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Japan marks 75 years of Vatican ties with Noh theater show

Japan has marked the 75th anniversary of diplomatic ties with the Holy See with a performance of ancient traditional Noh theater in Rome.

At the performance Saturday in Rome at the Palazzo della Cancelleria, a Renaissance architectural masterpiece housing Vatican tribunals, visitors were shown how to wear a Noh theater mask.

Japan's ambassador to the Vatican, Yoshio Matthew Nakamura, says Noh theater absorbs cultural elements from various countries and civilizations.

Japan has been a strong admirer of Vatican artistic treasures. Decades ago, Japanese television sponsored the restoration of the Sistine Chapel ceiling, which was frescoed by Michelangelo.

Presenting his diplomatic credentials last year to Pope Francis, Nakamura gave him binoculars "to see the lives of people in the periphery," an area where Francis says the church must pay more attention.

Lanvin fuses sartorial and street for edgy menswear show

Actress Gabrielle Union joined French actor Reda Kateb on the front row of the edgy Lanvin show at Paris Fashion Week.

Here are some highlights from Sunday, the last day of spring-summer 2018 menswear collections.


It was sartorial fused with street. As VIP guests looked on, Lucas Ossendrijver's passion for hybrid styles found its voice on the catwalk for Lanvin.

The veteran Dutch menswear designer took suits with a flavor of the 1950s and mixed them up with sports references, on-trend baggy pants, hoodies and sneakers. The combinations produced a strong spring-summer collection from the storied Parisian house.

A loose, rippling gray worker's overall was given a luxurious makeover, worn under a dark gray wool knee length coat. Loose double breasted jackets with retro rolled up sleeves were accessorized with white, '50s belts and white streetwear sneakers.

But it was not all wintery — owing to unexpected flashes of bright red summer Bermudas.

There were also plenty of clever fashion ideas.

A sartorial Prince of Wales check jacket was fused into sportswear with geometric patterning on the shoulder, zips, studs, tassels and an exposed bright orange interior. Bright Cerulean blue gave a freshness to an inverted sartorial raincoat and made guests dream of the ocean.



The stereotype of young VIP Fashion Week attendees as rich, soulless attention-seekers wasting their parents' money has now been transformed into a fashion concept.

"Enfants Riches Deprimes" (Depressed Rich Kids) was founded in some years ago by a conceptual artist not lacking in irony called Henri Alexander Levy. Levy was profoundly marked by his education at the super-rich Institut Le Rosey boarding school in Rolle, Switzerland, and various other boarding schools. He decided to turn those experiences into fashion.

Since 2013, one of the core values of the house is simply to maintain exorbitant price tags — T-shirts cost up to $1,000 and couture jackets are priced as high as $95,000.

Its first Paris Fashion Week show was being held — in a humorous touch — at the symbol of all things moneyed — Christie's auction house.

The label's style of juxtaposing tailored wear with brutally ripped garments at eye-watering prices has earned the house somewhat of a cult-like following. Fans now include celebrities such as Jared Leto, Kanye West, Beyoncé, Courtney Love, Justin Bieber, Guns N' Roses, and Zayn Malik.



The fashion magazine shoots of the 1950s and '60s were the muse for French designer Agnes B.'s playful spring-summer menswear display.

Male models struck sometimes exaggerated retro poses against the backdrop of a giant photograph of what could have been the French Riviera and the Mediterranean Sea.

It harked back to the retro photos of Vogue magazine — and was very much tongue in cheek. The styles, on the whole, mirrored this era — barring the odd tail coat and soft contemporary overall.

Blue suede shoes, black-and-white brogues mixed with a single-breasted '60s suit that was buttoned high.

The best look was a bright yellow '50s jacket with vivid blue pants, capped with a giant square '60s travel bag. The model who wore it posed with his right foot behind his left foot in opposite directions as post-war fashion models used to do. It provoked chuckles from the guests.


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Prince Harry affectionately calls Duchess Kate the 'big sister he never had'

In an interview with Newsweek, Prince Harry opened up about his relationship with sister-in-law Kate Middleton and how she helped him come to terms with his mother’s death.

