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July 31, 2008

The timeless aspects of Patrick Lichfield’s work

Jack Yan/12.51

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Mick and Bianca Jagger photographed by Patrick Lichfield

One image that wasn’t mentioned in Monica Waldron’s report from the May–June exhibition of Patrick Lich?eld’s work was the above shot of Mick and Bianca Jagger on their wedding day in St Tropez. This was taken right after the Jaggers’ wedding on May 12, 1971, and was indeed part of the exhibition, and is yet another example of Lich?eld’s ability to capture the moment. It’s one of my favourites.
   As Monica reported, many of his portraits are done with great sensitivity, not necessarily of the most extroverted subjects. The above is spontaneous, as many of Lich?eld’s images are, and can only be from the early 1970s, not because of photographic style, but because of Jagger’s clothing and, for car spotters like me, the shape of the car’s C-pillar. It must be one of those rare times that it is not the woman’s clothing that dates an image most: weddings, in the 21st century, are no longer as demanding of tradition, and Bianca’s garb, while probably sexier than the norm, could be considered an example of one bride’s uniqueness. In 1971 it would be considered far more way-out.
   Unlike this image, and perhaps in contrast with Monica’s views, what was remarkable to me was how timeless many of Lich?eld’s shots were. One might say that emotion is timeless, hence the perceived energy emanating from the shots never dates, but the glowing image of Olivia Newton-John, free of heavy make-up, has little to date it back to 1973 in the eyes of the layman like me. Ditto Lichfield’s nude of actress Jane Seymour, which we did not feature.
   And for celebrity-watchers, that is indeed Joanna Lumley on our web-edition cover, photographed before Sapphire & Steel, The New Avengers, even before her appearance in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. The 1965 photograph has, admittedly, dated—but, principally, Miss Lumley’s swimwear is the culprit.

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The global Zeitgeist

Lucire staff/9.29

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A recurring theme at Lucire is studying the international Zeitgeist. Being a magazine with its roots on the internet, rather than print, we have always looked at trends from a global perspective, rather than individual, local ones. Today: how different are the trends at, say, Hennes & Mauritz and antipodean retailer Max? Once again, we think there’s a prevailing global mood, typi?ed this season by ?oral prints and blue–greys. And then there are those exceptions—Max has a splash more colour with its Amaryllis print dress (NZ$129) and suede peep toe shoe (NZ$139).

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July 30, 2008

Femi Emiola interviewed on Ladybrille

Jack Yan/12.20

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Femi Emiola in Toyota Camry campaign—copyright ©2008 Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc.
I am catching up on emails today after yet another cold—it has been a bad winter for ’?us here. For those expecting regular updates during the latter half of July, I’m sorry that it has been a tad quiet here—quite a few of us have had to take time out. Even in California, where it’s summer.
   Last month, we mentioned an advertising campaign for the Toyota Camry being run here on Lucire, entitled If Looks Could Kill
   Who would have thought that among my emails was an introduction from Uduak Oduok of Ladybrille, who has written for Lucire in 2006, to the actress who starred in the campaign, Femi Emiola.
   Uduak’s interview with Femi can be found on her site.
   Femi Emiola is a true citoyenne du monde: Iowa-born, she has spent many years growing up in different parts of the world, including the Philippines and Nigeria. These days, she’s in Los Angeles. Uduak calls her ‘Hollywood’s next breakout star’—we think that’s a very fair description. Her starring role in the Toyota commercials was a strong one, showing her excellent acting capabilities.

