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December 30, 2008

Breakfast at Shanti Home

Jack Yan/17.12

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While Stanley had grander breakfasts at Shanti Home, I was in a rush one morning. Chef Adil Khan promised he could rustle something up in five minutes and he was true to his word, as the masala omelette and mango juice (left) appeared very rapidly.
   During less rushed mornings, the chef and his team would include breads and a lovely fruit platter (below).
   As I discovered at Shanti Home, food is never something to stress about. As I told Chef Adil, it is easier to place everything in his hands, and tell him what one is allergic to. Everything that comes from his kitchen is a taste sensation. I have never been more confident to leave a dining decision in anyone else’s hands, family excepted.

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December 25, 2008

Dawn in the ’hood

Jack Yan/5.36

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After Stanley Moss stayed at New Delhi’s Shanti Home earlier this year, I found myself confirming every word he wrote: it is truly a home away from home, exhibiting the very best of Indian hospitality.
   Waking up to these views is a very amazing experience for Christmas week.

Opposite Shanti Home
On Shanti Home deck

The human emotions of kindness are universal. Loving it here.

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December 20, 2008

Simply Paris dans la nouvelle ville

Lucire staff/11.03

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Simply Paris, famous in Wellington for its pastries and French cuisine, opened a new shop in the capital city’s fast-gentrifying Newtown district (at 112 Riddiford Street) on December 18. Pascal and Agnès Chivot welcomed such luminaries as HE Michel Legras, Ambassador of France; Her Worship Kerry Prendergast, Mayor of Wellington; Miss New Zealand Samantha Powell and All White Tony Lochhead; and the famous lawyer, John Miller, Esq. The hors d’œuvres were the best we sampled all year and the champagne being served was the real thing from Reims—none of that phony methode traditionelle of the locals.

John Miller and Kerry PrendergastTony Lochhead and Michel Legras
Tessa Bailey-LontAbove left: Lawyer John Miller talks to Mayor Kerry Prendergast. Above: Discussing football, Tony Lochhead with French Ambassador HE Michel Legras. Left: Tessa Bailey-Lont.

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Stars help Juicy Couture open flagship store

Lucire staff/8.25

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Juicy Couture decided to buck the doom and gloom of American economic news by opening its Fifth Avenue flagship store in New York City—and plenty of celebrities turned out to support founders Gela Nash-Taylor and Pamela Skaist-Levy. Juicy Couture—which Lucire has been covering for years as well—now emcompasses swimwear, sunglasses, intimates, kids’ and babies’ clothing, men’s (Dirty English), jewellery and leather goods. Gina Gershon and Molly Sims speak out on their long associations with the brand, while others, such as Life on Mars US’s Gretchen Mol and Gossip Girls’ Penn Badgley, remark on Juicy Couture’s comfort.


Life on Mars US’s Gretchen Mol is impressed by Juicy Couture’s comfort.


Gina Gershon goes back many years with Pamela and Gela.


Blake Lively and her favourites.


Geneviève Jones and fashion.


Emma Roberts particularly favours Juicy Couture.

Sarah Michelle Gellar supporting Juicy Couture.


Sandra Bernhard on Gela and Pamela.


Style guru Robert Verdi.


Penn Badgley on Juicy Couture’s colour and comfort.


Molly Sims on JC Couture and her long association with the brand.

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Lucire expands to cover web video with InTheSeen tie-up

Lucire staff/11.40

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Lucire, New Zealand’s internationally published fashion magazine, has formed an alliance with InTheSeen (intheseen.co.nz), which will provide original online video programming for the title at lucire.tv. This means that Lucire will enter 2009 covering print, web, mobile and online video media.
   InTheSeen will provide custom, original programming for Lucire, initially in its New Zealand home market.
   ‘This will bring to the web video market what Lucire has so far done on the web and in print,’ says Lucire publisher Jack Yan. ‘This means original, in-depth and entertaining content in very appealing and visually exciting segments.’
   ‘We’re delighted to establish an alliance with Lucire,’ says InTheSeen presenter–producer Samantha Hannah. ‘It allows us to bring our fashion programming to a wider audience.’
   InTheSeen editor Steve Leon says, ‘InTheSeen will bring strong, original programming to this venture, while Lucire brings a 12-year-old reputation in the fashion media. Each party has a great deal to contribute.
   ‘We envisage pooling our resources not just on content but on advertising and other business opportunities,’ he says.
   Mr Leon had already produced and directed two segments for Lucire TV earlier in 2008 through his Springtv company, which is charged with creating programming for InTheSeen.
   ‘We had always envisaged that the Lucire brand would encompass more media. With our foreign editions, mobile service and online video, we’re looking forward to a grander 2009,’ says Mr Yan.
   Lucire, which began as a dot-com in 1997, has been featuring online video segments for some time at lucire.tv, but had not entered into a formal arrangement with any production company.
   In 2000, Lucire attempted to enter the online video market with Lucire Live, filming at New York Fashion Week that September. The technology, says Mr Yan, had not caught up with Lucire’s demands. Lucire TV was established in 2002 but was again too early, he says.
   Earlier in 2008, Lucire announced a mobile service as well as a print edition in Thailand.

