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Armani rejects overdone emotion, Ferragamo favors color

Fashion and politics clashed Saturday in Milan's main squares and runways, as protesters rallied ahead of Italy's divisive national election and designers at Milan Fashion Week showed off their own visions of what the future should look like.

As the fashion crowd traversed the city, they passed right-wing leader Matteo Salvini of the anti-migrant League holding a major rally in front of the city's Duomo cathedral to reach shows in an adjacent palazzo. Students protesting a neo-fascist party scuffled with police in one of the many actions that snarled traffic.

Here are some highlights from Milan Fashion Week womenswear previews for next fall and winter, including shows by Giorgio Armani, Salvatore Ferragamo, Jil Sander and Missoni.



Giorgio Armani countered the increasingly violent tones surfacing in his native Italy's election campaign by producing an ethnically inspired collection — and in rejecting fashion shows that use shock tactics to get attention.

Asked after the show for his suggestions on translating the inclusion seen in his collection to politics and other arenas, the 83-year-old fashion designer said he was calling himself out on the strategy of using emotion to incite strong reactions.

"I would not overdo it with easy emotions at all costs, creating a spectacle," he said.

He transitioned immediately to a comment on fashion houses that he thinks employ shocking images to attract attention. The reference to Gucci was clear.

"One can do whatever he wants. But if I put on the runway a head under the arm, severed, we have reached the limit," Armani said, days after Alessandro Michele's "Cyborg" collection for Gucci featured two models carrying replicas of their own heads under their arms.



Armani's collection for the next cold weather season took inspiration from many cultures "as an ode to coexistence as opposed to exclusion." The designer said "sophisticated simplicity" was the unifying element.

Draped looks and soft jackets defined the silhouette. Ponchos were belted, skirts were knotted at the knee and trousers were loose and comfortable.

The color palate heated up from the new neutral, pink, with gray to warmer tones of purple, blue and flamingo red, which Armani swirled together for a dreamy, iridescent effect. Evening wear featured colorful beaded and fringe jackets with velvet trousers.

Dramatic furry hats topped the looks and jewelry included geometric shapes and tassels.



Paul Andrew's inaugural collection adding womenswear to his Ferragamo shoe portfolio had in mind the "naughty aristocrat."

"I was looking at the show 'The Crown,' and the idea of Princess Margaret, who is this sort of naughty aristocratic person, who has been out all night long, she is still wearing her velvet gown and it is 7 a.m. and she realizes, 'Oh, no, I need to go out and feed the pigs,'" he said.

And just for that highly specialized occasion, Andrew has created a leather poncho, a flat pair of Ostrich boots with the signature Ferragamo buckle and a big soft calf bag.

In homage to Ferragamo's inception as a shoe brand, Andrew said he approached the collection "from toe to head."

The shoes included heels galvanized with metallic glazing for the fashion house by automakers as Andrew seeks to win the attention of younger consumers with new technology while hewing to the brand's trademarks.

Soft ponchos, knit tops that complement Napa leather trousers and shirt-dresses in foulard prints pulled from the archives formed other key elements of the collection. The brand's trademark double buckles — or ganci — appeared as belts and accents on footwear, peek-a-boo detailing on high boots or as a sort of stir-ups on heels. The cool color palate included pewter blue, parakeet green, merlot reds and mustard yellows.

"I really wanted to make sure in this collection and going forward we really embrace color and make it a major feature of the house," Andrew said.



Missoni models splashed through an industrial space, dragging scarves and jackets through puddles. The message was not clear but there was a suggestion of a disregard for the material world.

The looks Saturday had a Bohemian-Rasta-Grateful Dead vibe, sans patchouli and incense, but with a mostly Earth-tones color palette. The designs were long, flowing and layered easy-to-wear pieces.

A mini-skirt was unfinished for a long, rough-hewn fringe effect. A big blanket-y coat appeared to have no arms, completely enveloping the wearer. Beneath the silhouette was tighter, made of a finer knit.

Necklaces looked like amulets and gemstones and big-brimmed hats finished the looks.



The husband-and-wife design team of Lucie and Luke Meier created a collection for Milan Fashion Week that they said was designed "to make the wearer feel good, feel safe, feel protected."

Models carried folded padded garments, which appeared at first to be pillows but instead revealed themselves to be padded wraps. Overcoats with elongated sleeves were cinched with armbands — a futuristic touch that had just a hint of the political.

The looks were clean as a whistle, with white Kimono tops over roomy skirts. A white Jacquard coat had just the lightest shimmer of purple and a smart knit navy blue dress sported a sailor collar.