>> Prince Harry opens up about Diana's funeral, doesn't think any royals want to be king or queen

“There was no filling the hole left by Diana’s death, and Harry seemed to be growing up without someone emotionally available he could lean on,” an excerpt from the story reads. “Kate has helped fill some of that gap. When she and William got engaged, Harry called her the big sister he never had. He often pops into their apartment at Kensington Palace, where she cooks him a meal — roast chicken is reportedly a particular favorite.”

>> Read more trending news

Prince Harry, Prince William and Duchess Kate all live together at Kensington Palace in London, where Harry lives in a two-bedroom cottage on the grounds, and his brother and Middleton live in a 22-room apartment in the palace itself. Their proximity allows them to maintain a close bond.

>> PHOTOS: Prince Harry through the years

“Kate has quite a different relationship with Harry than she has with William. Harry appeals to her sillier side because he is carefree, footloose and loves banter. He finds things funny about people and says so,” a source told the Daily Mail last year. “Kate also adores the way Harry plays with her children — he is very good with them, a charming big kid and silly uncle.”

Now, the in-laws often carry out their royal duties together, such as promoting their “Heads Together” campaign to raise awareness on mental health.

NJ college: Professor fired for racially insensitive remarks

A New Jersey community college has fired an adjunct professor after officials say she made racially insensitive comments on Fox News.

Essex County College's president announced the decision Friday, two weeks after Lisa Durden's appeared on "Tucker Carlson Tonight."

College officials said they received complaints about Durden's interview with Carlson. Durden, who is black, discussed a Memorial Day event held exclusively for black people hosted by a Black Lives Matter group.

When Carlson asked her thoughts, Durden interrupted the host, saying: "Boo hoo hoo. You white people are angry because you couldn't use your white privilege card" to attend the event.

The show aired June 6, and the school suspended Durden with pay two days later. She addressed the matter during a public meeting Tuesday with school officials, but was soon fired.

Essex County College President Anthony Munroe said the school "supports and affirms the right of free speech and independent views and expressions of those views" for faculty and staff. He also noted that although Durden did not mention her affiliation with the school during her television appearance or claim to be representing its views, "her employment with us and potential impact on students required our immediate review into what seemed to have become a very contentious and divisive issue."

Durden has said the school "publicly lynched" her.

Durden told on Friday that she has received a lot of support from school staff members and students, but compared her experience to a rape victim who is blamed for the crime, and a person who returns from war to a hostile environment.

Durden's attorney, Leslie Farber, said she believes her client's free speech rights were violated. Farber said they were considering whether to take legal action in the matter.

"I fully believe that institutions of higher learning must provide a safe space for students to explore, discuss and debate, not only academic philosophies, but the harder issues related to living harmoniously and growing together in our communities and as a country," Munroe wrote in a statement announcing the firing. "The character of this institution mandates that we embrace diversity, inclusion, and unity. Racism cannot be fought with more racism."

Gaga on gay pride: It's a time to shine light on equality

Lady Gaga, a longtime supporter of gay rights, says pride weekend is a time to shine a light on equality.

"This weekend is a time for us all to reflect on the importance of tolerance and the importance of bravery and kindness, (and) the importance of us supporting one another," the pop star said in an interview with The Associated Press on Friday.

The pride parade in New York City, Gaga's hometown, kicks off Sunday.

The Grammy-winning performer, like Madonna, Cher and others before her, has a strong gay fan base who credits the singer with pushing gay rights to the forefront.

Gaga said she's touched to witness the "beautiful pride that I see so many of friends and the LGBTQ community have."

"It's a beautiful pride that we all should be in awe of," she added.

Sunday's parade in Manhattan, which starts on Fifth Avenue, ends in the West Village.

Opera pops up at NYC garage, dive bar, basketball court

Opera has been popping up recently at the most unlikely New York places: a revamped garage, a dive bar, a basketball court and even an old aircraft carrier.

It's part of a festival with an in-your-face goal — to bring this once grandiose art form to ordinary places where people hang out.

The New York Opera Fest 2017 that ends in late June has drawn casual, but curious, spectators, some of whom may never have gone to an expensive production in a plush theater.

On Saturday, composer Darius Milhaud's "The Guilty Mother" got its U.S. premiere in the onetime garage on Manhattan's West Side — a story rife with adultery and intrigue.

The more than 30 festival spectacles included a Brooklyn basketball court that hosted a hip-hop opera called "Bounce," with a group of public school kids participating. Children also were invited, free of charge, to Public School 129 in Harlem for a playground performance last week of Donizetti's "The Elixir of Love." The kids helped create the production, from designing the costumes to singing in the chorus.

