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19/09/2021
by Artist
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‘Change the Game’: Supermodel Halima Aden Reinvents Modest Fashion

Halima Aden, the first supermodel to wear a hijab and pose in a burkini, has ripped up her lucrative contracts in an industry she feels lacks “basic human respect” and entered the world of modest fashion design instead.

For the Somali-American who was born in a refugee camp in Kenya, it was a matter of preserving her self-worth and well-being in a fast and loose sector that increasingly clashed with her Muslim values.

“Since I was a little girl, this quote — ‘don’t change yourself, change the game’ — has gotten me through so much in life,” she told AFP in an interview in Istanbul.

“When I took the decision to quit, that is exactly what I did,” she said. “So I am very, very proud.”

Aden’s departure last November delivered a shock to fashionistas and Muslim influencers who have admired her trailblazing career.

Aden, who turns 24 on Sunday, broke ground in Minnesota, where she became the first contestant to wear a hijab and a burkini — a full-body swimsuit whose appearance has stirred controversy on some European beaches — in a U.S. state beauty pageant in 2016.

She posed in them again for Sports Illustrated’s annual swimsuit issue when her fame was spreading in 2019.

But personally, Aden felt increasingly boxed in — sometimes literally.

“I was always given a box, a private place to change in, but many times I was the only one given the privacy,” she said.

“I got to see my fellow young women having to undress and change in public, in front of media personalities, cooks and staff, designers and assistants,” she recalled.

“To me, it was very jarring,” she said. “I couldn’t be in an industry where there is no basic human respect.”

‘Poison!’

Aden sounded liberated when she announced her decision to abandon photo shoots and catwalks last year. She is becoming a designer instead.

“Wow this is actually the most RELIEF I felt since I started in 2016. Keeping that in was literal POISON!” she said on Instagram.

She felt her traditions, starkly different from those of most other supermodels, were caricatured and turned into a gimmick by some brands.

One, American Eagle, replaced a headscarf with a pair of jeans on her head in a 2017 campaign.

“But… this isn’t even my style??” she protested on Instagram at the time.

“I got to a place where I couldn’t recognize my hijab the way I would traditionally wear it,” Aden told AFP.

Aden looked far more at ease in Istanbul, surrounded by Middle Eastern fashionistas while attending an event organized by Modanisa, her new home.

She will be designing collections exclusively for the Turkish online brand, which is one of the biggest names in the modest fashion industry, valued at $277 billion in 2019.

It already makes up more than a tenth of the $2.2 trillion global fashion industry, with plenty of room to grow, according to DinarStandard, an advisory firm specializing in emerging Muslim markets.

‘Taste of the world’

World capitals as diverse as Moscow, Riyadh and London have staged modest fashion shows in the past few years.

The trend is particularly strong in Iran, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, where Aden rejoices at the melee of cultures on the streets.

 

“What I love the most about Turkey, especially Istanbul, is that it is very diverse, you see women who don’t wear the hijab right alongside women who wear the hijab,” she said.

“You get a taste of the world in Istanbul.”

The industry has taken off in the past decade, thanks in part to the modelling careers of women such as Aden.

Soft-spoken but smiley, Aden sounds confident in modest fashion’s ability to withstand crises like the coronavirus pandemic and changing fads.

“It is the oldest fashion staple, it’s been around for hundreds of years, it will continue to be around for hundreds of years,” she said.

Islam and fashion “are 100% compatible because there’s nothing in our religion that says you can’t be fashionable,” she said.

Luxury brands such as DKNY and Dolce & Gabbana have already picked up on the trend, creating collections catered to modest women.

But Aden hit out at “a lot of tokenism, especially in the fashion industry, where they want our money but they don’t want to support us in the issues that we are faced with.”

“I think fashion needs to do a greater job,” she said. “You are representing your clients who are Muslims, it is important to speak up when they are faced with injustices.” 

 

19/09/2021
by Artist
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‘The Crown,’ ‘Ted Lasso,’ Streaming Seek Emmy Awards Glory

The miniature statutes given at the Emmy Awards on Sunday can be an outsized boon to egos, careers and guessing games.

Will The Mandalorian bow to The Crown as best drama series? Can the feel-good comedy Ted Lasso charm its way into freshman glory? Will Jean Smart be honored as best comedy actress for Hacks? (She will.)

