NBC: Change will come to ‘Talent’

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — An investigation of Gabrielle Union’s complaints of racism and other troubling behavior on the set of “America’s Got Talent” is being taken very seriously by NBC, the network’s entertainment chief said Saturday.

Paul Telegdy said the company will respond appropriately when it receives the findings of its inquiry, which he said may be completed by the end of January.

“I’m very confident if we learn something ... we will put new practices in place if necessary. We certainly take anyone’s critique of what it means to come to work here incredibly seriously,” the NBC Entertainment chairman told a TV critics meeting during a Q&A session.

“We want to always go after the truth. That’s our culture here, you can ask anyone who works here,” he said.

Union, known for her roles in the films “Bring It On” and “Bad Boys II,” was a judge on the talent showcase for a season, until she and fellow freshman judge Julianne Hough weren’t asked to return.

The trade publication Variety reported that Union, who is black, believed she was fired because she had asked NBC and the show’s producers to respond to an environment that tolerated racist jokes and remarks.

That included what Union said were multiple notes from producers saying she was wearing her hair “too black” for the “America’s Got Talent” audience.

Union had also complained of other behavior, such as judge-producer Simon Cowell’s smoking on the indoor set, Variety reported in November.

NBC has spoken with Union as part of its formal investigation that began in early December.

Without directly referring to NBC or the two companies that produce the show, Fremantle and Syco, Union has tweeted about her situation several times, acknowledging the support she’s gotten and retweeting instructions on how to give a proper apology.

Union’s husband, former NBA player Dwyane Wade, and other prominent people have called for answers on why she was fired.

In a statement last November, NBC and Fremantle defended what they called the show’s “long history of inclusivity and diversity.”

The Screen Actors Guild American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, of which Union is a member, also said that it was working with the actress to investigate her complaints.

Milan designers embrace Gen-Z

MILAN (AP) — The growing influence of Generation Z was clear on the second day of Milan Fashion Week: Emporio Armani unveiled an “upcycled” capsule collection, Dolce&Gabbana filled their front row with teenage champions of the TikTok social media platform. Tailoring was mindful of youthful preferences.

The younger generation is increasingly driving trends and the growth of menswear sales, according to Italian National Fashion Chamber President Carlo Capasa.

Fall/Winter 2020/21 is shaping up to be ‘’the year of the new tailoring,’’ Capasa said, with clear streetwear influences in more formal dressing. Cuts are looser and patterns are a bit bolder.

Also on runways: chunky knitwear and cross-body purses are new menswear protagonists.

Emporio Armani-Recycled

Emporio Armani unveiled a capsule collection of 18 upcycled garments, which designer Giorgio Armani said was only ‘’the start of the discussion.’’

Milan fashion houses are making more public their efforts to create sustainable collections, especially as consumers indicate that environmental consciousness as a key purchasing criterion.

It is fitting that Armani launched the initiative with his Emporio Armani line for youthful dressers.

All of the garments — puffer coats, cargo pants, jumpsuits, ribbed cardigans, among them — were in black and white, easy to mix and match.

Many carried bold writing — ‘’I Am Saying Yes to Recycling’’ — and a new R-EA logo.

Armani said his aim was not to promote his name, but ‘’the Earth.’’

‘’Also in the main collection, I think we should make more recyclable fabrics. This is the beginning of the discussion,’’ Armani pledged.

Youthful Tailoring At Emporio Armani

Giorgio Armani took traditional menswear textiles — Prince of Wales plaid, chevrons and checks — and glammed them up for to suit the younger Emporio Armani man.

That included enlarging the patterns, as if through a magnifying glass, ‘’to create something new,’’ the designer said, or adding a smattering of crystal studs and beads to traditionally cut suits.

‘’This is the dilemma, to use this medium, that we make available especially for young people, in a way that it does not become either grotesque or too feminine,’’ Armani said. ‘’But at a certain point, I say, we need some courage, to get beyond tradition a little bit.’’