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July 28, 2008

I didn’t spend years at the University of Denver to be called Ms

Jack Yan/9.48

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While the New Zealand media did not say much about the visit of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at the time—too much time spent on the Barack Obama world tour, perhaps—the fashion industry can at least be happy with TV One’s prime-time report that she indulged in shopping for Kiwi clothing while here, with local designer Adrienne Winkelmann.
   It is trivial, and it’s probably more coverage on a Condi-related item than any other broadcast here over the last week, since the Secretary popped by on Friday for a 24-hour visit.
   But the report, by a woman, did the Secretary of State no favours on several counts.
   While it’s lovely for our economy that she did indeed shop, it’s not the sort of news report that one would do if the Secretary were male. Well, at least not as part of the main programme. Human interest stuff, yes.
   But to refer to her twice as ‘Ms Rice’ I thought was plain insulting.
   I know: I called her Condi just now, which could be highlighted by some feminists as being inappropriate, but I have on occasion referred to men in positions of power by a diminutive form of their Christian names.
   But when someone has a doctorate and is commonly known for it, this either showed ignorance on the part of the reporter, the usual anti-Bush bias that one sees in New Zealand that appeals to the majority, or, even worse, sexism in a country that ?rst recognized the women’s suffrage movement.
   She has, after all, been in her position for over three and a half years.
   And now we must look nearly as bad as the whites during Birmingham, Ala.’s pre-Civil Rights era that she witnessed ?rst-hand.
   It is about respecting the person in question. The Prime Minister here, I understand, prefers Miss. The Deputy PM—a man—prefers Dr. Both are addressed accordingly in the press.
   It was a real shame Dr Rice’s quali?cation could not be recognized in the broadcast and I cannot help but think her gender had something to do with it.
   Fortunately, the same network’s web page about the story uses her full name, her surname or ‘Secretary of State’.

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New Zealand builds up to the Olympics

Lucire staff/6.17

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Who really is this human Kiwi that can climb the world’s highest rock, run the world’s fastest mile, win the Victoria Cross twice, create the second top-grossing Academy Award-winning ?lm, and split the atom in an act that would forever transform our world? New Zealanders are a people that have proven themselves as warriors in battles on all playing ?elds, as well as in wars not their own. And as our focus turns towards the Beijing Olympics, it is time for us to again feel that patriotic pride, drawing our focus upon our nation’s athletes as they take on the best and the greatest in the biggest country in the world.
   As all the athletes line up at the starting blocks, supporters cheering from the side, it might be useful to consider what might be running through some of their minds. For a New Zealander is a dreamer, but one who acts, and one that ventures forth into the unknown with a sense of naïve and inner surety—the guts to head out very naked into the world. Indeed, most Kiwis leap, our ?ightlessness con?rmed by our eventual return.
   Exporting out our best spirited work to places as far reaching and exotic as Syria, Kazakhstan, Cambodia and Dubai—teaching schools, building bridges, crossing war zones and joining Red Cross medics, we all eventually arrive back home with pockets full of the world. Such wild, fantastical destinations ful?l that Pagan element within us, that hunger to clamber through the mountains, sail the sun-drenched seas, hunt for a meal amongst the forest—yet all the while attending Christian church at least one or two times a year. And for the most part it feels good to be a Kiwi, better, it seems, than many other professions one can aspire.
   Aiming to forge an evolving identity, New Zealand is no more a forgotten island colony on the impoverished brinks of civilization—hidden deep within the once impenetrable Paci?c. Able to access most other overseas destinations within 24 hours, Aotearoa is a peaceful haven set amongst a rapidly, even rabidly maddening world. Cultivating the ?res of Maori spiritual authenticity, a remarkable people, a race that refused to die—combined with the undeniable intellectual and ?nancial muscle of the English whose navy once ruled the open seas—this faraway land is now only one mouse click away from contact with the rest of the western world.
   New Zealand is no longer simply a white man’s stronghold. It is now the Chinese, Indians, Greeks, Italians, Dalmatians and Danes that play their part to keep this multicultural fort in the Paci?c strong. It is this diversity which adds to our strength of purpose and being. Better this, than succumb to the global recesses of corporate homogeneity—utter immersion of the masses into the dull, zombie mould. There are now thousands of Dutchmen, Apartheid-?eeing South Africans, Hungarians and Poles, even Germans and nuclear-fearing Americans that now exist within Aotearoa: all possessing that particularly human contradictory trait: a clan of self-proclaimed individualists enveloped by an all embracing communal ethic. Thus we all may abandon our country, but it will never abandon us in return.
   Indeed, what binds a race is spirit, and despite the surrounding history, it is generally agreed that the Treaty of Waitangi, although imperfect, now stands as a guiding principle for men of good will to build up a sense of trust and working loyalty on all sides of the racial code. This Magna Carta of the M?ori purports a ?duciary partnership of brothers growing as one together, utilizing the strengths and unique moral standings of both signing cultures to further enhance the national identity that is growing.
   What, then, is this national identity? Consisting initially of farmers and herders struggling in this strange green land, tearing down forests with their calloused, leathery hands, it was the mutual work of all participating cultures that enabled the foundations of New Zealand to be built upon which a prosperous nation would grow. Indeed today this small island continent is no longer a poor colony of England. This treasure of the Paci?c is now one of the most advanced, truly democratic societies on the planet. Environmentally balanced—15 million shy of the ravages scouring other lands, if we play our cards correctly we will be refuelling those growing scarcities while the consequences of greed makes its unwelcoming presence more clearly shown.
   And as our men, women and children head out to test their metal amongst the best athletes the world has known, we should all steal a moment to understand the awesome potential of our ocean kingdom, what it already has, and will continue to do to place its imprint upon sporting history as all the cultures of our world head to Beijing to celebrate the greatest sporting event known to man …