But there’s oh-so-much more at stake when the TV industry — or a pandemic-constrained slice of it — gathers to honor itself at the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards.

The ceremony (8 p.m. EDT, CBS) is a snapshot of a business morphing into its 21st-century form; who we see or don’t see on the small screen, and the rapid splintering of TV and its viewers.

The obvious winners and losers are those to be revealed in 27 categories during the s how hosted by Cedric the Entertainer. But there’s more at stake than personal victories, and yardsticks of success or failure beyond trophies.

Here’s some of the outcomes and trends to watch for, both up close and wide-angle.

Streamers set to conquer

Streaming services are poised for a triumphant night that will cast further shade on the status of broadcast networks, including the big three ABC, CBS and NBC, and once-dominant cable channels such as HBO and Showtime.

“This is the year that the streamers will officially conquer Hollywood,” likely winning best drama and comedy series honors for the first time, said Tom O’Neil, editor of the Gold Derby predictions website and author of The Emmys.

Premium cable’s encroachment on turf once owned by broadcasting was gradual: HBO launched in 1972 and waited two decades for its first best series Emmy nod, earned by Garry Shandling’s comedy The Larry Sanders Show. It wasn’t until the 2000s arrived that Sex and the City and The Sopranos earned best series prizes.

In contrast, streaming is racing ahead with Ferrari-like speed, especially as the services multiply and shell out big bucks for shows aimed at winning over paying customers.

In 2017, Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale became the first streamed series to win the best drama Emmy. The next year, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel scored a matching victory on the comedy side for Amazon, which won again in 2019 for Fleabag.

Victory is possible for either Netflix’s The Crown or the Disney+ series The Mandalorian, which topped the nods with 24 each. For Netflix, which launched its on-demand service in 2007 and fielded the first drama series nominee, House of Cards in 2014, patience would finally be rewarded.

For Disney+, the victory would be swift and sweet: it launched in November 2019. Apple TV+, which arrived the same year, could win its first top series award with Ted Lasso. If that happens, streaming’s prominence would be solidified with the one-two punch in the comedy and drama categories.

Room at the table

The push for diversity has moved at a grindingly slower pace than the digital revolution, but this year’s slate of nominees was unimaginable just a few years ago.

Of the 96 acting nods for drama, comedy and miniseries, nearly 44% — a total of 42 nominations — went to people of color. According to 2020 Census figures, white Americans make up just under 58% of the population.

Among this year’s groundbreakers: Mj Rodriguez of Pose, the first trans performer to be nominated in a lead acting category, and Bowen Yang of Saturday Night Live, the first Asian American to compete for best supporting comedy actor.

The top drama acting categories are particularly inclusive, and strikingly so in comparison to a decade ago when all of the 12 nominees for best actor and actress were white, with Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights) and Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife) the winners.

That was 2011, this is now. Black men make up a majority of the lead drama actor nominees, four of six, including past winners Sterling K. Brown for This Is Us and Pose star Billy Porter — the first openly gay man to win the category, in 2019.

Half of the six best-actress contenders are women of color. Jurnee Smollett (Lovecraft Country) and Uzo Aduba (In Treatment) are Black, and Rodriguez is Afro Latina.

If the final test of inclusivity is who wins, the story could be different. The Crown stars Josh O’Connor and Emma Corrin are considered frontrunners for their portrayals of ill-fated royal mates Charles and Diana.

Pandemic, Part 2

Constraints can breed inventiveness.

Last year’s all-virtual ceremony included a defining lockdown moment: Hazmat-suited trophy couriers who loitered outside nominees’ homes until their categories were called, either handing over the award or taking it disappointingly away.

“Somebody mentioned (the idea) in a meeting as kind of as a joke, and then it was constantly needling away at us and we decided that it could be a great way to do it,” recalled Guy Carrington, a producer for the 2020 Emmys.

This year, about 500 nominees and guests will gather under a glammed-up tent in downtown L.A., with COVID-19 precautions including a vaccine requirement and testing. There are big names among the presenters, including Angela Bassett, Michael Douglas, Dolly Parton and Awkwafina, but at least one star, Jennifer Aniston, was candid about staying away because of virus concerns.