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December 13, 2008

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy sues over nude photograph on bags

Lucire staff/10.17

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Pardon bag featuring Michel Comte photograph of Carla Bruni nude

French First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy is suing Pardon, a Reunion-based clothing company, for using a nude image of her from a 1993 photo shoot on one of its bags. The caption reads, ‘Mon mec aurait du m’acheter du Pardon,’ or ‘My man should have bought me Pardon.’
   Bruni-Sarkozy’s lawyer’s spokesman, Iqbal Akhoun, has told the media that the image has been used without her consent and for commercial gain.
   Pardon, which announced the bags on December 1, has produced 10,000 of the item and had plans to sell them in France.
   Pardon’s boss, Mertes, told AFP that his company was entitled to use the image because the First Lady is a public figure, and that most of the bags were used as gifts to clients.
   Bruni-Sarkozy says that the proceeds from a successful lawsuit would be donated to charity. She is seeking €125,000.
   A court in St-Denis will hear the case on Monday.
   The nude was photographed by Michel Comte while Bruni was a model. Considered tasteful and artistic, it was auctioned by Christie’s earlier this year and fetched $91,000, after experts projected it would go for a maximum of $4,000.
   Copyright law may rule in favour of a copyright holder. French law also covers moral rights. However, the best plaintiff may be the holders of Comte’s copyright, namely his estate, controlled by I-Management Ltd., rather than Bruni-Sarkozy.

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The better half: The Golden Tide on Sunday

Jack Yan/5.56

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Half the country likes National Radio—or Radio New Zealand National, to give it its proper name these days—during the summer, and half the country dislikes it. The programming changes from the usual formula and I have often said that shows like Matinee Idle (not a misspelling) are among the highlights of the wireless year. While my loyalties still reside with Groove 107·7 here in Wellington, New Zealand for most of the day, National does some great stuff that’s worth tuning in to.
   This summer, there is a new highlight, and not just because I have been interviewed for it. The Golden Tide is a series by Sonia Yee beginning on Sunday, December 28 at 2.30 p.m., running to January 25 (weekly). It will appear on the RNZ website, I believe, after broadcast.
   Sonia wrote one article in issue 26 of Lucire (which also appears online) but our connection is that I was at school with her cousin; and, of course, we are both of Chinese ethnicity, which was one qualification for being a subject in her series.
   The Golden Tide ‘takes a fresh, contemporary look at the changing nature of the Chinese community in New Zealand,’ according to Sonia, and ‘interweaves interview material with poetry, short stories and scripted scenes to create a rich, textured documentary, with original composition by musician Riki Gooch (Fat Freddy’s Drop, Trinity Roots), and film and theatre composer Stephen Gallagher.’
   If we promote TV shows and film on occasion in Lucire, then why not radio? And good radio, too—things which you feel richer for having listened to. Based on the questions that Sonia asked me, I think it will be a very insightful series that tell a story common to so many of us who have travelled and settled in a new country, or those who have had ancestors who have done the same. Most of us got here from somewhere, and it’s an interesting cultural experience to share.

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December 12, 2008

Amanresorts celebrates 20 years with new book

Lucire staff/22.49

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Aman² book photograph by Basil Pao

Our friends at Amanresorts have launched a book celebrating their 20th anniversary, called Aman².
   This third custom-published book, photographed by Hong Kong-based Basil Pao, reveals the spirit behind Amanresorts properties from the Himalayas to Caribbean reefs. At 264 pp., the hard-bound book is available for US$88 on www.amanresorts.com.
   Pao has tried to capture the people at the resorts and how each property fits in to its community and environment. In some cases, he has revisited and met up with people he photographed a decade ago for an earlier Amanresorts book.
   Since the introduction of the flagship Amanpuri on the west coast of Phuket, Thailand, in 1988, Amanresorts has quietly grown to encompass 19 extraordinary properties around the world. Founded by hospitality visionary Adrian Zecha, the company was designed as a collection of intimate retreats in beautiful surroundings with the unassuming, warm hospitality of a private residence.

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