Set in a new venue in the shadow of high-rises by star architects beneath a transparent tent, the overall feel of the collection was post-industrial and unadorned.

Dustin Lynch Makes Some Changes, Starting By Deleting All His Instagram Posts

By Rare Country: We wonder if record labels, managers, publicists and agents get a little nervous when they hear their artists say they want to take fans behind the curtain and into the real world of a singer-songwriter. More and more, we’re seeing women in the music industry open up about the harsh realities of being a female in a male-dominated world. But although the challenges are different, it is difficult for almost everyone to break through and then climb the ladder of success, whether they’re women, men, groups or duos. One thing that really makes a difference in country music, though, is the incredible connection that most of the entertainers have with their fans. They hold meet-and-greets at their concerts, participate for free in the annual CMA Music Fest, host Facebook Live events and engage and interact with fans on social media. RELATED:  Dustin Lynch just might be at his sexiest with this brand-new slow jam But it sounds like Dustin Lynch is feeling like he hasn’t completely made that connection yet, or perhaps just isn’t quite as strong in that area as he wants it to be. The handsome young artist who left women swooning with his 2012 debut single, “Cowboys and Angels,” and then went on to amass five more No. 1s in four years, says in an edgy new Instagram video that he now wants to “let everybody in behind this curtain” of his life and career. Dustin starts the video off accepting that it takes a village to build a country artist’s career, and he is right. Yet he also says, “But with this village comes a lot of opinions, and with those opinions comes a lot of self-doubt on my end.” He goes on to say that he believes there is a disconnect between who he is onstage and who he is when the black hat and boots come off. And, he admits, that’s partly his fault because, “We never put it out there.” The 32-year-old singer-songwriter goes on to say that with a new video series, “I wanna really kinda let everybody in behind this curtain of what goes on in my life, how hard I work at every aspect of what I do and make a little bit more of a personal connection.” How he makes music and puts together shows are two of the things that Dustin wants to reveal to his fans and followers, but he also says that he’ll show how he deals with relationships, “or the lack thereof.” RELATED:  Dustin Lynch opens up about his relationship with Kelly Osbourne “You’re gonna hear a lot of insecurities. I’m just gonna talk about how I’m feeling,” he adds. As the screen fades to black, the numbers “001” appear, likely implying that this is the first in the video series. It does, in fact, appear that Dustin is making a fresh start, perhaps even rebooting. A look at his Instagram page shows this video as the first and only post. Anything prior to the Feb. 23 post has been deleted. We’re excited to see what the future holds for this proven hit-maker and genuinely great guy, so we’ll be anxiously waiting for episode 002!

Britney Spear’s ex K-Fed wants child support increase amid star’s Vegas success

After seeing how successful her four-year Las Vegas residency has been, Britney Spears’ ex-husband Kevin Federline is asking for an increase in child support.

>> Read more trending news 

Federline’s attorney reportedly sent the pop singer a letter recently indicating that he would like to renegotiate the $20,000 monthly payment he currently receives from her for their two sons, Preston, 12, and Jayden, 11. 

Married from 2004 to 2007, the former couple decided on that amount after Spears lost sole physical and legal custody over the children and was placed in a still-ongoing conservatorship under the care of her father during their highly-publicized 2008 divorce. However, now that her residency has grossed over $137 million in four short years, Federline is looking to cash in, believing the success of her show was “in part because the boys have been in her life.”

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“Kevin has always been supportive of Britney’s recovery and has always recognized what a great mother she has been,” a source familiar with the situation told US Weekly. “Britney’s entire world are the boys, period. She just lights up when she is with them.”

However, Federline additionally feels he’s entitled to an increase in child support in order to “recognize the sacrifices he has made because he has gone above and beyond what most people would do in this situation.”

Both Spears and Federline are reportedly hoping to reach an agreement outside of court, with the insider adding, “Britney won’t be involved with any of the legal discussions regarding the increase request. She will let her dad, Jamie, and the lawyers hash it out. However, Jamie isn’t just going to fork over what he would consider an outrageous demand.”

Nanette Fabray, star of stage, screen and TV, dies at 97

Nanette Fabray, the vivacious, award-winning star of the stage, film and television, has died at age 97.

Fabray's son, Dr. Jamie MacDougall, tells The Associated Press his mother died Thursday at her home in Palos Verdes Estates.

Fabray launched her career at age 3 as Vaudeville's singing-dancing Baby Nanette.

On Broadway she won a Tony in 1949 for the musical "Love Life" and was nominated for another for "Mr. President."