Reginald Hudlin and Ian Stewart, executive producers for the telecast, said they approached the reduced attendance as an opportunity.

Instead of being confined in a theater seat, guests will be at tables and part of what sounds like an oversized dinner party — with drinks and snacks allowed — and encouraged to mingle.

“To have the industry come out and sit together and see each other, it is a celebration,” said Stewart.

Hello, is anyone out there?

Ratings for awards show, from Oscars to the Grammys, have been steadily declining in recent years and hit new depths during the pandemic. Despite honoring the TV shows that kept us company through COVID’s darkness, the Emmys weren’t exempt.

After hitting a record-low viewership of just under 7 million in 2019, last year’s telecast tumbled further to 6.1 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

Part of it is simply awards overload, with upstart, dime-a-dozen ceremonies taking the luster off the major ones, including the 94-year-old, grande dame Oscars and the Emmys, which turn 73 on Sunday.

Then there’s the shows’ sheer length. A leisurely, three-hour telecast, commercials included, was expected and tolerated in the old TV world. In the new one, viewers are more inclined to check out an event’s highlights online and at will.

But as Hudlin sees it, social media can give as well as take.

“If you deliver a show that works, if people say, ‘Oh, are you watching the Emmys thing? It’s kind of cool,’ all of a sudden people start tuning in because you’re talking about it like, ‘Yo, this is crazy,'” Hudlin said. “So we like to keep it crazy.”

Details were under wraps, but there will be music: Reggie Watts, band leader for The Late Late Show with James Corden, is the night’s DJ.

The event’s producers also recognize that niche shows on cable and streaming may be unfamiliar to many viewers, especially those who favor network shows such as ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy or CBS’ The Neighborhood — the latter starring Emmy host Cedric the Entertainer.

“We have gone to a lot of those mainstream, well-known actors, actresses and people in the industry to be presenters so that we do reflect popular television,” Stewart said. 

18/09/2021
by Artist
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Space Tourists Call Actor Tom Cruise While Orbiting Earth

While orbiting Earth, four space tourists called U.S. actor Tom Cruise to talk about life aboard the spacecraft.

Representatives for SpaceX’s first privately chartered flight said the crew members spoke Friday with Cruise, who is hoping to take part in a movie made in space.

The Twitter account for the flight mission said, “Maverick, you can be our wingman anytime,” referencing the call sign for Cruise’s character in the movie Top Gun.

No further details were released about the conversation.

Last year, NASA said it was in talks with Cruise about filming a movie at the International Space Station.

In the first space flight without any trained astronauts, the space tourists are orbiting Earth at an altitude of 585 kilometers.

The crew is led by billionaire Jared Isaacman, 38, and includes two contest winners and a hospital worker.

Crew members spoke with mission control Friday in a 10-minute live webcast.

Hayley Arceneaux, a 29-year-old physician assistant at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, showed off her ability to do flips in zero gravity.

Arceneaux, a childhood cancer survivor, had spoken earlier with child cancer patients at St. Jude.

Chris Sembroski a 42-year-old U.S. Air Force veteran, played his ukulele while Sian Proctor, a 51-year-old community college teacher, showed a picture she drew of SpaceX’s Dragon capsule.

The flight, named Inspiration4, took off Wednesday and is due to splash down Saturday in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida.

SpaceX was founded by billionaire Elon Musk, who tweeted Thursday, “Missions like Inspiration4 help advance spaceflight to enable ultimately anyone to go to orbit & beyond.” 

 

 

 

17/09/2021
by Artist
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Jane Powell, Hollywood Golden-Age Musicals Star, Dies at 92

Jane Powell, the bright-eyed, operatic-voiced star of Hollywood’s golden age musicals who sang with Howard Keel in “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” and danced with Fred Astaire in “Royal Wedding,” has died. She was 92.

Powell died Thursday at her Wilton, Connecticut, home, longtime friend Susan Granger said. Granger said Powell died of natural causes.

Powell performed virtually her whole life, starting about age 5 as a singing prodigy on radio in Portland, Oregon. She made her first movie at 16 and graduated from teenage roles to co-starring in the lavish musical productions that were a 20th-century Hollywood staple.