Armani dubbed the looks “Classic Pro,” pro for progressive. Key accessories included cross-body purses and puffy shoulder cozies than can prove functional on top of an over-coat or under a jacket.

The color palette was mostly neutrals with streak of black and red combos — two colors that Armani said hold their own together.

Influencers Meet Tradition At Dolce&Gabana

Designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana put their fashion house’s artisans on full display during the Dolce&Gabbana runway show for Fall/Winter 2020/21. Knitwear specialists sat in the showroom foyer, knitting together four strands of yarn, to create the sort of chunky sweaters with Lurex detailing that would later fill the runway. A watchmaker tinkered with dials nearby, and a goldsmith assembled jewelry.

The artisans’ presence highlighted the brand’s DNA, but also the shared heritage that has made Italy the largest producer of luxury goods in the world.

The Dolce&Gabbana collection was softer than usual, with models enveloped in generous knitwear, from big-stitch sweaters, to jumpsuits or long-johns, to full-on cable-knit double-breasted suits.

A model wearing a Jon Snow-style woolly black coat carried an actual living lamb down the runway, as the designers sought link the finished product with its source.

There were a few sartorial notes, like a double-breasted suit worn with a small cross-body bag cinched with a watch chain. But the mood was more cozy than business or evening sleek, featuring rich velvet and corduroy, knitwear knapsacks, distressed work boots and earthy tones.

The designers invited top U.S., British and Italian influencers from the video platform TikTok to the front row. Seventeen-year-old Loren Gray was in from Los Angeles, wearing a gold puffer jacket and virtually accompanied by her 37.2 million TikTok followers.

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FORMAL DRESSING AT NO. 21

At No. 21, Alessandro Dell’Acqua has been wrestling with how to create formal attire for a younger generation, bent on comfort and having come of age in a street wear-era.

‘’Young people want to have something formal, but they don’t want it to be too classic,’’ Dell’Acqua said backstage before the show. ‘’We need to give them something with a more interesting attitude.’’

His reply: looser fits, interesting elements like trailing belts, soft cashmere and mohair sweaters with erotic cut-outs, baring the back or the abs.

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PSYCHEDELIC CLASSICS AT MARCELO BURLON COUNTY OF MILAN

DJ-turned-designer Marcelo Burlon tapped his clubbing background for a menswear collection that aims to distort.

The looks are utilitarian, from puffer coats, to bombers to shorts and easy-fitting trousers, but imprinted with a psychedelic version of classic houndstooth that morphs later into a colorful amoeba pattern. For a night at the clubs, Burlon encrusted jackets with bedazzling Swarovski crystals.

‘’Elegance for me in a man could be the attitude more than the clothes,’’ he said before the show. ‘’You can wear really bad combinations, but you have such an amazing attitude that the clothes are not that important.’’

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A BRITISH FASHION INVASION

Young British designers have set up camp within the confines of Milan Fashion Week as part of a new collaboration with the British Fashion Council meant to strengthen bonds of solidarity.

British Fashion Council President Caroline Rush said the invitation couldn’t have come at a better time, with Brexit looming.

‘’This shines a spotlight on how important our European partners are to the British fashion industry,’’ she said. Many of the young designers present source their textiles in Italy, for example, which produces 41% of the global luxury goods. And the exposure during Milan Fashion Week gives them fresh commercial possibilities.

While the fashion industry opposed Brexit, Rush said she hoped that British politicians ‘’will be listening to the fashion industry as they’re negotiating trade deals, obviously not just with the EU but also with all the other markets.’’

The president of the Italian National Fashion Chamber Carlo Capasa said the collaboration aims to send also the political world a message that the fashion world is for inclusivity, and against divisions. He noted that Italian exports to Japan rose by 14% last year, following a free trade agreement between the two countries.

‘’That means everything works better in the world when we don’t put walls, much less borders, when we allow people and merchandise to circulate,’’ he said.