Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala made a rare fashion week appearance, sitting in the front row of Dolce & Gabbana on Sunday.The mayor’s presence had the hallmark of an institutional show of support after the designers were forced to cancel a Shanghai show following comments by one of the designers deemed as racist.The stalwart Milanese brand also faced a boycott in China, the luxury world’s biggest market, and the longer term impact of the incident remains unclear. This was their first womenswear show since the controversy, which was followed by another incident involving Milan colleagues Prada and Gucci for including images that recalled blackface in their collections.Highlights from Sunday’s previews for next fall and winter:___DOLCE & GABBANA PARADE ELEGANCEDolce & Gabbana gave the fashion world an encyclopedic review of their artisanal credentials with an expansive show of 127 looks.The multi-theme runway show flipped through a series of well-catalogued Dolce & Gabbana themes. Designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana started with elegant suits topped with fedora hats or elaborate feathered fascinators worthy of a female Dasheill Hammett character then transitioned to chiffon and silk dresses or pantsuits with feather boa trim that exuded leisure.The designers then ran through patterns, textiles and colour: leopard, florals, houndstooth and Prince of Wales, jewel tone colorblocking and brocades. The designers, unusually, then highlighted a series of frothy bridal gowns. And the final flourish was reserved for the brand’s true mainstay: beautifully tailored looks in black.The looks played on classic, even stereotypical, roles of femininity, which remains at the heart of Dolce & Gabbana’s appeal with its core consumer.Highlights included a royal purple A-line coat with cape and bow details that popped with layers of turquoise crinoline, an all-white fitted double-breasted suit topped with a soft cashmere overcoat, a modern take on the suit deconstructed into an off-shoulder look and a black-and-white polka dot dress made voluminous by underlays worn by an Asian model. Applause emitting from a VIP front row punctuated the show.The show titled “Elegance” opened with a video showing Dolce draping fabric on a model and hand stitching a garment that, when finished, was branded with the duo’s script in Italian “Fatto a mano,” or “Made by hand.”___STELLA JEANHaitian-Italian designer Stella Jean’s collection for next fall and winter took a dramatic turn with a sleeker silhouette and more urban styling.Jean said that her “bourgeois lady” is taking an updated version of a 17th-century European tour, and instead of cultural capitals, she is visiting places usually considered beach destinations — but which instead have a rich artistic tradition. By that, she referred to the naive art of French Polynesia, Haiti and the Caribbean in general.A grey, brick and camel plaid belted trench gave expression to Jean’s old continent influence and European styling. A tiered, pleated red print dress worn with a turtle neck and knee-high boots projected an easy elegance. A black laser-cut top with slit-skirt and short-shorts with a sweater with a pair of cats had youthful flair.Jean maintained her colorful naive art prints, but with a long pencil skirt worn with a sleek high-neck blouse in seashell pink.The colour palette was more subdued than in some seasons past, including pink, green, blue, brick red grey and white.“For the first time there is some black. I guarantee that it does not reflect any malaise. I am not having a difficult moment. I like black,” Jean said backstage.___MARRAS’S MINERSAntonio Marras’s collection exuded the freedom that he imagines would have been felt by Sardinian mine workers freed from labour, dressed in their Sunday best and ready to party. It’s a feeling many new economy workers could easily relate to.The joyful looks had a deliberate rag-tag feeling that Marras achieved by taking cuttings from discarded or used clothing and other fabrics, creating a chronological history of a garment through panels and patches as it is passed from mother to daughter, father to son, adapted for occasion and season.Marras’ fantasy revolves around the Italian painter Modigliani, whose father owned Sardinian mines, and painterly images appear on garments, most sweetly on the fronts of knee socks.A woman’s coat was made from scraps of a man’s plaid jacket and a military coat, decorated with feathers and dark sparkles that evoke the minerals within the mine. A man’s jacket was recycled with sleeves from one coat and panels from another. A dress was constructed out of layers of ruffles, tiers and bows over lace. A sweater was decorated with a copper sheen, patched with a masculine plaid and the lace.It was all about improvisation: Marras was representing workers without means — but deliberately executed — they have skill and passion.___ODP SUSTAINABLE BAGSModel Arizona Muse brought her sustainability chops to a capsule collection of structured bags by Italian brand Officina del Poggio, or ODP for short.