Her 1950 casting in “Royal Wedding” came by default. June Allyson was first announced as Astaire’s co-star but withdrew when she became pregnant. Judy Garland was cast but was withdrawn because of personal problems. Powell was next in line.

“They had to give it to me,” she quipped at the time. “Everybody else is pregnant.” Also among the expectant MGM stars: Lana Turner, Esther Williams, Cyd Charisse and Jean Hagen.

Powell had just turned 21 when she got the role. Astaire was 50. She was nervous because she lacked dancing experience, but she found him “very patient and understanding. We got along fine from the start.”

Surprise smash

“Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” proved to be a 1954 “sleeper” hit.

“The studio didn’t think it was going to do anything,” she recalled in 2000. “MGM thought that ‘Brigadoon’ was going to be the big moneymaker that year. It didn’t turn out that way. We were the ones that went to the Radio City Music Hall, which was always such a coup.”

The famed New York venue was a movie theater then.

Audiences were overwhelmed by the lusty singing of Keel and Powell, and especially by the gymnastic choreography of Michael Kidd. “Seven Brides” achieved classic status and resulted in a TV series and a Broadway musical.

“Blonde and small and pretty, Jane Powell had the required amount of grit and spunk that was needed to play the woman who could tame seven backwoodsmen,” John Kobal wrote in his book “Gotta Sing Gotta Dance: A Pictorial History of Film Musicals.”

16/09/2021
by Artist
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Three Iranian Dissidents to Be Honored by PEN America 

Three imprisoned Iranian dissidents will be honored next month at Pen America’s annual gala. 

The literary and human rights organization announced Thursday that writer-filmmaker Baktash Abtin, novelist-journalist Keyvan Bajan and author-critic Reza Khandan Mahabadi are this year’s recipients of the 2021 PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award. All three are members of the anti-censorship Iranian Writers Association and are serving a collective 15.5 years on charges including endangering national security and “spreading propaganda.” 

“Baktash Abtin, Keyvan Bajan, and Reza Khandan Mahabadi are embodiments of the spirit that animates our work at PEN America.” They are writers who are called not only to offer prose and ideas on a page, but to live fearlessly — and sacrifice immensely in service of the liberties that underpin free thought, art, culture, and creativity,” PEN America CEO Suzanne Nossel said in a statement. 

“By taking up the mantle of leadership within Iran’s literary community, they have served as beacons for countless authors and thinkers whose ability to imagine, push boundaries, and challenge repression under the most dangerous conditions is fed by the knowledge that they do not stand alone.” 

The PEN gala is scheduled for Oct. 5 at its longtime venue the American Museum of Natural History, with Awkwafina serving as host and others receiving awards including scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Walt Disney Chairman Robert Iger. Last year’s ceremony was held online because of the pandemic. 

The Freedom to Write Award, given to artists and writers jailed for their work, has been awarded to Russian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov and the Chinese writer-activist Xu Zhiyong among others. According to PEN, 44 out of the previous 48 honorees have since been freed. 

PEN has not yet determined who will accept the award on behalf of this year’s winners. 

 

16/09/2021
by Artist
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UNICEF: Nearly 120 Million Students Remain at Home Due to COVID School Closures

The United Nations says 117 million students worldwide are still out of school due to the coronavirus pandemic that began more than a year-and-a half ago. 

In a statement Thursday, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization said the number of students who have yet to return to the classroom represents about 7.5% of the global student population.

“We know that the longer schools stay closed, the more dramatic and potentially irreversible the impact on children’s well-being and learning, especially for the most vulnerable and marginalized,” said Assistant UNESCO Director-General for Education, Stefania Giannini.

Giannini said it is “encouraging” that many governments are working to safely reopen schools but added, “Our utmost and urgent aim must be to reopen schools everywhere, for all students.”

UNESCO said schools have fully reopened in 117 countries, allowing 35% of the world’s students ranging from pre-primary to secondary levels to return to the classroom. In September 2020, 16% received in-class instruction when schools in only 94 of the world’s 195 countries had reopened.

The organization said prolonged and repeated closures have caused lost learning opportunities and a rise in drop-out rates, factors that have adversely affected “the most vulnerable students disproportionately.”

