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Swimmer's Atlantic crossing attempt foiled in France

Plus a fashion show featuring dead possums, Chilean miners to launch merchandise line, and more of the week's oddest stories in News You Can Lose.

Coastguards in France have rescued a holidaymaker who was attempting to swim across the Atlantic to New York.

The unidentified London man was described by friends as "naive" after he set off from the beach at Biarritz.

After lifeguards noticed a swimmer beyond the 300 metre safe limit, they contacted police, who sent a helicopter to intercept the man.

According to the gendarmes, they then lowered a diver who explained to the man that "swimming to America was not a good idea".

Despite insisting he was a strong swimmer, the man eventually agreed to turn back.

Miners' memorabilia

The Chilean miners who spent 69 days trapped under -ground have launched a range of souvenirs to commemorate their ordeal.

Using the trade name "The 33 of the miracle", the group will sell T-shirts, coffee mugs and commemorative medals.

The miners achieved world fame after their rescue in 2010 from the San Josť Mine but many now have financial problems.

The miners plan to sell the souvenirs at airports and tourist attractions.

A film that tells their story is also due to begin shooting in November.

Ships 'put crew first'

The cry of "women and children first" is a myth, say researchers who have studied 18 maritime disasters.

Instead, men got into the lifeboat first, according to a study undertaken at the Swedish National Academy of Sciences.

The study concluding that events like the sinking of the RMS Titanic, in which seven out of 10 women and children survived compared to 20 per cent of men, are the exception.

In most disasters, the captain and crew saved themselves first, with the highest death toll among women and children.

The researchers say: "What happened on the Titanic seems to have spurred misconceptions about human behaviour in disasters."

Bear-faced anger

After hundreds of teddy bears were dropped from the air, the president of Belarus has sacked the head of his air force.

The bears, carrying labels calling for freedom, were thrown out of a light aircraft that entered Belarus from Sweden.

The incident, in July, was only confirmed last week, with President Alexander Lukashenko expressing fury that the plane had not been intercepted.

President Lukashenko sacked the head of border security and the air defence commander, demanding: "Why didn't the commanders intercept that flight?"

Pupils play possum

Animal rights organisations have attacked a New Zealand school for staging a fashion show with dead possums.

Children dressed the possums in costumes and then arranged them in poses that included riding a tricycle.

A spokesman for the Royal Society for the Protection of Animals said: "We encourage empathy to all animals, even when they're dead."

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Editor's Picks

 Styled with bleached bobs and pale skin, the models wore clean and sporty separates reminiscent of the chic workwear of The Hunger Games. Courtesy Getty Images

Fashion Forward: Thoughtful tailoring at Asudari

The womenswear label Asudari showcased a collection that featured sharp masculine tailoring, but with feminine silhouettes.

Styled with bleached bobs and pale skin, the models wore clean and sporty separates reminiscent of the chic workwear of The Hunger Games.

Designer Lamia Asudari says she was influenced by Delftware ceramics from the 16th century, as well as the imagery of weaponry and artillery. Indeed, pistols, grenades and guns were emblazoned over jackets and dresses.

 Several of Jo Baaklini's pieces featured fruit prints. Courtesy Getty Images

Fashion Forward: At Starch, watermelon shirts, anyone?

“We need to cultivate our own fashion heroes — our own regional brands,” stressed Fashion Forward’s honcho Bong Guerrero in a press con two weeks ago.

Aptly, the slot for this season’s opening runway show was given to two newbies: Jo Baaklini and Timi Hayek, whose talents were scouted by Starch, a group dedicated to launching emerging Lebanese designers.

Between the two, Mr Baaklini had a stronger showing.

 Jean Louis Sabaji’s collection was very good when the tricks were toned down — like the simple white jumpsuit with a sculptural neckpiece. Stuart C. Wilson / Getty Images

Fashion Forward: Jean Louis Sabaji’s debatable debut

Jean Louis Sabaji’s collection was very good when the tricks were toned down — like the simple white jumpsuit with a sculptural neckpiece, the floral crop top, and the radiant yellow pleated skirt.

But most of the time he went too far. There were bell-bottoms, separates that looked like costumes from The Jetsons, and a yellow dress reminiscent of Bjork’s infamous Oscars swan dress — several disparate elements in one multicoloured, multilayered show.

 Launched in 2009 by childhood friends Arwa Abdelhadi and Basma Abu Ghazaleh, Kage bills itself as a label whose “ultimate goal is to design a collection appealing to all.” Courtesy Getty Images

Fashion Forward: Kage pleases all palates

Did the designers of Kage aim to showcase every type of basic clothing on their latest show?

Because there were skirts, shorts, trousers, off-shoulder tops, short dresses, cocktail dresses, long flowy dresses, spaghetti straps, jackets, hoods — and even pyjamas, which with the incoming summer heat, looked especially appealing.

Launched in 2009 by childhood friends Arwa Abdelhadi and Basma Abu Ghazaleh, Kage bills itself as a label whose “ultimate goal is to design a collection appealing to all”, they said in their statement.

 The standout was a grey hooded cape that created a tension between edge and elegance. Courtesy Getty Images

Fashion Forward: Polish, craft (and fur!) at The Emperor 1688

The best show of Day 1 at Fashion Forward was delivered by the three Golkar brothers behind The Emperor 1688.

The coats and capes were the clear winners: they came in all sorts of interesting colours and sizes — and featured exceptionally tailored proportions. There was a lot of volume, but also stiffness.

And whimsy: two favourites were a green double-breasted suit and a blue overcoat with a red clover pattern and gold buttons.

 Midway through Ezra's show, snow started falling from the ceiling. Ian Gavan / Getty Images for Fashion Forward

Fashion Forward: Ezra stuns in snow-covered show

Turns out the Filipino designer Ezra, known for his dreamy couture, still had a few surprises up his sleeve.

Midway through his show, snow started falling from the ceiling.

It created a starkly beautiful atmosphere for his intricately constructed gowns that seemed to be designed for an Ice Queen transported back to the 1950s.

He showed a collection that had a lot of technical firepower behind it: glittering iridescent fabrics paired with head and neckpieces that were moulded and stiffened to stand out in odd angles.

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