Marc Jacobs closes out Fashion Week with an operatic finale

Models depart the runway em masse at the conclusion of the Marc Jacobs 2018 Spring/Summer fashion show during Fashion Week in New York. (AP)
Updated 14 September 2017

Marc Jacobs closes out Fashion Week with an operatic finale

NEW YORK: Marc Jacobs closed out New York Fashion Week with an operatic finale, playing the aria from “La Wally” used in the movie “Diva.” And the rest was silence. Literally. The models walked in the cavernous, unadorned Park Avenue Armory with no soundtrack, their every footstep audible. At Michael Kors, the soundtrack was live: Sara Bareilles sang four songs, ending with her hit “Brave.” Some highlights of the final day of shows:
Marc jacobs’ holiday of the mind
Marc Jacobs is known for beginning his shows exactly on time, so at 6:01 p.m. on Wednesday, the last few ticketholders were scurrying frantically on their stilettos, heels clacking on the wooden floor to avoid getting caught in the center of the cavernous space as the models began their journey. This fashion show was waiting for no one.
Like he did in February, Jacobs held his runway show in a spare, undecorated Park Avenue Armory, rendering it utterly unrecognizable from the beginning of the week, when Tom Ford had turned it into a luxe nightclub setting bathed in purple light, with waiters serving vodka cocktails. Jacobs also had his models walk slowly and deliberately in total silence, playing music only at the finale, when the aria from “Diva” was piped into the space.
But the clothing was anything but spare: Jacobs’ models wore brilliant colors like orange and yellow, and big, bold floral prints. Silhouettes, as he explained in his show notes, were “exaggerated, decadent and exotic” — a result of a vacation over the last few months.
But it was a vacation of the mind only. “While friends vacationed, we took a holiday in our heads and went somewhere,” he said, adding that the collection had come from a reimagining of previous seasons, “somewhere beyond the urban landscape of New York City.”
The most notable look: Turbans. Everyone had them, and they came in all colors — partly inspired, Jacobs said, by Kate Moss, who famously wore a gold one to the Met Gala with Jacobs in 2009.
As they were at Calvin Klein, tassels were definitely a favored touch for accessories like bags and shoes. Speaking of bags, some were enormous, and some were tiny — part of those exaggerated shapes Jacobs spoke of. Some were fanny packs.
Much-followed models Kendall Jenner and Gigi and Bella Hadid all walked, but the honor of closing the show went to the week’s breakout star, newbie Kaia Gerber — daughter of supermodel Cindy Crawford.
In the audience: Zosia Mamet, Courtney Love and Nicki Minaj, in a revealing black bustier. “It just seemed super surreal,” Minaj said on her way out. “Everything was next level. Colors! I loved it.”


World’s loudest bird sings heart out in pursuit of love

This image obtained October 21, 2019 courtesy of Anselmo d’Affonseca shows a male white bellbird (Procnias albus)screaming its mating call. Deep in the Amazon, a white-plumed suitor weighing no more than half a pound turns to face his paramour before belting out a defeaning, klaxon-like call, reaching decibel levels equal to a pile driver. (AFP)
Updated 22 October 2019

World’s loudest bird sings heart out in pursuit of love

  • The researchers wrote that its calls are so loud, they wondered how white bellbird females listen at close range without damaging their hearing

WASHINGTON: In the mountainous northern Amazon, a tiny white-plumed suitor turns to face his would-be paramour and belts out a deafening, klaxon-like call, reaching decibel levels equal to a pile driver.
Meet the white bellbird, which has just beaten out its rainforest neighbor, the screaming piha, for the title of the world’s loudest bird.
Biologist Jeff Podos at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Mario Cohn-Haft of Brazil’s Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazonia described the record-breaking finding in a paper published in the journal Current Biology on Monday.
The researchers wrote that its calls are so loud, they wondered how white bellbird females listen at close range without damaging their hearing.
The feat is all the more impressive given the species’ diminutive size: they’re about as big as doves, weighing around half a pound (a quarter of a kilogram).
The males are distinguished by a fleshy black wattle adorned with white specks that falls from the beak, while the females are green with dark streaks and wattle-less.
Podos told AFP he was lucky enough to witness females join males on their perches as they sang.
“He sings the first note facing away, and then he does this dramatic, almost theatrical swivel, where he swings around with his feet wide open and his wattle is kind of flailing around,” he said.
“And he blasts that second note right where the female would have been, except the female knows what’s coming and she’s not going to sit there and accept that so she flies backwards” by around four meters (13 feet).
It’s not clear why the females voluntarily expose themselves to the noise at such proximity, which reaches peak levels of 113 decibels — above the human pain threshold and equivalent to a loud rock concert or a turbo-prop plane 200 feet (60 meters) away achieving liftoff power.
“Maybe they are trying to assess males up close, though at the risk of some damage to their hearing systems,” Podos added.

Still, since the scientists didn’t actually observe the birds ever mating, “We don’t know if the males we saw were accomplished males or dorks,” said Podos.
The pair used high-quality sound recorders and high-speed video to slow the action enough to study how the bird uses its anatomy to achieve such levels of noise — louder than much larger howler monkeys or bison, but probably not as loud as lions, elephants or whales.
“We don’t know how small animals manage to get so loud. We are truly at the early stages of understanding this biodiversity,” said Podos.
They also found that as the bird’s call gets louder, it also gets shorter, and theorized the trade-off may be occurring because the birds’ respiratory systems have a finite ability to control airflow and generate sound.
This, they said, would place a natural anatomical limit on how loud the bird could evolve to become through sexual selection, or selection for traits that are advantageous for reproduction.