Erupting in the sky branches unfolding 200 feet from the forest ?oor, Tanemahuta looks upon his horizon of green, beige, and yellow cousins. Mingling and intertwining, a collection of warriors and poets, the giant Kauri is content with the forti?cation of his 2,000-year-old dominion.—Nathan Hoturoa Gray

Nathan Hoturoa Gray is an author whose works have appeared in Lucire. He is about to go to Red China for the Olympics and is available for commentary or syndication.

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July 23, 2008

Scenes from the British Motor Show

Jack Yan/6.33

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Thanks to General Motors, we have some views from the launch of the Opel Insignia at the British Motor Show. GM has also provided us with the Cadillac footage.
   The Insignia is the replacement for the Opel Vectra C mid-sized car, and is expected to give the German range a bit more glamour.
   The interior looks conventional but Opel says it has a computer system that can read street signs and issue speed warnings if wanted.
   The exterior is a little less exciting than we expected, though we’ll reserve judgement till we test and photograph it ourselves.
   There’s some extra footage from Alfa Romeo, Bentley, Renault and Lotus. The Lotus video also includes images of the Lightning GT sports car, not part of its range. Lotus launched the Evora, its latest model, and showed the Eco Elise.

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July 17, 2008

Candie’s unveils second year with Hayden Panettiere

Lucire staff/12.39

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Hayden Panettiere for Candie's
Giuliano Bekor, whose credits include numerous Lucire shoots, photographed Hayden Panettiere for her 2008 Candie’s print campaign.

Hayden Panettiere will star in Candie’s back to school 2008 television, print and online advertising campaign, according to the company. Hayden, who is known as an award-winning actress, activist and star of NBC’s hit television series Heroes can now add recording artist to her résumé.
   Following last year’s marketing campaign with Grammy-award winning artist Fergie, the new fall TV commercial will be a direct lift from Panettiere’s ?rst music video, ‘Wake Up Call’, which was styled using Candie’s apparel, footwear and accessories.
   This is Panettiere’s second season with the brand.
   To coincide with TV, a print campaign will feature Panettiere in a variety of sexy and sweet vignettes as she playfully poses with a piano, behind a beaded curtain and in a club-like setting among others. The ‘Wake Up Call’ video and the Candie’s commercial were shot in Los Angeles by famed music video director Chris Applebaum and the print campaign was shot by fashion photographer Giuliano Bekor, whose credits include Lucire, and created by the Iconix in-house marketing team.
   Fans can listen to ‘Wake Up Call’ exclusively at www.candies.com and www.kohls.com/inspire (streaming only) beginning today. The single will be available for download on iTunes beginning August 5. The single is being released by Hollywood Records.

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July 14, 2008

Miss Venezuela, Dayana Mendoza, wins Miss Universe 2008

Lucire staff/4.20

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Miss Venezuela, Dayana Mendoza, has won Miss Universe 2008, with Miss Colombia, Taliana Vargas, runner-up. Dominican Republic, Russia and México rounded off the top ?ve.
   Miss Mendoza, 20, hails from Caracas, and is already a model represented by Élite Model Management.
   The 57th Miss Universe contest was held in the coastal town of Nha Trang, Khánh Hòa, Vietnam, during the morning of July 14. It was broadcast live on Sunday night to American audiences.
   The show was compèred by Jerry Springer, who had hosted Miss World in 2000. Melanie Brown, formerly of the Spice Girls, co-hosted and sang during the telecast.
   The judges were Donald Trump, Jr, Roberto Cavalli, Nadine Velazquez, Jennifer Hawkins, Louis Licari, John Nguyen, Joseph Cinque, Eesha Koppikhar and Taryn Rose.
  Special awards went to Miss El Salvador (Miss Congeniality) and Miss Thailand (Best in National Costume, decided by online voting).

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