Remedial and hybrid learning, teacher support and bridging the digital divide are key components of building resilient education systems, UNESCO said.

The group also said it is collaborating with the United Nations Children’s Fund and the World Bank to help governments reopen schools and run programs aimed at helping students “catch up on lost learning.”

Some information in this report was provided by The Associated Press and Reuters.

15/09/2021
by Artist
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Olympic Gymnast Maroney Says FBI Betrayed Her after She Reported Sexual Abuse

Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney on Wednesday told U.S. lawmakers she feels betrayed by FBI agents, after they failed to seriously investigate former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, despite her telling them he had sexually abused her. Maroney is one of four athletes, along with Simone Biles, Aly Raisman and Maggie Nichols, who testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee as it probes the FBI’s mishandling of the investigation. Maroney recalled how in 2015 she spent three hours on the phone telling the FBI the details of her story that her own mother had not even heard, including accounts of sexual abuse she endured during the Olympic Games in London. It was not until July of this year, however, that she said the United States Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney testifies during a Senate Judiciary hearing about the Inspector General’s report on the Larry Nassar investigation on Capitol Hill, Sept. 15, 2021.”Not only did the FBI not report my abuse, but when they eventually documented my report 17 months later, they made entirely false claims about what I said,” Maroney said, with anger in her voice. Wednesday’s hearing comes after the Justice Department’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz in July issued a report which blasted the FBI for United States Olympic gymnast Simone Biles testifies during a Senate Judiciary hearing on Capitol Hill, Sept. 15, 2021.Olympian Biles blasted USA Gymnastics and the FBI in blunt, tearful testimony on Wednesday for standing by while Nassar abused her and hundreds of other athletes. “We have been failed and we deserve answers,” Biles told the Senate Judiciary Committee. “It really feels like the FBI turned a blind eye to us,” she said. Maroney, meanwhile, called on the Justice Department to explain its decision not to prosecute the FBI agents. Nassar, who had been the main doctor for Olympic gymnasts, was sentenced in federal court in 2017 to 60 years in prison on charges of possessing child sex abuse material. The following year, he was also sentenced up to 175 years and up to 125 years, respectively, in two separate Michigan courts for molesting female gymnasts under his care. Prosecutors have estimated he sexually assaulted hundreds of women. 
 

15/09/2021
by Artist
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Norm Macdonald, Former ‘Saturday Night Live’ Comic, Dies