She starred opposite Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse in the hit 1953 film "The Band Wagon."

Her television roles included playing Bonnie Franklin's mother in the hit 1980s sitcom "One Day at a Time."

She also played the mother of Shelley Fabares (fab-RAY'), her real-life niece, in the 1990s sitcom "Coach."


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Actress Nanette Fabray, Tony, Emmy-winning star of stage and screen, dead at 97

Award-winning actress and comedian Nanette Fabray has died at the age of 97, Variety reported Friday.

Fabray was known for her charm, energetic exuberance and multi-talented performances in musical theatre in the 1940’s, as well as movies and TV in the 1950’s.

>> Read more trending news 

She won a Tony Award for her performance in the Broadway musical “Love Life” in 1949, according to her biography, and three Emmy Awards in the mid-1950s for her work on Sid Caesar’s television show “Caesar’s Hour.”

She co-starred with Fred Astaire and Cyd Charisse in the 1953 movie “Band Wagon” and played Grandma Katherine Romano on the hit show “One Day at a Time” from 1979 to 1984, among many other roles over her long career.

She was also a longtime advocate for the deaf after overcoming a serious hearing problem of her own. She was awarded the President’s Distinguished Service Award and the Eleanor Roosevelt Humanitarian Award for her long efforts on behalf of the hearing impaired.

Fabray’s son, Dr. Jamie MacDougall, according to The New York Times, confirmed she died at her home in Palos Verdes, California on Thursday.

Brown University to pay tuition for future actors, directors

Brown University is providing scholarships to cover the tuition for all master's degree students studying acting and directing.

The Ivy League university in Rhode Island announced the change Friday.

It says it wants to ease student debt, diversify the pool of actors and directors in training, encourage innovation in the arts and ultimately redefine whose stories are told on stage.

The university will begin providing the funds in the 2018-2019 academic year for students in the Brown/Trinity Rep master of fine arts programs in acting and directing.

The university anticipates 40 to 50 students will receive the scholarships, which also will be extended to future students.

Patricia Ybarra chairs Brown's theatre arts and performance studies department. She says even successful artists often can't repay debt, which deters students from low-income and middle-income families from applying to MFA programs.

HBO biopic about Penn State's Joe Paterno premieres April 7

An HBO biopic starring Al Pacino as late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno will premiere April 7.

HBO tweeted the premiere date Friday, along with a trailer to the film directed by Barry Levinson.

HBO has said the film will focus on Paterno dealing with fallout from the child sex abuse scandal involving former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. The all-time winningest coach in major college football history was fired days after Sandusky's 2011 arrest and died two months later at age 85.

A report commissioned by the university and conducted by a team led by former FBI Director Louis Freeh concluded Paterno and three administrators hushed up the allegations against Sandusky.

The three administrators were sentenced to jail. Former university President Graham Spanier is appealing his conviction.

Versace, Cavalli, Etro, Marras update their design DNA

For anyone wanting to unlock the DNA of Milan ready-to-wear, a new museum exhibition surveying three decades of Italian fashion offers some keys.

Echoes of styles and trends on display in the "Italiana" exhibit at Milan's Palazzo Reale are apparent in big and small ways on the runways during Milan Fashion Week, which runs through Monday with previews of mostly womenswear for next fall and winter.

Here are some highlights from Friday's shows, including Versace, Roberto Cavalli, Antonio Marras and Etro:



Donatella Versace is seeking new kinships in her latest collection that brings together classic Versace motifs with a new set of codes.

Colors were loud and prints clashed in a metaphor for clans coming together as Versace combined punk references, contemporary youth culture and Versace trademarks to create a new aristocracy.

"Aristocracy is not something you are born to, but comes from carrying yourself in a certain way," Versace said before the show. "It is in being above it all, and in being an example to other women."

Bustiers defined the silhouette: overtop wild print dresses with high-heeled booties, or over a Versace T-shirt worn with, say, a tartan mini and argyle socks, or better yet, a full, long skirt decorated with beaded fringe.

The designer appealed to youth subcultures with the branded T-shirts, fringed athletic scarves, hooded mini-dresses with beaded fringe and fashion house's new Chain Reaction sneakers.

Slinky black and red evening dresses that bared shoulders and legs had incorporated scarves to cover the heads. And for Versace, long dresses aren't just for evening. She pairs hers with sunglasses, which she said was the sign of a true aristocrat.

Asked before the show to name the queens of today: "I am," she joked, then said, "There are many queens today."