Excerpts from Bizet's "Carmen" were heard in a bar called Freddy's in Brooklyn's Park Slope neighborhood, under a beer-stained wall.

And Mozart melodies floated through a lush community garden on Manhattan's Upper West Side for the composer's "La Finta Giardiniera," a free performance in which a noblewoman poses as a simple gardener while caught up in her own romantic twists and turns.

In Harlem, the Baylander, a decommissioned aircraft carrier, was the stage for Tom Cipullo's "Glory Denied," which dives into the struggles of an American prisoner of war in Vietnam.

The festival serves to counter the shrinking audiences for the formal grand opera tradition. Organizers say that experimenting with new ways of presenting it to spectators of all ages has pumped fresh blood into this still great musical theater.

The festival, starting in May, brought together a group of small, innovative companies experts say are the cutting-edge future of the classical arts.



In Moscow, 1 million people visit relics of popular saint

Over a million people have visited the relics of Saint Nicholas, one of the Russian Orthodox Church's most revered figures, since they were brought to Moscow last month.

A total of 1,021,500 people have paid their respects to the holy remains, according to data published Saturday on an official website for the relics.

The queue to see the fragments of the saint's bones on display has regularly extended several kilometers from Moscow's Cathedral of Christ the Savior since the May 23 beginning of public viewings.

The huge turnout underlines the important of the Orthodox Church and the defining role religion plays for many Russians a quarter-century after the collapse of the officially atheist Soviet Union.

The relics, on loan from Italy, will be moved to St. Petersburg later this month.

Dior designer celebrates decade at helm at Paris menswear

Celebrating a decade at the creative helm of Dior Homme on Saturday, designer Kris Van Assche held court with Christian Slater, Jamie Bell and Kata Mara at his catwalk collection that paid homage to the iconic Dior suit.

Here are some highlights of the spring-summer 2018 menswear collections at Paris Fashion Week.


It was the suit, but not as we know it.

Retracing the origins of Dior Homme without a hint of nostalgia, 41-year-old Belgian designer Van Assche took the house's bread-and-butter two-piece and deconstructed it to produce an edgy, celebratory show.

Tailored in black Ottoman, the new double-breasted blazer was cut with an exaggeratedly nipped waist in a retro style. Long sleeveless coats had surreally bulbous hips and tail coats were cut on the bias.

"I've been here for 10 years now and I wanted to play with the DNA of the brand — the black suit and the white shirt. How can we reinvent it?" Van Assche told The Associated Press.

In case guests momentarily forget what show they were attending, there were plenty of funky reminders: Silk scarves around the neck with the Dior Homme atelier address (3, Rue Marignan). Long angular-shouldered coats were also fastidiously patterned with micro text that repeated the house's name.

Dior Homme defined the collection shown Saturday at Paris Fashion Week as a "fusion of sport and suit."

Halfway through it was clear why, as the sartorial musings gave way to varsity styles such as silken American baseball jackets with Paris emblazoned on the front, and collegiate V-neck tank tops in flame red that ticked the box for the house's younger clientele.



Looking slick in a black Dior Homme suit without a tie, actor Jamie Bell arrived with his actress fiancee Kate Mara at the Grand Palais venue to a flurry of camera flashes.

Mara, who wore a white silk gown, joked that their highly-anticipated wedding would be taking place "today," since they both looked the part.

"Today. We're appropriately dressed. We'll be walking down this aisle," Mara told The Associated Press.

Although the 34-year-old actress would not disclose who would be designing her wedding dress, Bell was less coy.

"Well, I know who I'm wearing, Am I allowed to say this? Dior of course. They've always been good to me over the years. I'm going to wear a bow tie," he said.

"And doesn't he look handsome in Dior?" Mara said.

Mara's latest movie "Megan Leavey," a true life story about a young Marine corporal in Iraq, was released June 9. She said she was "super honored and proud to be telling Megan Leavey's story because she's definitely a hero of mine. And it's rare that there are movies about females in the military."



Designer Olivier Rousteign's fascination with Faberge eggs, couture and Russian imperial glamour seemed to make a bold return at Saturday's indulgent Balmain collection.