Comedian Norm Macdonald, a former “Saturday Night Live” writer and performer who was “Weekend Update” host when former U.S. President Bill Clinton and O.J. Simpson provided comic fodder during the 1990s, has died. Macdonald, who was 61, died Tuesday after having cancer for nine years but kept it private, according to Brillstein Entertainment Partners, his management firm in Los Angeles. He never reached the same television heights after being fired from “SNL” in 1998 but was an indefatigable stand-up comic and popular talk show guest whose death provoked an outpouring from fellow comedians. “Norm was in a comedy genre of his own,” tweeted Sarah Silverman. “No one like him on this planet. Please do yourself a favor and watch his stuff.” Macdonald, the son of two schoolteachers, was raised in Quebec City, Canada. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau offered his condolences, calling Macdonald “a comedic genius and a great Canadian.” FILE – Colin Quinn, from left, Chevy Chase and Norm Macdonald appear onstage at The 2012 Comedy Awards in New York, April 28, 2012.Macdonald was a stand-up comic and briefly a writer for the sitcom “Roseanne” when he was picked to join the cast of “SNL” in 1993. He became known for his esoteric impressions, including actor Burt Reynolds, who gave comedian Will Ferrell’s Alex Trebek character grief on “Celebrity Jeopardy.” He also impersonated former U.S. Senator Bob Dole, television and radio host Larry King, and comedian and talk show host David Letterman. His deadpan style and skills as a writer made him the choice to host “Weekend Update.” Simpson was a favorite target. Macdonald opened the fake newscast the week of the former football star’s acquittal on murder charges by saying, “Well, it’s finally official. Murder is legal in the state of California.” “SNL” executive producer Lorne Michaels, speaking for the show, called Macdonald “one of the most impactful comedic voices of his or any other generation.” “There are so many things that we’ll miss about Norm — from his unflinching integrity to his generosity to his consistent ability to surprise,” he said. “But most of all, he was just plain funny. No one was funny like Norm.” Macdonald was fired in the middle of the season in 1998 by NBC Entertainment executive Don Ohlmeyer, a friend of Simpson’s who reportedly didn’t appreciate Macdonald making Simpson the near-constant butt of jokes. “I was never bitter,” Macdonald said in the oral history “Live From New York,” released in 2002. “I always understood that Ohlmeyer could fire me because he was the guy who owned the cameras. So, that didn’t bother me. I was always happy that ‘SNL’ gave me a chance.” He said in the same book, “I just like doing jokes I like, and if the audience doesn’t like them, they’re wrong, not me.” Ohlmeyer said that was his problem. “When ‘Saturday Night Live’ is really good, they do care what the audience thinks,” he said. “And when ‘Saturday Night Live’ is not really good, they’re kind of doing it for themselves and their pals.” FILE – Host Norm Macdonald removes a pancake from a spoof “swag bag” at the 2016 Canadian Screen Awards in Toronto, Ontario, March 13, 2016.Macdonald announced his firing on Letterman’s show. During a commercial break, Letterman asked him, “This is like some Andy Kaufman thing with fake wrestling, right?” Macdonald recalled. But it wasn’t. Letterman was a fan who made Macdonald one of the guests in the CBS “Late Show” host’s final run of shows. In 2016, Letterman told The Washington Post that the show would have had Macdonald on every week “if we could.”  “He is funny in a way that some people inhale and exhale,” Letterman told the Post. “With others, you can tell the comedy, the humor is considered. With Norm, he exudes it … There may be people as funny as Norm, but I don’t know anybody who is funnier.” The Post’s story was headlined, “Will Somebody Please Give Norm Macdonald Another Show?” As if to answer, Netflix two years later aired 10 episodes of an interview series, “Norm Macdonald Has a Show.” Guests included Letterman, Michaels, actress Jane Fonda and Judge Judy Sheindlin. He had limited success in other TV ventures. He created and starred in the ABC sitcom “The Norm Show,” later shortened to “Norm,” playing a former professional hockey player kicked out of the league for gambling and tax evasion and forced into community service as a social worker. A Comedy Central show, “Sports Show with Norm Macdonald,” lasted only a handful of episodes, but he kept busy in comedy clubs. “In my mind, I’m just a stand-up,” he told The New York Times in 2018. “But other people don’t think that. They think, ‘Oh, the guy from ‘SNL’ is doing stand-up now.'” In a 2011 comedy special, Macdonald said it was wrong to say you “lost your battle” with cancer when you died. “I’m not a doctor, but I’m pretty sure that if you die, the cancer also dies at exactly the same time,” he said. “That, to me, is not a loss. That’s a draw.” Comedian Jim Carrey tweeted that Macdonald was “an honest and courageous comedy genius.” Actor and comedian Seth Rogen said when he started acting, he essentially ripped off Macdonald’s delivery.  “No one could make you break like Norm Macdonald,” comedian Jon Stewart said on Twitter. “Hilarious and unique.” 
 

14/09/2021
by Artist
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Billie Eilish, Amanda Gorman, Lil Nas X Dazzle at Met Gala