One came quickly to mind: Jennifer Lawrence, who neatly deflected social media criticism for going outdoors in the cold for a photograph in a revealing Versace evening dress. "She is a real Versace woman," the designer said.



Paul Surridge's second womenswear collection for Roberto Cavalli takes the fashion house's tried-and-true battle horses — slinky dresses, glam rock vibes and animal prints — and reinvents them for the next Cavalli generation.

Surridge said he started the collection with two adjectives: glamour and sensuality.

"This is a woman who wants to be visible, also respecting social codes," he said.

The looks offered lots of skin and also the promise of more.

Tailored jackets and coats were sliced to be revealing. Long clingy dresses with cutouts showed off curves, including an off-shoulder ruched purple dress belted at the side to shown skin, and worn punk-like over a pair of black leggings. On the more romantic side, long pleated, ruffled or fringe chiffon offered a softer, billowing drama.

Surridge dipped into the Cavalli archive for animal prints, including lynx, lizard and crocodile, and also included an array of smoky, purple prints that evoke sunsets or deep seas.

On the men's side, a skin-tight top in an ethereal blue that bleeds into darkness seemed inspired by the creature in the Oscar-nominated film "The Shape of Water."



Etro is celebrates its 50th year with a womenswear collection for the armchair traveler.

Veronica Etro created colorful looks celebrating the American prairie, what a modern-day Laura Ingalls Wilder might wear.

Geometric prints complement the brand's trademark paisleys interpreted as vintage bandanas on contemporary prairie dresses and blouses to wear with leather chaps. The looks also feature colorful jacquard knitwear in prairie colors of burned orange, tobacco and mustard, which created enveloping capes and ponchos.

Etro says she doesn't have to visit a place to get the inspiration.

"I travel also in my mind very often," Etro said. "You travel in books, you travel in your memories, you travel in your dreams sometimes, so it is really a mix."

The fashion house will conclude its anniversary celebration with a show opening in September at the MUDEC museum.



Antonio Marras explores the story of European emigration in his latest fashion collection, touching on the pain of separation, the anticipation of adventure and the raucous exhilaration of finally being accepted in a new land.

It's apt reminder of the cycle of emigration that many Italian families lived as Italy experiences an election campaign in which immigration has proved a divisive issue.

The Marras collection for next fall and winter has a decisively vintage feel with looks adorned with ruffles, beading and lace. In modern touches, flaps on a red trench coat were off-skew, argyle patterns on sweaters were knit on the bias, and long pleated skirts had mismatching hemlines.

The runway mood ranged from romantic rose prints on black backgrounds to New World plaids, old-time Varsity jackets and sweaters worn over lace and tulle skirts, and finally to fun night-out wear.

Each change of mood was portrayed by dancers who transitioned from nostalgic farewells to university frat parties to elegant Great Gatsby-style soirees.



Back at the "Italiana" exhibit, creations that together made Milan a fashion capital are on display: Antonio Marras' big tulle skirt, Moschino's smiley face on yellow leather, Roberto Cavalli's animal prints and Prada's black vinyl.

For all the talk of exploring gender roles in recent seasons, the exhibit shows with side-by-side suits by Gucci, Versace and Armani from decades past that confirm that this exploration is far from new, even if it has gained new currency.

"We think that Italian designers were the first to solve some identity issues, to give an answer to identity, to changes that were happening in society and to new identities that were emerging," Stefano Tonchi, Curator of exhibit and Director of W Magazine, said during a preview of the exhibit. That includes, critically, the role of women in society.

Armani's soft suits were a revolution of comfort, while Versace's studded leather jackets and dresses promoted sexual freedom and Max Mara's trademark 101801 double-breasted overcoat gave women a key building block for a button-down workplace wardrobe.

The exhibit also traces Italy's evolution into an economic powerhouse, as purchasing power grew in the 1950s and 1960s, said the head of the Italian Fashion Chamber, Carlo Capasa.

The show, titled runs through May 6 at Palazzo Reale.

HFPA investigating actor Brendan Fraser's groping claim

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association says it is investigating actor Brendan Fraser's claim that its former president, Philip Berk, groped him in 2003.

Fraser, 49, best known for his role in "The Mummy" trilogy, made the accusation in an interview with GQ magazine .

A statement from the HFPA, the organization that puts on the Golden Globes, says the interview "includes alleged information that the HFPA was previously unaware of" and is looking into the accusation. It also stresses that the organization has long had what it calls "a positive working relationship" with Fraser.

Attempts to find a working phone number for Berk were unsuccessful.

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