Monthly Archives: September 2019

  • Wang hauls Brooklyn into NYC fashion week


    For decades the poor cousin of Manhattan, Brooklyn cemented its growing status as the hip soul of New York on Saturday by hosting its first couture catwalk show in fashion week.


    Alexander Wang, creative director of Balenciaga, unveiled his hotly anticipated collection at the same Brooklyn Naval Yard venue chosen by Lady Gaga for her recent album launch.

    Wang turned the Duggal Greenhouse into a futuristic set with metallic pillars and a rotating stage to show off his androgenous collection. Techno music blasted as models showcased his wares.

    Wang said the idea was to combine sartorial elements with the great outdoors and a nod to global warming, making the Duggal Greenhouse the perfect location.

    A highlight of his work was the use of heat-activated fabric that changed from black to colour when exposed to warm temperature.

    The greenhouse, which he described as an “amazing location,” is “really a big part in the whole concept of the heat sensitive material,” the designer said.

    Asked about his choice to decamp to Brooklyn, he said “why not?” and that it had been really fun.

    “I don’t know if it’s a trend, it is something I feel very strongly about and fashion is always moving forward and changing, so why not have the location change?” he said.

    The female models, with their hair gelled and combed over to mimic male haircuts, powered down the runway in sharp, tailored coats and suits that had angular lines and blocks of colour.

    Outfits on display included outerwear covered in pockets, woollens with 3D applique squares that seemed to mimic dials on a machine, tops with buckles on cuffs, and black and brown leather shirts.

    There were also leather boots rising to mid-thigh that were tight around the foot but open in the back.

    The tomboy androgenous look was emphasised by models with shaved eyebrows, some of whom carried purses reminiscent of a carpenter’s tool belt.

    Wang wooed his fashionista crowd across the river with discounted prices on a taxi service and laid on buses and water taxis for guests coming from Manhattan.

    Reactions to the show were generally positive.

    Chris Moore, a photographer for the Financial Times, Britain’s Sunday Times and Harpers Bazaar UK, said the show was “fast and furious” with a “very lovely ambiance.”

    Jawria Waupe, a stylish male audience member sporting a turtleneck sweater and a cross around his neck, said it was one of Wang’s best.

    “This show was one of the most amazing shows he’s ever done. I liked it,” he told AFP.

    “I like the boots more importantly,” he said.

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  • Record-equalling Bjoerndalen wins gold


    Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bjoerndalen made a mockery of his 40 years on Saturday when he won a record-equalling 12th Winter Olympic medal as Sochi’s senior citizens nudged aside younger rivals.


    Bjoerndalen went level with compatriot Bjorn Daehlie, who also gathered 12 medals in his cross country career.

    He also became the oldest gold medallist in an individual event thanks to an astonishing display of raw power and technique which saw him romp to victory in the 10km sprint.

    But the Norwegian, nicknamed ‘The Cannibal’, wasn’t the only evergreen athlete chewing up the competition on the first full day of action on the edge of the Black Sea.

    Outspoken ski star Bode Miller, 36, was headline-grabbing on and off the slopes at Rosa Khotur, dominating downhill training before lambasting the state of the course.

    Meanwhile, 30-year-old Austrian veteran Daniela Iraschko-Stolz was the top performer as women made their ski jumping debut at the Olympics.

    And 33-year-old Marit Bjoergen won her fourth Olympic title and became the most successful female Norwegian Olympian in history, after taking the first cross-country skiing gold of the Games in the women’s skiathlon.

    At least, snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg of the United States broke the magic spell of the senior performers when the 20-year-old claimed the first gold medal of the Sochi Olympics in men’s slopestyle.

    Bjoerndalen was the undoubted star of the day when he overcame a penalty lap to clock 24min 33.5sec to take his seventh Olympic gold in his sixth Games ahead of Austria’s Dominik Landertinger, in 24:34.8sec, and Jaroslav Soukup of the Czech Republic, who clocked 24:39.2.

    In the aftermath of the race, Daehlie told reporters that Bjoerndalen was comfortably the greatest ever Norwegian athlete.

    “It is nice to hear that from Bjorn, but for me he still is the biggest star in Norway and in the world,” said the champion.

    Ski veteran Miller, who won gold, silver and bronze at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, was fastest in training for Sunday’s blue riband medal race up in Rosa Khutor.

    But he then unleashed a fierce critique of the challenges of the course.

    “This course is very treacherous. It has teeth everywhere,” he said.

    In the spectacular slopestyle event, Kotsenburg, who only just squeezed into the final, claimed the inaugural title.

    His first run scored 93.50 and although some of his rivals put in high scores on their second runs, the 20-year-old from Utah held on for victory.

    “I’m really excited. It feels awesome. I don’t know what to call it,” said Kotsenburg.

    Norway’s Staale Sandbech (91.75) claimed silver while Mark McMorris of Canada took bronze with 88.75.

    Bjoergen claimed her fourth career gold to become her country’s most successful female Olympian, surpassing legendary figure skater Sonja Henie.

    Under stunning blue skies at the Laura cross-country ski centre, Bjoergen won the combined 7.5km classic style/7.5km freestyle event.

    Sweden’s Charlotte Kalla was second with Heidi Weng of Norway taking the bronze.

    Bjoergen won three golds in Vancouver four years ago.

    In women’s ski jumping, Iraschko-Stolz won two of the three training jumps, ahead of Japanese teen star Sara Takanashi.

    Speed skater Sven Kramer retained his Olympic 5000m title, destroying the field to win by nearly five seconds as the Netherlands swept the podium, 50 years after the last clean sweep.