Billie Eilish went full glam in a huge peach ball gown at the pandemic-delayed Met Gala on Monday night, while fellow host of the evening Amanda Gorman was breathtaking in blue custom Vera Wang with a diamond laurel wreath in her hair.Co-host Timothée Chalamet raced onto Fifth Avenue to take selfies with fans before walking up the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art for his entrance after a marching band and gymnast kicked off the long-awaited evening. Last year’s gala was canceled due to the pandemic.This year’s official theme of the fundraiser for the museum’s Costume Institute was “American Independence,” leaving plenty of room for interpretation. Just ask Lil Nas X, who did a Lady Gaga-esque strip tease on the carpet in gold Versace, from cape to armor to embellished jumpsuit. 
Eilish, the belle of the ball, wore Oscar de la Renta. She told Vogue: “It was time for this. I feel like I’ve grown so much over the last few years.”Chalamet had sneakers on his feet but diamonds on his look. Chalamet called his look “a bit of everything,” just like America.Gorman’s dress, which included more than 3,000 hand-sewn crystals, was made to evoke a starry night sky. She told Vogue she felt like Lady Liberty, reimagined. Her crown, the star poet said, was a nod to publishing. Another of the hosts, Naomi Osaka, wanted to celebrate all her cultures — Japan, Haitian and the U.S. — and picked a Louis Vuitton gown designed in collaboration with her sister, Mari Osaka. It was a swirly blue, aqua and purple print with long black ruffle sleeves and a wide red sash.If this gala produced a trend, it’s huge statement sleeves, with some stars and stripes thrown in. There was a smattering of red, as in the red, white and blue of the American flag. Karlie Kloss wore red Carolina Herrera with huge ruffles at the neck and sleeves. Jennifer Hudson also chose red sans sleeves. Also in red: Ella Emhoff, the daughter of the country’s second gentleman, Doug Emhoff, and Vice President Kamala Harris. She wore a trouser look with a sheer top and a crystal design in all the right places.Dan Levy took the party’s theme to the extreme in a blue confection from Loewe. It had, according to the brand, “printed leg of mutton sleeves” on a polo shirt with an applique of two men kissing. Leon Bridges, meanwhile, honored his home state of Texas in a white cowboy hat and a blue suede fringe jacket. “It’s all about embodying the aesthetic of Texas,” said Bridges, with jewels in his hair.Yara Shahidi wore silver custom Dior complete with a head piece. She said she was inspired by Josephine Baker. Emma Chamberlain went for a gold mini with cutouts at the waist and chunky mirror and chain detail. Harris Reed put Iman in a huge golden hat.Gala overseer Anna Wintour arrived early with a wave to the crowd accompanied by her pregnant daughter, Bee, in a floral design with ruffles at the neck.Along with oh-so-many jumpsuits, there were plenty of classic red carpet looks and a wave of gold, the latter including a Peter Dundas look worn by Mary J. Blige. It plunged to the belly button and beyond at the front and back. Megan Fox, fresh from hear appearance at the MTV VMAs, also wore embellished Dundas, a red body hugger with crisscrossing at the front and sides. MJ Rodriguez, the “Pose” star and first transgender performer to pick up an Emmy nomination in a major acting category, wore an old glam, black-and-white corseted look from Thom Brown. The designer called it a modern-day twist on classic American sportswear. She attended the gala with purpose.”Not a lot of trans girls like myself get this opportunity,” she said. “The human condition is what I’m here for.”U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez showed up in an Aurora James gown of white with a message splashed in red across the back: “Tax the Rich.”The evening had its share of what-the-heck moments, like a couple of horse heads on dresses and a green-haired Frank Ocean carrying a fake baby with a green face to match. Thom Browne gave the walking fashion statement Erykah Badu an extra-tall top hat with a bulky black look, a bunch of crystals and chunky bling around her neck.Her purse was a black leather dachshund.Dundas also dressed Ciara, who honored Seahawks hubby Russell Wilson with his No. 3 emblazoned on her lime green sequined gown. She added a little something extra — a Super Bowl ring — and carried a bedazzled purse in the shape of a football.She said the designer was inspired by the sporty vibe of the late great Geoffrey Beene.
The gala, which raises money for the museum’s Costume Institute, was pushed last year from its traditional May berth and morphed this year into a two-part affair marking the institute’s 75th anniversary. It coincides with the opening of “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,”  the first of a two-part exhibition at the Met’s Anna Wintour Costume Center. Organizers invited 400 guests, or about a third the number that usually attend.

14/09/2021
by Artist
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George Wein, Newport Jazz Festival Co-founder, Dies at 95

