Ancient wrestling offers a future for some in modern India

Indian Kushti wrestlers wait for their turn to practice rope climbing, during their daily training in Haryana, India. (AP)
Updated 12 December 2017
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Ancient wrestling offers a future for some in modern India

BAHADURGARH: Wearing nothing but loincloths, a group of boys warm up by climbing sturdy ropes that take them high into the trees. One teenager walks around the wrestling pit swirling incense, blessing the arena and preparing it for battle.
These devotees of kushti wrestling have made a commitment that extends beyond the hours they spend practicing each morning and evening. They live an ascetic lifestyle, not eating meat and refraining from smoking, drinking and dating.
Like many traditions in a country that’s rapidly modernizing, kushti wrestling faces the threat of being left behind. But for many poor families, wrestling provides a glimmer of hope. Those who succeed can earn money, respect in their communities and even particular jobs. They’re often employed by the police force or India’s railways.


Bella and Donatella star in new Versace campaign

Bella Hadid walking in a Versace show earlier this year. (AFP)
Updated 19 December 2018
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Bella and Donatella star in new Versace campaign

DUBAI: US-Palestinian model Bella Hadid stars in a new ad campaign for Italian fashion house Versace — and it’s interesting to say the least.

The model stars alongside chief designer Donatella Versace in the campaign for the luxury label’s Spring/Summer 2019 women’s collection.

In a video, which Donatella teased on Instagram on Tuesday, the designer can be seen giving Bella a tattoo of the word “Versace,” while Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” music plays to dramatic, almost unnerving, effect. The camera pulls out to show Bella, in a blue mini dress, being inked up by a black-clad Donatella, before the 22-year-old model stares at the camera as it zooms back in.

While the tattoo is almost certainly fake, the model’s dedication to Versace is seemingly quite real — she has walked the runway for the high-end brand on more than one occasion and has featured in a number of adverts for the Italian fashion giant.

The theatrical campaign video is just one part of the push to promote the new collection, with Hadid being joined by the likes of model Irina Shayk and 1990s supermodel Shalom Harlow in a series of photographs.

The collection is marked by bold prints, patchwork and leather and was first unveiled during Milan Fashion Week in September.

In the show, Hadid wore a tight one-shouldered mini dress in yellow leather and matching sneakers.

Some of the prints used in the collection include colored stripes, bright flowers over pinstripes, checks, roses and small flowers mimicking animal prints.

“The style of the Versace woman is so recognizable that it need not be explained. She is not afraid of showing her personality and she is extremely feminine and confident,” read a style note by the fashion house, known for its daring designs.

Close-fitting silhouettes, flared trousers and layered looks feature in the collection that is distinguished by its use of orange, violet and lime colors.

The line also features big boxed bags that echo old-fashioned travel trunks and large PVC shopping bags emblazoned with Versace writing. In terms of footwear, chunky sneakers, college shoes, or square-heeled sandals are currently favored by the fashion house.

The brand with the famed Medusa logo said that her “mystic powers and ever-powerful persona are evident now more than ever,” according to the show notes in September.

Fake snakeskin, flowers, polished leather and layer upon layer, the Versace collection has been hailed as eclectic and refined by AFP.