    Kramer’s time of 6min 10.76sec was a new Olympic record. Jan Blokhuijsen took silver in 6:15.71 while Jorrit Bergsma (6:16.66) won bronze.

    In the last medal event of the day, Justine Dufour-Lapointe edged out sister Chloe as the Canadians ended the reign of American Hannah Kearney in the women’s moguls.

    The youngest of three sisters in the freestyle skiing moguls final, 19-year-old Justine scored 74.80 percent in the final run to claim victory.

    Middle sister Chloe, 22, scored 72.20 to take silver while Kearney, the champion in Vancouver four years ago, took bronze with 71.63.

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  • Finance News Update, what you need to know



    The Australian dollar is higher after the it was reported that the US unemployment rate fell to 6.


    6 per cent from 6.7 per cent January.

    At 0630 AEDT on Monday, the local unit was trading at 89.59 US cents, up from 89.44 cents on Friday.

    And the Australian share market looks set to open higher following gains on Wall Street despite disappointing US jobs data.

    At 0645 AEDT on Tuesday, the March share price index futures contract was up 37 points at 5,159.


    LONDON – Britain’s data watchdog has launched a probe after confidential files relating to Barclays Bank customers were allegedly stolen then sold on to rogue brokers.

    LONDON – The Bank of England’s flagship forward guidance policy linking interest rate decisions to unemployment is widely expected to be ditched – in its current form – this week, after just six months.

    AUCKLAND – Up to 125 workers will lose their jobs after Australasia’s biggest food company Goodman Fielder confirmed it would close its Hamilton meat factory.

    CARACAS – Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro says he wants to speak to Toyota’s top official for Latin America after the carmaker said it would stop production in the South American nation.

    LONDON – Mobile phone operator Vodafone has reportedly tabled a seven billion euro ($A11 billion) bid for Spanish cable company Ono as it attempts to revive its European business.

    TAIPEI – Taiwan technology giant Foxconn group has signed a letter of intent to invest up to $US1 billion ($A1.12 billion) in Indonesia as it seeks to diversify production away from China, officials said Sunday.

    RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazilian tycoon Eike Batista will turn over the bulk of his debt-ridden OGX oil company to creditors in a $US215 million ($A240.60 million) deal that aims to ensure the firm continues to operate.

    SINGAPORE – Top Asian airlines’ profit margins are being eroded by a struggling air cargo business, even as they capitalise on increasing passenger demand, industry executives say.

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  • NZ dollar edges higher after US jobs data


    The New Zealand dollar advanced after a key US employment report pointed to a weaker economy than expected and as risk appetite returned to the market.


    The kiwi touched 84.95 yen over the weekend, its highest level this year, and was trading at 84.81 yen at 8am in Wellington from 83.89 yen at 5pm on Friday.

    The local currency was at 82.83 US cents, from 82.90 cents at the New York close and 82.27 cents at 5pm in Wellington on Friday.

    Investors are looking ahead to testimony by new Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen amid speculation it may be more dovish than previously anticipated after a report in the US on Friday showed the US added 113,000 nonfarm payrolls in January, less than the 185,000 expected.

    Meanwhile, concern about emerging markets is abating, turning investor attention to risk-sensitive currencies such as the kiwi and away from safe havens like the yen.

    “The NZD/USD has benefited from a general improvement in risk appetite, and more specifically from a soft USD on Friday night,” Kymberly Martin, markets strategist at Bank of New Zealand, said.

    “Generally, risk appetite has begun to return to markets as emerging market ructions have moved out of the spotlight as emerging markets have stabilised. This has helped appetite for ‘risk sensitive’ currencies such as the NZD return, at the expense of currencies such as the JPY.”

    The New Zealand dollar rose to 92.39 Australian cents from 91.95 cents in Wellington on Friday ahead of tomorrow’s report on Australian business confidence.

    The local currency advanced to 60.77 euro cents from 60.52 cents on Friday, and increased to 50.47 British pence from 50.39 pence. The trade-weighted index rose to 78.16 from 77.61 last week.

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  • Base metals close higher


    Base metals on the London Metal Exchange (LME) have closed higher amid an improvement in near-term risk appetite in financial markets and the return of Chinese investors after Lunar New Year celebrations outweighed a weaker-than-expected reading on the US labour market.


    At the close of open-outcry trading in the London ring on Friday, LME three-month copper was up 0.2 per cent at $US7,141 a metric ton.

    Aluminium rose 0.4 per cent to $US1,720 a ton, while zinc climbed 1.3 per cent on the day to $US2,022 per ton.

    “Most metals hit multi-week (multi-year in aluminum’s case) lows early in the week but they then rallied strongly ahead of the resumption of trading on the Shanghai Futures Exchange,” noted BNP Paribas commodities strategist Stephen Briggs.

    “Zinc has recovered particularly impressively; we are not alone in favouring this metal.”

    The risk-related metals recovered as emerging market jitters eased and a degree of risk appetite returned to global markets.

    The improved sentiment in the LME complex even withstood a downbeat reading on the US labour market on Friday.

    The Labor Department said the US economy added 113,000 jobs last month, fewer than the 189,000 increase forecast by economists. As base metals are used in a variety of different sectors for a range of applications, such disappointing data on economic activity can push prices lower.

    But prices were robust as Chinese buyers returned from their holidays. The absence of the top consumer had weighed upon market activity and trading volumes. Next week, Chinese trade data will be keenly eyed for price direction, analysts said.

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