Abayas only: NY show spotlights rise of modest fashion

Designer Vivi Zubedi at New York Fashion Week in New York City. (AFP)
Updated 12 February 2018
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Abayas only: NY show spotlights rise of modest fashion

NEW YORK: Indonesian designer Vivi Zubedi made her New York solo runway show debut on Sunday, wowing the crowd with her abaya-only collection as she hopes to capitalize on the growing market for modest, Muslim fashions.
In September, she showcased her signature look in a joint show shared with other designers from her homeland. It went so well that she jetted back to New York with the aim of drumming up more business.
“Very excited!” Zubedi said backstage after being mobbed by friends and family, taking selfies with stylish US bloggers who admire her fashion-forward Islamic style dressing even if they are not Muslim.
“I have a lot of clients here actually,” she said.
It was standing room only as Zubedi sent down the runway a collection of batik prints, black and midnight blue velvet, pearl-rimmed hijabs and American baseball-style hats perched on the top of headscarves.
Unlike the average US catwalk display of leg and cleavage, there was barely a strand of hair in sight, and even hands were cloaked in leather gloves or shielded by flouncy lacy cuffs.
Zubedi’s signature product is the abaya — the loose, flowing head to toe black garment worn by Muslim women.
But it was far from the throw-on-an-abaya-to-head-to-the-shops kind of look.
This was luxury, crystal-embossed material shimmering in the light, pearls draped around the neck, ruffled sleeves and hip hop meets tradition — a daring black leather jacket zipped up on top.
“I thought the show was amazing,” US blogger and stylist Dyandra Raye told AFP. “I would wear all of them! I’m super dramatic!“
Fashion writer Kristen Martin agreed.
“I absolutely loved it,” Martin told AFP. “I think it’s really important for us to embrace each other’s culture.”


Avengers assemble for final battle in ‘Endgame’

Updated 24 April 2019
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Avengers assemble for final battle in ‘Endgame’

  • “Avengers: Endgame” is the final installment of a wildly ambitious 22-film arc featuring the beloved superheroes of the Marvel universe
  • Pundits are predicting a debut weekend that could break records with the first billion-dollar opening in history

LOS ANGELES: After nearly two dozen films and billions of dollars in ticket sales around the globe, the Avengers are gearing up for a final time — and their last adventure could shatter all box office records.
“Avengers: Endgame” is the final installment of a wildly ambitious 22-film arc featuring the beloved superheroes of the Marvel universe, many of them the creations of late comic book legend Stan Lee.
It hits theaters this week — parts of Asia and Europe get the first view of the three-hour epic on Wednesday, and it gets its wide release in the US and Canada on Friday. Pundits are predicting a debut weekend that could break records with the first billion-dollar opening in history.
That would easily beat out the previous record holder, “Avengers: Infinity War,” the first part of the “Infinity Saga” — as it was dubbed by Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, who has produced every single movie in the franchise — which opened in 2018 with $640.5 million.
After Monday’s star-studded world premiere in Hollywood, the six original Avengers celebrated the end of the road Tuesday at the iconic TCL Chinese Theatre.
Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) assembled for a final time with Feige at the TCL Chinese Theatre, where they signed blocks of cement and marked them with handprints.
“It’s been an amazing ride,” Ruffalo — who attempted a handstand while waiting for the cement to set — said of the 10-year project.
The 21 preceding films have earned about $19 billion globally, and though “Endgame” marks the end of the current narrative arc, Marvel Studios is far from through.

Even as they mark the end of what Johansson called a “wonderful” experience, Marvel Studios has already announced several new projects: in addition to sequels for “Spider-Man,” “Black Panther” and “Doctor Strange,” there will also be “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” “The Eternals” and “Black Widow,” the second Marvel universe film to give a female character solo top billing.
“The fun thing about an ending is that you eventually get to do a new beginning,” Feige told AFP.
“So yes, there will be a new beginning, but right now, it’s about this combination of 22 movies. That’s what we’re most excited for.”
In preparation for the marvelous cinematic conclusion, “Endgame” directors Joe and Anthony Russo took to Twitter to post a letter to “the greatest fans in the world.”
“This is it,” they wrote. “This is the end. The end of an unprecedented narrative mosaic spanning eleven years and eleven franchises.”
They acknowledged the massive impact that the Avengers series has had on its fans, saying it was for “all of you who have been on this journey with us since the very beginning.”
Fans have been on the edge of their seats for the conclusion, and the cast has been notoriously tight-lipped during the press tour for fear of potential spoilers.
But someone couldn’t wait: on Sunday, five minutes of “Endgame” footage containing crucial plot points from the finale were anonymously posted online, prompting the Russo brothers’ letter.
The brothers concluded their message with an appeal: not to spoil the end of the movie.
“Remember,” the Russo brothers said, “Thanos still demands your silence. #DontSpoilTheEndgame.”