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October 30, 2008

Bond and feminism: our preview of Quantum of Solace

Lucire staff/12.43

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Olga Kurylenko as Camille in Eon Productions' Quantum of Solace
Olga Kurylenko as Camille, entering Medrano’s suite at Perla De Las Dunas, Bolivia, in Eon Productions’ Quantum of Solace. Photographed by Karen Ballard.

With the worldwide première of the new James Bond ?lm, Quantum of Solace, almost upon us, we decided to run an article originally destined for the print edition of Lucire online today. While the print article will have more quotations, Jack Yan’s examination of the Bond girl and feminism appears as Lucire’s web cover story in nearly its complete form.
   It’s a journey through some of the literary characters from Ian Fleming’s world, with their complexities, to their translations on screen during the 1960s—and that after Barbara Broccoli’s ascent in to the producer’s chair, the Bond women became less two-dimensional. Eva Green’s Vesper Lynd from Casino Royale is highlighted as an example and there’s a sneak preview of Olga Kurylenko’s character in Quantum of Solace, Camille, and Gemma Arterton’s MI6 agent Fields.
   While it’s not related to Bond, you can get some ?rst-class pampering at Spa Horrobin & Hodge, which we visited earlier this year. Our review also appears online this week—along with some photographs that take us back to a lovely property. If you are based in the lower North Island in New Zealand, Spa Horrobin & Hodge, near Levin, is a lovely retreat away that not too many people know about yet. And the level of pampering surpasses many of the city spas and beauty therapy places. To top it all off, Horrobin & Hodge is socially responsible, with eco-conscious products—some grown in its own nursery.

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October 27, 2008

New on Lucire: Shanti Home, Femi Emiola

Lucire staff/8.23

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Lucire 2008 | The global fashion magazineTwo pieces on the main Lucire site over the last seven days: Stanley Moss’s review of Shanti Home, west of New Delhi, which he says is more homely and real than some of the big chain hotels; and, new today, an interview with Femi Emiola, the actress who starred in the If Looks Could Kill campaign for the Toyota Camry that appeared on this site a few months ago. As the story on Femi mentions, we had no idea that she was a friend of a contributor when we ?rst blogged about the campaign. It’s a small world out there.

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Photographer Doug Rimington interviewed in Frame Lines

Lucire staff/3.54

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One of our favourite photographers, Doug Rimington, is featured in the latest Frame Lines magazine out of Australia. You can read a full interview with Doug, who got his first fashion gig at Lucire, in Frame Lines’ PDFs (either low-res, at 2·7 Mbyte, or high-res, at 5 Mbyte).

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October 24, 2008

Adriana Lima dons Victoria’s Secret’s 3,575 black-diamond bra

Lucire staff/11.03

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Adriana Lima modelling Victoria's Secret Black Diamond Fantasy Miracle Bra, featured in Lucire
Jeweller Martin Katz, who specializes in rare gems, has created a $5 million brassière for Victoria’s Secret, called the Black Diamond Fantasy Miracle Bra.
   Unveiled earlier this week, and modelled by Adriana Lima, the bra features 3,575 black diamonds, 117 certified 1 ct round diamonds and 34 rubies. There is a total of 3,900 gems weighing 1,500 ct on the bra.
   Katz says, ‘This year, I’ve really enjoyed working with non-traditional gems. So, what better avenue to showcase nearly 3,600 black diamonds than on the most extravagant holiday gift: the Victoria’s Secret Black Diamond Fantasy Miracle Bra? And designing it for a gorgeous Brazilian supermodel wasn’t exactly a let-down either.’
   Lima will model the bra in the Victoria’s Secret catalogue and in the telecast on CBS on December 3.
   Victoria’s Secret has been releasing Fantasy Bras for 12 years, beginning with a 1996 edition modelled by supermodel Claudia Schiffer and valued at a comparatively low $1 million. The 2005 bra, valued at $12·5 million, was modelled by another supermodel, Gisèle Bündchen, and perhaps stands out as being one of the most memorable. The 10th anniversary version in 2006 featured 2,000 diamonds weighing 800 ct, was valued at $6·5 million, and was modelled by Karolina Kurkova.

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Zack and Miri’s title’s in the name of fun

Lucire staff/5.52

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Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks in Zack and Miri Make a Porno
Readers may have noticed a few ads on the Lucire site for the Kevin Smith movie, Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Don’t worry: we haven’t gone R18 on the audience: it is a comedy and if you do click through, there’s nothing objectionable. The mini-site itself has an age verification page just to be on the safe side.
   The movie opens October 31 and we hear that in the US, some media have refused to run the ads because of the title. The US. The country which is quite all right with showing plenty of blood and guts on regular television (their cop shows are getting more graphic with showing corpses) has a problem with the word Porno. The country which gave us free pornographic sites.
   Some ads there now have Zack and Miri only, but it takes the fun out of it. I saw the trailer when the ads started running on this site, and it is what you expect. Funny and mildly naughty, but no more so than a Benny Hill show would be if the man were alive today.
   Zack and Miri star Seth Rogen (Pineapple Express) and Elizabeth Banks (W.) in the title roles. The plot begins fairly simply: platonic friends Zack and Miri have financial problems, which they think could be alleviated by making a blue movie. They later begin to realize they may have more feelings for one another. Click here for more.

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Indashio’s Brad Batory wins Glam God

Jack Yan/1.20

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Above: Vivica A. Fox with Brad Batory, winner of VH1’s Glam God.

