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.
Sacramento, Jul 4 (AP/UNB) — Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law Wednesday a bill making California the first state to ban workplace and school discrimination against black people for wearing hairstyles such as braids, twists and locks.
The law by Democratic Sen. Holly Mitchell of Los Angeles, a black woman who wears her hair in locks, makes California the first state to explicitly say that those hairstyles are associated with race and therefore protected against discrimination in the workplace and in schools.
"We are changing the course of history, hopefully, across this country by acknowledging that what has been defined as professional hair styles and attire in the work place has historically been based on a Euro-centric model — based on straight hair," Mitchell said.
Stephanie Hunter-Ray, who works at a makeup counter, says she typically wears her hair braided or in an afro, but one day she showed up to work with it straightened and styled in a bob. Her manager told Hunter-Ray her hair had never looked so normal.
"It bothered me," Hunter-Ray said in an interview at the hair salon she owns in Sacramento that specializes in natural hair styles. "What do you mean by 'normal?' Your normal is not my normal. My normal is my 'fro or my braids."
Alikah Hatchett-Fall, who runs Sacred Crowns Salon in Sacramento, said she's had black men come into her salon asking to have their hair cut off because they can't find jobs.
The law, she said, "means that psychologically and mentally people can be at ease and be able to get the jobs they want, keep the jobs they want, and get promoted at the jobs they want."
California's new law, which takes effect Jan. 1, is significant because federal courts have historically held that hair is a characteristic that can be changed, meaning there's no basis for discrimination complaints based on hairstyle. The U.S. Supreme Court recently declined to hear the case of an Alabama woman who said she didn't get a job because she refused to change her hair.
The issue burst into public view last December, when a black high school wrestler in New Jersey was told by a referee that he had to cut off his dreadlocks if he wanted to compete. California's Democratic governor said the video was a clear example of the discrimination black Americans face.
"His decision whether or not to lose an athletic competition or lose his identity came into, I think, stark terms for millions of Americans," Newsom said before signing the bill alongside Mitchell and half a dozen advocates. "That is played out in workplaces, it's played out in schools — not just athletic competitions and settings — every single day all across America in ways subtle and overt."
Though California is the first state with such a law, New York City earlier this year issued legal guidance banning discrimination against someone based on their hairstyle. The beauty company Dove is part of a coalition pushing for more hairstyle protections, and Mitchell said she hopes other states follow California.
Mitchell's bill adds language to the state's discrimination laws to say that "race" also includes "traits historically associated with race," including hair texture and protective hairstyles. It further defines protective hairstyles as braids, twists and locks.
The term locks, or "locs," is the preferred term to dreadlocks, which has a derogatory connotation.
At Hunter-Ray's studio, Exquisite U, on Wednesday, her stylists and customers reflected on the new law.
Shereen Africa, who was having her hair re-braided by Elicia Drayton, said she used to work at a television station in Mississippi where a black anchor quit after facing resistance to wearing her hair in locks. Africa said she did not wear her hair in braids at the job, even though she wasn't on air, because the environment wasn't supportive of it.
"If I'm in a professional setting, I won't wear my hair in certain ways," she said.
An anchor at a different Mississippi TV station made national news when she said she was fired after she stopped straightening her hair.
"You want to go to work and feel free," Drayton said. "You don't want to have to feel like you have to put on a wig or you have to have your hair straight to please someone else."