The blue-and-gold Faberge egg that Richard Burton once gave to Elizabeth Taylor has been a touchstone for the 31-year-old designer in the past. Here, the iconic ornament — created for the Romanovs from 1885 to 1916, when the company was run by Peter Carl Faberge — seemed to be evoked in black and white.

The result was a show of highly structured clothes — for men and women — with dazzling decorations. Embellished cross-over coats conjured up styles of Russian Tatars with belts nipping the waist. A black long-sleeved mini-dress bore thick tectonic plates on the torso and heavy threading that looked like a shell or protection for a warrior.

And then black-and-white striped tuxedos, with lines in all directions, seemed to fast forward to the exuberance of the Jazz Age.

The show was, predictably, a little over-the-top.



Fashion brings people together. American actors Christian Slater and Rami Malek — both of hit U.S. television series Mr. Robot — unexpectedly ran into each other during Paris Fashion Week.

"It honestly randomly happened, yeah. I did not know he was going to be here. He didn't know I was going to be here. And we actually bumped into each other on the street yesterday. So incredible," Slater told the AP.

Malek, who joined his co-star on the Dior front row, talked about the upcoming third season of the award-winning techno-thriller show.

"Take all that kind of excitement and frenetic energy of the first season. And all the information you get from the second one. Combine it together and it's a ... wild ride," Malek said.



One of Japan's most lucrative fashion houses, Sacai has built a reputation for the avant-garde and quirky. This was on full display in Saturday's color-rich show.

This season, Asia was in the air. An oversize tubular cuff that mirrored the sleeve of a kimono was a leitmotif in Sacai's 49-piece display that showcased both men's and women's designs.

Asian styles were evoked in the multitudinous use of layers — a thick hybrid poncho in Cerulean blue with tassels, or an oversize coat covered in blurred text that looked like a decorative pattern. Models walked the runway on thick Geisha "geta" clogs.

Bright flashes of citrus yellow — a color that symbolizes courage in Japan — came on a bold silken shoulderless design with a billowing skirt and box pleating. It's a look that only a courageous fashionista could wear.

And even the checked suits — normally a Western signature — were rendered here in the Madras fabric pattern.



Hermes has become a byword for simple, unpretentious luxury. With panache, veteran menswear designer Veronique Nichanian proved this again in a classy, masculine show Saturday for spring-summer 2018.

Tasteful colors such as ruddy pink, steel, dusty brown, copper and cobalt blue set off the beautifully cut simple silhouettes. High-waisted baggy pants mixed with fitted bombers, or loose luxuriant sweaters rolled up at the sleeves.

Metallic red shiny pants and hoodies provided this season's twist.

Unlike most Paris fashion shows, the collection produced no far-flung concept, gimmick or muse, simply because none was needed. Nichanian — who's been at the helm of this family-run business for an incredible 29 years — is an expert at letting the clothes do the talking.


Thomas Adamson can be followed at

Jeremy Corbyn gets rock star welcome at Glastonbury Festival

Britain's famed Glastonbury music festival has embraced an unlikely headline act: Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Corbyn, 68, received a rock star welcome from thousands of festival-goers, who chanted his name and held up signs that read "I love Jeremy Corbyn" as he took to the festival's main stage. Corbyn gave a wide-ranging speech on women's rights, Brexit, global warming and London's Grenfell Tower fire tragedy.

Even before his arrival, music fans at the festival were singing "Oh, Jeremy Corbyn" to the tune of "Seven Nation Army."

The politician, who is popular with Britain's young voters, was set to introduce U.S. hip hop duo Run The Jewels.

Performers at this year's Glastonbury included Katy Perry, Foo Fighters, Radiohead and Ed Sheeran.

Trumps attend wedding of treasury secretary and actress

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump were among the guests as Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin (mih-NOO'-shin's) married a Scottish actress.

Mnuchin exchanged vows Saturday night with Louise Linton at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington.

Mrs. Trump wore a pink blush dress and the president was in a tux. Vice President Mike Pence also attended.

The 54-year-old Mnuchin worked for the Goldman Sachs investment firm for nearly two decades before founding a hedge fund. He also ran a company that invested in Hollywood movies and was finance chairman of Trump's presidential campaign.

The 36-year-old Linton has appeared in movies and TV shows. Mnuchin also produced movies before joining the government.

It's Mnuchin's third marriage and the second for Linton.

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