“We’re living in a really exciting time where sustainability isn’t earthy and brown anymore. It’s really chic and luxury,” Muse said at a presentation.Muse, who is on the board of the London-based Sustainable Angle non-profit, sourced rich ostrich skins taken from the bird’s legs, which until recently would have been discarded, and fused seamlessly together with new techniques to make luxe coverings for bags designed by American Allison Hoeltzel in her Bologna workshop.Hoetzel’s handbags have the simple elegance of a Shaker box, and are built around wooden forms clad in leather, offering stylish protection objects in a hard shell. The bags are secured by sleek golden closures or belt straps. The designer said she plans to incorporate elements from the capsule in the main line of her 5-year-old brand, including a sustainable micro-suede for the bags’ interior and organic cotton velvet for the exterior.The sustainable collection retailed for about 20 per cent higher than her main collection, she said.___ATSUSHI NAKASHIMA EXPLORES EROSIONJapanese designer Atsushi Nakashima’s seventh Milan runway collection explorex erosion, with one element gradually invading another.Nakashima employed a sophisticated use of materials to create a trench coat with sheer silvery panels alongside black-trim khaki.A military green dress was set off by a partial iridescent ruffle on the hem, puffy sleeves and transparent arm. A cropped belted trench coat with technical detailing was paired with a matching skirt, with just a peek of a white top setting the two garments apart. Textiles themselves had a distressed look, seeming to erode on the garment.His triangular logo representing the A in his first name was worked into repeating patterns on sweat shirts, smocked dresses and most luxuriously on a fur coat with a sheer overlay.___UJOH’S PROPORTION PLAYSMitsuru Nishizaki’s latest Ujoh collection combined western elements like fringe scarves, ribbed knitwear and quilting alongside looser Asian silhouette with elements of a kimono jacket and martial art trousers.Both the female and male silhouette played with proportions. Sleeves were elongated, trousers loos and jackets wide.A woman’s double-breasted jacket was paired loose Asian style trousers. A man’s jacket closed with a built-in kimono belt. A long grey tunic with kimono arms tied in the front scarf-like at the waist, creating two lengths. Knitwear wrapped around the body, but was never symmetrical. Nishizaki also played with quilting, mimicking it with laser cuts on a leather-like textileThe palette was mostly black and neutrals, with flashes of colour mostly left for glimpses in linings.Colleen Barry, The Associated Press
It will cost $2.3 billion to send to school the 34 million children and adolescents of conflict–affected countries who are currently not attending educational institutions, which is 10 times the amount being received from humanitarian aid now, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said in a new report released today. “Present targets are hugely insufficient and diverting attention from the true needs of children and youth on the ground,” said Aaron Benavot, Director of UNESCO’s Education For All Global Monitoring Report (EFAGM). For primary education, Mr. Benavot said, an extra $38 is needed per child in conflict situations, and $113 is needed per adolescent in lower secondary education. “Surely we can find these funds,” he said. “Most of us carry the cost for one child in our pocket.” According to the report, 34 million children and adolescents are out of school in conflict-affected countries. “The most vulnerable are the hardest hit: the poorest are twice as likely to be out of school as their counterparts in peaceful countries,” UNESCO said in a press release on the launch of the 2015 report. “The paper shows that $2.3 billion is required to place them in school – 10 times the amount that education is receiving from humanitarian aid right now.” In 2014, education received only 2 per cent of humanitarian aid. UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said: “Returning to school may be the only flicker of hope and normality for many children and youth in countries engulfed in crises.” “The Incheon Declaration adopted [in May at the World Education Forum in Incheon, Republic of Korea] by 160 countries commits to meeting the needs of these populations through more resilient, resistive and inclusive education systems and a response to crisis that spans the phases of emergency, recovery and building,” Ms. Bokova said. “Education must be seen as part of the first response when crisis hits and an integral part of any peacebuilding strategy.” According to UNESCO, the the 2014 paper shows that only a third of countries had reached global education goals set in 2000, and identified conflict as one of the major barriers to achieving better results. Today’s paper shows the extent of the challenges that conflict presents. “Children in conflict-affected countries are more than twice as likely, and adolescents two-thirds more likely, to be out of school than in non-conflict affected countries,” it said, adding that “young women are almost 90 per cent more likely to be out of secondary school in conflict affected-countries than elsewhere.” The report also said that media attention unfairly prioritizes some countries over others: more than half of available humanitarian aid to education was allocated to just 15 out of 342 appeals between 2000 and 2014. It proposes a new, evidence-based finance target, and makes recommendations for tightening the current aid structure for education in crises. “Any new global emergency education fund should ensure that resources for education in crises are additional, flexible and predictable,” the report said. Developed by an independent team and published by UNESCO, the agency says thee Education for All Global Monitoring Report is an authoritative reference that aims to inform, influence and sustain genuine commitment towards Education for All.
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