George Wein, an impresario of 20th century music who helped found the Newport Jazz and Folk festivals and set the template for gatherings everywhere from Woodstock to the south of France, died Monday. Wein, 95, died “peacefully in his sleep” in his New York City apartment, said Carolyn McClair, a family spokesperson. A former jazz club owner and aspiring pianist, Wein launched the Newport Jazz Festival in 1954 under pouring rain and with a lineup for the heavens — Billie Holiday and Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald and Lester Young. Louis Armstrong was there the following year and Duke Ellington made history in 1956, his band’s set featuring an extraordinary, 27-chorus solo from saxophonist Paul Gonsalves that almost single-handedly revived the middle-aged Ellington’s career. Wein led the festival for more than 50 years, and performers would include virtually every major jazz star, from Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk to Charles Mingus and Wynton Marsalis. Just in 1965, the bill featured Frank Sinatra, Count Basie, John Coltrane, Ellington, Gillespie, Davis and Monk.  FILE – Wynton Marsalis performs at the Newport Jazz Festival in Newport, Rhode Island, on August 6, 2011.The success of Newport inspired a wave of jazz festivals in the U.S., and Wein replicated his success worldwide, his other projects including the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and the Grande Parade du Jazz in Nice, France. His multiday, all-star gatherings were also a model for rock festivals, whether Woodstock in 1969 or the Lollapalooza tours of recent years.  Critic Gene Santoro observed in 2003 that without Wein, “everything from Woodstock to Jazz at Lincoln Center might have happened differently — if it happened at all.” Wein “can justifiably claim to have invented, developed and codified the contemporary popular music festival,” Santoro wrote. The idea for Newport came in part from locals Louis and Elaine Lorillard, who urged Wein to organize a jazz festival in their resort community in Rhode Island. Elaine Lorillard, a socialite, complained that the summer scene was “terribly boring.” Her tobacco-heir husband backed her up with a $20,000 donation. Wein had never known of a large-scale jazz festival, so, in the spirit of the music, he improvised — seeking to combine the energy and musicality of a Harlem jazz club with the ambience of a summer classical concert in Tanglewood. “What was a festival to me?” Wein later said. “I had no rulebook to go by. I knew it had to be something unique, that no jazz fan had ever been exposed to.” FILE – In this 1963 file photo, Joan Baez and Bob Dylan perform at the festival in Newport, Rhode Island.In 1959, Wein joined with Pete Seeger and began a companion folk festival that would feature early performances by Joan Baez and Jose Feliciano among others and track the evolution of Bob Dylan from earnest troubadour to rule-breaking rock star.  Dylan’s show in 1963 helped establish him as the so-called “voice of his generation,” but by 1965 he felt confined by the folk community and turned up at Newport with an electric band. The response was mostly positive, but there were enough boos from the crowd and conflicts backstage — Wein rejected the legend that Seeger tried to cut the power cables to Dylan’s amps — to make Dylan’s appearance a landmark in rock and folk history. In his memoir, “Myself Among Others,” Wein remembered confronting Dylan as he left the stage and insisted he return to play something acoustic. Years later, Wein remained moved by memories of hearing Dylan sing “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue,” a farewell ballad in more ways than one. “It was a farewell to the idealism and purity of the folk revival,” Wein wrote. “There was no turning back — not for Dylan, not for anyone.” The Newport festivals have led to numerous films and concert albums, notably Murray Lerner’s Oscar-nominated 1967 documentary “Festival!” with Dylan, Johnny Cash and Howlin’ Wolf among the performers. Wein would later bring in Led Zeppelin, Sly and the Family Stone and James Brown and other rock and rhythm and blues acts. In 2020, when Newport went virtual because of the pandemic, Wein introduced Mavis Staples from his home in Manhattan.  Wein himself had been a pianist since childhood and he maintained an active music career, releasing “Wein, Women and Song,” “Swing That Music” and several other albums and making yearly appearances at the Newport festival with his Newport All-Stars band. He was named a “Jazz Master” in 2005 by the National Endowment for the Arts and received an honorary Grammy in 2014. Years earlier, President Bill Clinton brought his saxophone to the White House stage for a celebration of the Newport Jazz Festival. The Newport festival lasted despite ongoing conflicts, whether objections from the locals in Newport, the declining appeal of jazz, or the demands and resentments of the musicians. In the mid-1970s, he was struggling financially and became among the first popular music promoters to work with corporate sponsors, notably the makers of Kool cigarettes.  In 2005, he sold his company Festival Productions Inc. to Festival Network LLC and took on a more limited role at Newport. Six years later, he established the nonprofit Newport Festivals Foundation to oversee the summertime events. “I want the festivals to go on forever,” Wein told The Associated Press at the time. “With me it’s not a matter of business. This is my life.” 

13/09/2021
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