, sometimes buttoned, sometimes tied.
Bomber coats were the power statement of the season, padded and bulky in black leather over a three-button suit, or richly patterned in peacock blue and purple over shimmery green trousers.
Zegna also launched a new Z logo on belts and sweaters, a big rounded letter as bold as a street sign.
Zegna in recent seasons has adopted the hashtag #usetheexisting and won recognition last year from the Italian National Fashion Chamber for including 10% upcycled materials in the Spring/Summer 2020 collection previewed last June. While maintaining the hashtag, the fashion house provided no stats for the Fall/Winter 2020/2021 collection.
Hollywood heart-throb Leonardo DiCaprio's environmental organization said Thursday it will donate 3 million U.S. dollars to help firefighting efforts in Australia.
The Oscar winner's Earth Alliance said in a statement that the organization launched the Australia Wildfire Fund to respond to the "catastrophic bushfires raging through the country."
The Earth Alliance, co-chaired by DiCaprio, was created in 2019, aiming to fight against climate change and biodiversity loss.
The scale of Australia's ongoing bushfire has left at least 25 human deaths, thousands of homes destroyed and an estimated 480 million animals perished.
Victorian State Control Centre spokesman Luke Heagarty told Xinhua earlier this week that in the lead up to extreme fire conditions the priority is preparing communities and reducing the risk of fire spread where possible.
"It's going to take us a very long time to contain the fires fully, but what we can focus on is prioritizing our efforts so that there's a reduction in the likelihood of impact to communities," Heagarty said.
The list of celebrities that have donated money to combat Australian bushfire disaster is growing. Australian actor Chris Hemsworth and English pop singer Elton John each donated 1 million dollars earlier this week.
A Brazilian judge on Wednesday ordered Netflix to stop showing a Christmas special that some called blasphemous for depicting Jesus as a gay man and which prompted a gasoline bomb attack on the satirists behind the program.
The ruling by Rio de Janeiro judge Benedicto Abicair responded to a petition by a Brazilian Catholic organization that argued the "honor of millions of Catholics" was hurt by the airing of "The First Temptation of Christ." The special was produced by the Rio-based film company Porta dos Fundos, whose headquarters was targeted in the Christmas Eve attack.
Netflix told The Associated Press it would not comment on the ruling.
Porta dos Fundos also declined to comment on the judge's decision, which contradicted an earlier decision rejecting censorship of the program. The ruling is valid until another court orders otherwise.
Abicair said the program's withdrawal "is beneficial not only to the Christian community, but to Brazilian society which is mostly Christian."
The ruling comes at a time when some civil groups say far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is waging a "cultural war," cutting funding for arts projects that challenge "Christian values" and inveighing against flamboyant carnival celebrations.
Early on the day before Christmas, a group of hooded men attacked the headquarters of Porta dos Fundos with Molotov cocktails. No one was hurt. A video circulating days later on social media showed three men claiming responsibility for the attack.
The First Temptation of Christ depicts Jesus returning home on his 30th birthday and insinuates he is gay. Religious groups bristled at the depiction. Creators of the film have defended it as legitimate freedom of expression.
Elton John and Chris Hemsworth are among the celebrities donating big bucks for relief efforts as wildfires engulf Australia.
Hemsworth, the Australian actor who plays Thor in the Marvel movie franchise, took to social media Monday to share that he will donate $1 million and asked his millions of followers to show support as well. He said that "every penny counts."
So far, the wildfires have scorched an area twice the size of the U.S. state of Maryland. The blazes have killed 25 people and destroyed 2,000 homes. The fires, fueled by drought and the country's hottest and driest year on record, have been raging since September, months earlier than is typical for Australia's annual wildfire season.
John announced during his Farewell Yellow Brick Road concert in Sydney, Australia, that he will also donate $1 million. The singer said he wanted to bring attention to the devastation that wildfires have caused, saying it has reached a "biblical scale."
Hemsworth and John join a growing list of celebrities who have pledged to donate toward relief efforts, including Nicole Kidman, Pink and Keith Urban.
"I am totally devastated watching what is happening in Australia right now with the horrific bushfires," Pink wrote in a recent social media post. "I am pledging a donation of $500,000 directly to the local fire services that are battling so hard on the frontlines. My heart goes out to our friends and family in Oz."
At the Golden Globes on Sunday, Phoebe Waller-Bridge said she would auction off her Globe outfit and have the proceeds go to firefighter relief.
Russell Crowe wasn't at the Globes to accept his trophy for best actor in a limited series or TV movie for playing former Fox CEO Roger Ailes in the Showtime miniseries "The Loudest Voice." Instead, the actor was in Australia trying to protect his home from the wildfires, sending a speech that Jennifer Aniston read.
"Make no mistake, the tragedy unfolding in Australia is climate change-based," Crowe's statement said. "We need to act based on science, move our global workforce to renewable energy and respect our planet for the unique and amazing place it is. That way, we all have a future."
Potential jurors in Harvey Weinstein's New York sexual assault trial are expected to fill a courtroom Tuesday as the former movie titan's legal problems deepen with new charges in Los Angeles.
In New York, jury selection is set to start Tuesday and could take weeks as prosecutors, Weinstein's lawyers and the judge find people to serve on a lengthy trial in a high-profile case that has fueled societal pressure for accountability for sexual misconduct.
The trial involves charges that Weinstein raped a woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and forcibly performed a sex act on another woman in the city in 2006.
Weinstein, 67, has said any sexual activity was consensual.
"In this great country, you are innocent until proven guilty," his lawyer Donna Rotunno said Monday.
Across the street from the courthouse, women who say they were sexually harassed or assaulted by Weinstein branded him a villain undeserving of anyone's pity.
"This trial is a cultural reckoning regardless of its legal outcome," said Sarah Ann Masse, a performer and writer who said Weinstein once sexually harassed her in his underwear during a job interview.
The Associated Press generally does not identify people who say they have been sexually assaulted unless they come forward publicly.
Once one of Hollywood's most powerful producers, Weinstein has now been accused of sexual assault, harassment and misconduct by dozens of women, from famous actresses to assistants at his former company. The allegations began surfacing publicly in October 2017 and sparked the #MeToo movement, as well as investigations in multiple places.
Los Angeles prosecutors charged Weinstein Monday with sexually assaulting two women there on successive nights during Oscar week in 2013.
Lawyers for Weinstein had no immediate comment on the new charges, though he has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.
Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey said the timing of the charges was unrelated to the New York trial. She said the case took more than two years to build because the women were reluctant to provide all the information necessary, and the filing happened on the first business day when all the necessary people could gather.
There is some connection between the cases, though: One of the Los Angeles accusers is expected to testify in the New York case to help prosecutors establish what they say was Weinstein's pattern of forcing himself on young actresses and women trying to break into Hollywood.
Weinstein is expected to appear in court in California after his New York trial, Lacey said.