I love hearing about what some of our alums are doing. First up, Brad Batory of Indashio, who styled numerous shoots for us over the years and whom we met in 2003, has won VH1’s Glam God TV show.
   I’m glad we stood by Brad constantly over the years. It’s proof that someone conscientious can go places and that you don’t have to “join the crowd” if that crowd is a less than decent bunch.
   Brad’s prize includes a contract with leading style agency Artists by Timothy Priano, the coveted right to style for leading celebrity magazine US Weekly, and $100,000 cash.
   Before you think Brad is rolling in it and you’re all his best mates, bear in mind he has been spending a lot of his own money to get to where he is today. He’s also had to put up with a lot of backstabbers. I have seen first-hand what he has had to put up with.
   Knowing this, I could read in an extra meaning into his quotation today: ‘Pinch me! I’ve arrived!’ After five years of hard slog.
   Meanwhile, Lisa Cocuzza, who reported on Hollywood events for Lucire earlier this decade, has a new venture, It’s a Glam Thing—a great source for VIP specials and giveaways.
   And finally, Jon Moe, whose work has graced numerous Lucire covers (and I hope will again), will speak on Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m. on fashion photography. ‘Join him in a discussion about how to find clients, how to market yourself, how to find the right equipment, and how to put together a winning fashion portfolio.’ The event is at the Apple retail store at 767 Fifth Avenue, New York City.

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October 23, 2008

Meghan McCain humanizes her Dad’s campaign

Jack Yan/6.06

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One of our team, who hails from Washington state, thinks I remind her of Gov. Sarah Palin when I say, ‘You betcha,’ which I have used as part of my regular speech for around 20 years. A lot of my family is American but it’s not from that, but from a line uttered by Andy Griffith somewhere in his long career. I liked the folksy nature of it—heck, anything Andy Griffith said came across as folksy, even when he played a villain in Spy Hard.
   So I am not specifically marketing the Republican campaign when I mention the blog of Meghan McCain, daughter of the senator.
   McCain Blogette is not Miss McCain’s alone—she shares it with two other contributors who are on the Straight Talk Express—but I would love to know if the Democrats have a similar insiders’ blog.
   It shows behind-the-scenes images not just of her and various Americans who support her father, but some from before the most recent debate. Her parents are in some, her paternal grandmother, and Sens. Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman.
   And it does what neither Sen. McCain, Gov. Palin, nor conservative media can do: humanize the campaign.

   While one of the Blogette crew is probably of east Asian descent, it was interesting to note the relative absence of Americans of African descent. I originally spotted a picture of one, only to discover later that he was the bus driver, and it took a fair bit of surfing to find others.
   Of course there are Americans of all colours supporting Sen. John McCain, just as there are for Sen. Barack Obama. I do know of the huge support Sen. Barack Obama has from the black community, most recently from Gen Colin Powell.
   On another blog here on Vox, some Americans have remarked how the Republicans have attracted a white, “redneck” vote.
   And I have no idea how other groups are swinging.
   In one of the conversations I had yesterday with our customers, one noted that we—as people—liked to put people into discrete little boxes. Sen. Obama is half-white, as is Halle Berry. Few mention Halle Berry’s Mancunian roots. Some label Sen. Obama ‘black’ when he has seldom made his race part of his message.
   It worries me a little that the support might be divided this way, in much the same way as how the O. J. Simpson murder trial verdict’s support was split between blacks and whites. One side could not see the other’s points of view and the creation of little racial boxes has clouded matters.
   As the world evolves and more and more people come from multiple heritages, these considerations will disappear and, I hope, we will go back to the issues and the merits of the candidates.
   I realize I have grouped voters into boxes, too—so maybe it’s the way the mind works. We place things into the constructs that we have grown up with, and the ones that do not suit how we see the world going forward really need to be cast aside. And constructs based around race in 2008 are irrelevant at best and dangerous at worst.
   And maybe by blogging about this point, for whatever it’s worth, Americans will place their votes on November 4 for the person who will best serve them. Both Sens. McCain’s and Obama’s records are there for all who wish to examine them, aside from the party rhetoric and various media cheerleaders.

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October 16, 2008

Twenty years of the Katherine Mansfield Birthplace

Jack Yan/13.05

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On Tuesday, I had the pleasure to attend the 20th anniversary of the Katherine Mansfield Birthplace, officially in the capacity of the publisher of this magazine but also as a political candidate in the next General Election.
   US ambassador Bill McCormick and his wife Gail were among the diplomatic guests. I didn’t recognize the others; the Ambassador and I had corresponded in the past, so it was fairly easy to identify him.
   We didn’t chat about politics. Most of our conversation revolved around sea life, the patrolling of exclusive economic zones around certain Pacific islands, the over-fishing by Mediterranean fishermen who come to the Pacific, knowing they would not be easily caught. He is passionate about the cause and advocates the US helping preserve many species.
   The McCormicks will return to the US at the end of the year.
   Actress Pat Evison (Close to Home, The Flying Doctors) was there with her husband, and I remarked to her that the last time I saw her on regular prime-time television was a guest role on Shark in the Park, with Jeffrey Thomas.
   Mrs Evison recalled her role but said that her hearing was not as good as it once was, but it was clear that there was not a thing wrong with her memory.
   It is important to acknowledge the work of Oroyo Day, the founder president of the Katherine Mansfield Birthplace Society, who was present at the event. She was the driving force for the restoration that saw the Birthplace open as a historical home in 1988.
   I’d encourage all who visit Wellington and Wellingtonians themselves to visit the Birthplace. This year marked my first visit there, and I have been hitting myself for not having gone there earlier.
   While the Material Mansfield exhibition has been and gone, the house has fascinating displays, especially the photographs on the walls.
   The feeling that one is walking around in the home of New Zealand’s most famous author is humbling.

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