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Gucci hits runway as fashion world awaits new designer

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Gucci hits runway as fashion world awaits new designer
Photo: GlobalTimesPakistan

Gucci kicked off Milan fashion week on Friday with a lineup of slouchy, androgynous menswear styles, forging ahead with its latest collection while the industry waits for owner Kering (PRTP.PA) to name a new designer for the label.

French luxury group Kering faces pressure to quickly find a replacement following the abrupt departure in November of Alessandro Michele, the flamboyant designer who was a favourite of Harry Styles and Lady Gaga and reignite sales growth at its largest brand, which accounted for two-thirds of profits in 2021.

The question of who will steer Gucci’s creative direction loomed over the megabrand’s first men’s show in the Italian fashion capital in three years. Events run through Jan. 17, drawing an audience that includes major retail buyers sizing up which styles might be future top sellers.

There were echoes of Michele’s eccentric, gender-fluid styles at Gucci’s catwalk presentation on Friday.
Models circled a darkened room to the growling music of live band Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog, parading oversize suit coats with wide lapels and ample, pleated trousers in pale beige and pastel tones, with new renditions of house classics, along with reminders of Michele’s tenure, including furry, horse-bit embellished slippers.

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“A palette cleanser from the collections we have seen across the past few seasons,” said Simon Longland, head of menswear and womenswear at London department store Harrods.

He said the show provided a “new approach” to house styles, with a range of fabrics and jacket shapes that would likely appeal to fans of its signature, looks as well as new customers.

Show notes, which buyers scrutinize for signs of the label’s next steps, referred to improvisation and collaboration.
“When the free impulses of individual minds interweave, collective expressions are conceived,” the brand’s notes said.
Shimmery silver pants and quilted motorcycle boots added touches of flamboyancy to the neutral-colored looks, which were taken in by celebrities in the audience including K-pop star Kai, American football player Jalen Ramsey and Italian rock band Maneskin.

UBS expects Kering’s Feb. 15 earnings release will show the label’s fourth-quarter sales declined by around 11%, likely one of the more pronounced slowdowns among the world’s top fashion labels, as strict COVID-19 restrictions weighed on business in China.
“The longer the wait for a new Gucci creative director, the worse the outlook for Kering,” said Luca Solca, an analyst with Bernstein, noting that “more of the same” would not help the label regain its relevance with shoppers.

TIMELESS FASHIONS, MARKETING INVESTMENT

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Analysts at HSBC, meanwhile, said efforts taken before Michele’s departure could ease the transition, predicting improvement this year regardless of who takes up creative direction.

They pointed to a recent emphasis on timeless fashions and higher-priced products as well as a ramp-up of marketing spend and an increase in the number of collections as likely serving to accelerate business.

Gucci held back on marketing investments during the pandemic, while larger rival LVMH’s two biggest labels Louis Vuitton and Dior pushed ahead, a move that analysts say helped them gain ground on rivals.

Kering’s other, smaller fashion houses Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta and Balenciaga had been growing strongly heading into the end of last year, but Balenciaga got caught up in controversy after a holiday ad campaign drew accusations of inappropriate imagery with children.

Despite the current turbulence at Kering, however, expectations are high given the group’s strong track record nurturing brands, analysts say.
The group’s brands are known for “capturing the Zeitgeist” noted Solca, who said Gucci’s past success was “the most impressive turnaround story in luxury history.”

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The industry is also expecting big changes at other blockbuster labels.

Top management changes at Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior announced this week prompted talk that a design team reshuffle could follow, including at Louis Vuitton’s menswear division, which has leaned on the design studio team since the death of creative director Virgil Abloh in late 2021.

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‘Pilot stuck in traffic, really!’: Kapil Sharma slams airline over delay

‘Pilot stuck in traffic, really!’: Kapil Sharma slams airline over delay

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'Pilot stuck in traffic, really!': Kapil Sharma slams airline over delay

Comedian Kapil Sharma slammed commercial airline IndiGo over flight delay and the airline’s excuses to passengers on Wednesday evening.

Comedian and actor Kapil Sharma hit out at commercial airline over alleged delay and management of passengers, including those “on wheelchairs”.

Sharma took to social media to slam the country’s biggest commercial airline and alleged they had been “lying lying and lying”.

The television celebrity has accused the airline of making passengers wait for nearly an hour in a shuttle bus and giving an excuse to passengers that the “pilot was stuck in traffic”.

