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June 30, 2009

Michael Jackson’s last rehearsal

Lucire staff/13.18

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Michael Jackson's last rehearsal at Staples Center in Los Angeles
Michael Jackson's last rehearsal at Staples Center in Los Angeles
Kevin Mazur/AEG/Getty Images

Above are Kevin Mazur’s photographs of Michael Jackson’s last rehearsal at Staples Center in Los Angeles, which should put paid to rumours suggesting the King of Pop had no intention to carry out his concerts.
   Mazur, who had photographed Jackson on numerous occasions, says, ‘When he hit the stage at rehearsal, I was thrilled that the magical Michael Jackson was back! I felt the same adrenaline rush as when I photographed him the first time moonwalking. I was so looking forward to shooting the O2 Arena performances with the amazing production that Kenny Ortega and AEG put together with Michael for his fans.’
   AEG Live (UK) Ltd. has announced that full refunds will be available to fans who purchased tickets through authorized agents for any of the 50 Michael Jackson This Is It concerts which were to take place at the O2 Arena in London.

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June 25, 2009

Icons Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett dead

Lucire staff/22.47

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Michael Jackson Thriller album cover

TMZ was the first to report that pop star Michael Jackson had passed away after suffering cardiac arrest at his home. Presently, mainstream media outlets such as the Los Angeles Times are confirming the news, based on their sources.
   Jackson’s death comes on the same day another icon, Farrah Fawcett, died after a long battle with cancer. Fawcett was 62, Jackson was 50.
Farrah Fawcett pin-up   From a fashion point-of-view, Fawcett was best known for her hairstyle in the 1970s, and was at one point the most famous pin-up in a poster by Pro Arts, photographed by Bruce McBroom. The poster sold millions of copies, buoyed by the actress’s subsequent success in Charlie’s Angels, a series for which she remained known for the remainder of her life.
   Jackson, being a pop star, had numerous reinventions, from a stylish solo recording artist in the 1970s to being proclaimed ‘the king of pop’ by the following decade. He had been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice, and had won 13 Grammy Awards and had 13 number-one singles in his solo career.
   His impact on the fashion world was evidenced by an auction of his property earlier in 2009. While his trademark is a single sequinned white glove, Jackson wore a series of elaborately beaded military jackets in the 1980s.
   It’s arguable whether people aped the Jackson style in the way many women borrowed Fawcett’s hairdo, but there is no doubt that both were cultural icons.

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The latest Anne Hathaway LancĂ´me Magnifique commercial

Lucire staff/21.35

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The folks at LancĂ´me have released their latest Magnifique commercial with actress Anne Hathaway. Previews have floated around for a few months—here is the final 30-second spot. Strangely, there has been less attention for Hathaway’s second spot compared with her first.

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June 19, 2009

Maria Sharapova, Sony Ericsson reveal student designs at Liberty

Lucire staff/13.42

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Maria Sharapova, as part of her role as Sony Ericsson brand ambassador, unveiled London College of Fashion student designs in the window of design store Liberty in London. The designs were part of a collaboration between Sony Ericsson and the School of Fashion Design and Technology at London College of Fashion, exploring the link between technology and fashion. Eighty students competed for a chance to have their work displayed at Liberty and to meet Sharapova.
   Sharapova comments on her return to tennis in one of the below videos, and there are general views of the event at Liberty.

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Views from Ascot

Lucire staff/10.20

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For Lucire readers, the Royal Ascot is perhaps better known for the fashion than the racing. This year, we have some footage from the event, including interviews with Amanda Holden, Ronnie Corbett and Eddie Jordan.

Amanda Holden describes what she’s wearing.

Hello’s Judy Wade, who covers the Royal beat, discusses the Ascot tradition.

Ronnie Corbett comments on his interest in Ascot.

Eddie Jordan sees Ascot as part of a great English sporting summer with the British Grand Prix and Wimbledon.

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June 17, 2009

Jimmy Choo is H&M’s next guest designer

Lucire staff/13.23

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Margareta van den Bosch and Tamara Mellon
Jimmy Choo for H&M
Jimmy Choo for H&M
Magnus Magnusson

Top: H&M’s Margareta van den Bosch and Jimmy Choo’s Tamara Mellon. Centre: Van den Bosch and Mellon with a model wearing items from the Jimmy Choo for H&M range. Above: Shoes from the range.

