Husband's Paris catwalk love letter to 'Queen of Punk' Westwood

British designer Vivienne Westwood appears with her husband Andreas Kronthaler at the end of his show for fashion house Vivienne Westwood, during Fashion Week in Paris, France, Mar. 3, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 03 March 2018
0

Husband's Paris catwalk love letter to 'Queen of Punk' Westwood

PARIS: Designer Andreas Kronthaler made a touching declaration of love to his wife Vivienne Westwood at their lapel's storming Paris fashion show Saturday.
The flamboyant Austrian creator - who many including himself believe is the basis for comedian Sacha Baron Cohen's 2009 fashion satire "Bruno" - pulled out all the stops in a joyous romp of a collection that put his spin on the Queen of Punk's iconoclastic career.
"I don't like looking back, it's not my way," Kronthaler, who took the reins of the brand two years ago, told AFP.
"But looking at our time together and how many things she has inspired in me and taught me... I just thought, how wonderful."
His notes for the show was a love letter to his wife, citing her golden rule, "When in doubt, dress up!"
"I still think to this day you are the best dressed woman in any room. Love you forever," said the designer who met Westwood as a student when he was 25 and she 50.
Westwood, now 76, cheered her husband - who she has called "the world's greatest designer" - after the show along with American actress Rose McGowan, who helped launch the #MeToo movement accusing the disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein of rape.
"That is what (fashion) should be. It was great," she told AFP.
The collection ranged over Westwood's career from the 1970s with lots of feathers and frills to counter its gender fluid side, with three male go-go dancers in impossibly high platform boots and eight male models walking the catwalk along with 20 women.
Kronthaler said he copied two pieces in the collection, a mohair punk sweater that Westwood knitted for herself - "which says so much about you, and the other is the catsuit which you used to wear when I first met you."
Meanwhile, French designer Veronique Leroy had earlier shown her collection on the screen of a Champs Elysees cinema.
She told AFP her wool-rich autumn-winter range that featured Harris tweed coats and jackets was inspired by country weekends and that she shot the film in rural Burgundy.
"I have been thinking of showing my work for ages in another way other than on the catwalk," she said.
"I said to myself I just can't go on doing the same repetition thing... and in the end I think we showed the clothes and how I came with them better than we could have in a show."


Drunk on smoke: Notre Dame’s bees survive cathedral blaze

Updated 20 April 2019
0

Drunk on smoke: Notre Dame’s bees survive cathedral blaze

PARIS: Hunkered down in their hives and drunk on smoke, Notre Dame’s smallest official residents — some 180,000 bees — somehow managed to survive the inferno that consumed the cathedral’s ancient wooden roof.
Confounding officials who thought they had perished, the bees clung to life, protecting their queen.
“It’s a big day. I am so relieved. I saw satellite photos that showed the three hives didn’t burn,” Notre Dame beekeeper Nicolas Geant told The Associated Press on Friday.
“Instead of killing them, the CO2 (from smoke) makes them drunk, puts them to sleep,” he explained.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Beeopic (@beeopic) on


Geant has overseen the bees since 2013, when three hives were installed on the roof of the stone sacristy that joins the south end of the monument. The move was part of a Paris-wide initiative to boost declining bee numbers. Hives were also introduced above Paris’ gilded Opera.
The cathedral’s hives were lower than Notre Dame’s main roof and the 19th-century spire that burned and collapsed during Monday evening’s fire.
Since bees don’t have lungs, they can’t die from smoke inhalation — but they can die from excessive heat. European bees, unlike some bee species elsewhere, don’t abandon their hives when facing danger.
“When bees sense fire, they gorge themselves on honey and stay to protect their queen, who doesn’t move,” Geant said. “I saw how big the flames were, so I immediately thought it was going to kill the bees. Even though they were 30 meters (nearly 100 feet) lower than the top roof, the wax in the hives melts at 63 degrees Celsius (145.4 Fahrenheit).”

Notre Dame Cathedral’s three beehives — home to more than 180,000 bees  — survived the destructive fire. (Instagram/Beeopic)

If the wax that protects their hive melts, the bees simply die inside, Geant explained.
Smoke, on the other hand, is innocuous. Beekeepers regularly smoke out the hives to sedate the colony whenever they need access inside. The hives produce around 75 kilograms (165 pounds) of honey annually, which is sold to Notre Dame employees.
Notre Dame officials saw the bees on top of the sacristy Friday, buzzing in and out of their hives.
“I wouldn’t call it a miracle, but I’m very, very happy,” Geant added.