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Kapil Sharma also shared visuals of passengers having an argument with the airline ground staff, seeking to speak to a senior official.

“Dear IndiGo, first you made us wait in the bus for 50 minutes, and now your team is saying the pilot is stuck in traffic, what? really?

We are supposed to take off by 8 pm and it’s 9:20, still, there is no pilot in the cockpit, do you think these 180 passengers will fly in Indigo again? Never,” Kapil Sharma shared on X.

Later, he shared another update with visuals deplaning, saying, “Now they are de-boarding all the passengers and saying we will send you in another aircraft but again we have to go back to the terminal for security check.”

“People are suffering because of you and IndiGo lying-lying and lying, there r some old passengers in wheel chairs, not in very good health condition. Shame on you!” Kapil Sharma said.

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Atif Aslam, Talha Anjum top Spotify Wrapped 2023 in Pakistan

Atif Aslam, Talha Anjum top Spotify Wrapped 2023 in Pakistan

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Atif Aslam, Talha Anjum top Spotify Wrapped 2023 in Pakistan

Atif Aslam retained his place as the most streamed local artiste by Spotify Wrapped 2023, while Talha Anjum also remained in the top, stated the company in a press release on Wednesday. 

The legendary ‘Shehnshah-e-Qawwali’, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, along with his nephew and renowned Sufi artist, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, also made the list of top 10 most streamed local artists, added the statement. 

Spotify’s top lists reflect various trends and the overall expansion of music as the music streaming giant continues to grow its user base.

Local favourites shared the limelight with global sensations like Taylor Swift and The Weeknd on the list of most streamed Artists.

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Kaifi Khalil’s ‘Kahani Suno 2.0’ was the most streamed track in Pakistan as well as most streamed Pakistani song globally, while Ali Sethi and Shae Gill’s ‘Pasoori’ remained on the list of top ten most-streamed Pakistani songs.

Asim Azhar’s ‘Jo Tu Na Mila’ made it to the list of top 10 most streamed Pakistani songs.

According to this year’s Wrapped data, Gill retained her position as the most streamed Pakistani woman artist, followed by Momina Mustehsan, Abida Parveen, Quratulain Balouch and Naseebo Lal.

The list of top artists also showed the taste of Pakistani listeners, with Arijit Singh securing the top spot, followed by Pritam, AP Dhillon, Shubh, and Sidhu Moose Wala, the artist from across the border receiving immense posthumous love from streamers.

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‘Leave The World Behind’: Strangers, danger and layers, says Julia Roberts

‘Leave The World Behind’: Strangers, danger and layers, says Julia Roberts

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'Leave The World Behind': Strangers, danger and layers, says Julia Roberts

US actress Julia Roberts says her new film “Leave The World Behind” is a multi-layered disaster thriller that allowed her to play someone very different from herself.

Executive produced by former US President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, the movie is written and directed by “Mr Robot” creator Sam Esmail and based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Rumaan Alam.

It sees Roberts’ character Amanda, her husband and two children head on an impromptu holiday in a small Long Island town.

Their getaway is interrupted when a man and his daughter, played by Mahershala Ali and Myha’la Herrold, turn up on their doorstep claiming to be the owners of the upmarket residence and requesting to stay the night. As tension builds between the two families, strange events start occurring around them and they find themselves under the same roof trying to make sense of the chaos outside.

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“There’s always about 17 and a half things going on at one time in every scene for each person. It was just all the layers of the people and the circumstances,” Roberts told Reuters at the film’s premiere in London on Wednesday.

The Hollywood star cherished the challenge of playing cynical advertising director Amanda.

“Just the idea of playing someone who’s sort of intrinsically suspicious and a little prickly, which is not my nature, but to still make her human and approachable and likeable.”

Fans of Alam’s book should not expect a faithful adaptation, Esmail warned.

“Something that works in a literary medium may not work in a cinematic medium. I was very upfront with Rumaan that I really was going to take liberties with the interpretation. I ran through all the ideas, he was on board and then in a lot of ways I think we both got what we wanted because his book and the film are kind of two different standalone pieces that kind of operate independent of one another.”

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“Leave The World Behind”, which also stars Ethan Hawke and Kevin Bacon, is out in select cinemas and starts streaming on Netflix on Dec 8. 

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