After collaborating with Stella McCartney, Karl Lagerfeld, Viktor & Rolf, Roberto Cavalli, Comme des Garçons and Matthew Williamson, Hennes & Mauritz has announced that Jimmy Choo will be next to design a guest collection for the mass-market retailer.
   H&M says its Jimmy Choo range will be launched in 200 stores on November 14.
   Jimmy Choo founder and CEO, Tamara Mellon, says there will be designs for women and men in the collection.
   Margareta van den Bosch, H&M’s creative director, says in a statement, ‘We adore Jimmy Choo’s shoes and bags. They are glamorous and sexy, and they add instant style to the simplest of outfits. I like the way we have worked with clothes to accessorize the shoes and bags rather than the other way around. This collaboration is particularly exciting because it’s our first shoe designer collection. It’s a joy to be able to offer top-end designer shoes and bags of excellent quality to our customers.’

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June 16, 2009

Saab can reach for the sun, under Christian von Koenigsegg

Jack Yan/13.17

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Koenigsegg Quant[Cross-posted] I never expected this a few years ago, but a few weeks ago, it was becoming more likely: Koenigsegg will buy , says The New York Times.
    and say there is now a memorandum of understanding, contingent on loans from the European Investment Bank, guaranteed by the Swedish government.
   I am confident. strikes me, in the conversation I had with him some years ago, as someone who is not afraid to answer questions directly. He is accessible, and he loves cars.
   People also had doubts about how Jaguar and Land Rover would fit with , which made subcompact cars and heavy trucks in India. Yet, Tata has shown a readiness to push forward new models that Ford never had the guts to do. We need to look at the style and the national .
   I think we might see information on a bunch of products inside Saab that the company was never permitted to do under GM ownership, either because they were too risky or that the funds were going to other . Saab fell into a GM-division funk like Saturn did. But new ideas have been bubbling under there, and while $600 million is nowhere near what it will cost to get some of them out—given that the funds have to cover everything from salaries to plant upgrades—the Swedish people are not short on ingenuity.
    has shown us that a little country can have leadership or near-leadership positions in so many things, from cellphones to defence technology to music. Once upon a time, the Swedish state even owned Absolut Vodka.
   I know the economies of scale are not looking that good for Saab: it sold fewer cars in more territories last year than MG Rover in its final year (2004–5) before that fell into administration. However, could make the same argument about economies with many Swedish products before they took the rest of the world by storm.
   And Christian has been thinking of a lot more than supercars. What the world seems to have ignored is that he showed a solar electric sports’ saloon at Genève this year, designed by our mutual friend Joachim Nordwall.
   Could it be released with the Koenigsegg ? Probably not. As a Saab? Most definitely: it is a natural fit for the .
   GM, Honda and Toyota may have dabbled in but Koenigsegg may well outflank them all.
   Most of us will agree that the GM ownership of Saab has not been that successful and the division has been starved of new product for years. GM’s great contributions have been a few Opel Vectra platforms, rejigging a Subaru Impreza for the US market and put Saab badges on it, and reworking a deleted Oldsmobile SUV.
   When I was growing up, Saab was known for the Combi CoupĂŠ (a fastback, liftback coupé—not particularly common in the 1970s) and the early Turbos, then a great UK campaign connecting the car maker to the aircraft manufacturer. Stefan Engeseth says the company could have done quite well with a retro-modern version of the ur-Saab, the original postwar model with aircraft technologies incorporated. I am not so sure about now, but I agree that during the years of the New Beetle and the last Ford Thunderbird, a limited-edition ur-Saab could have been chic.
   Logic tells us that things are not sorted with the new ownership. The numbers do not add up, the new products are going to be expensive to get out, and how many of those forward-thinkers that Saab was once known for are still in the firm?
   But logic also told us that it was impossible for Sweden to be putting out a supercar that would take the world’s imagination. Christian has done that. Conventional thinking also says that a solar–electric car is too left-field. I beg to differ.
   Saab quality with Koenigsegg innovation sounds like a pretty potent mix to me.
   With hindsight, I wish I had made a few more calls then just so I could say I spoke to the boss of Saab, and show off that I do know a bit about automotive . I say with a lean R&D model, Christian can take the risks with , world-beating Saabs that make a decent leap ahead of the rest of the industry.

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Going Black with Barkers

Lucire staff/13.09

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Barkers

The All Blacks were getting plenty of announcements today: first, Telecom New Zealand said it would sponsor New Zealand’s rugby team through to the 2011 World Cup. Secondly, menswear brand Barkers announced its collaboration, with a Barkers Black line, inspired by Italian designer gear.
   The idea was to create a slick silhouette for the bulkier rugby player—but as with Barkers generally, there will be sizes across the board.
   The range features suits, a wool coat and shirts, along with New Zealand-made merino knitwear.
   All Blacks Josevata Rokocoko, Anthony Boric and Richard Kahui star in the campaign.

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