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August 31, 2009

ShowStudio gets exhibition at Somerset House

Lucire staff/13.34

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Bring and Buy Naomi
Naomi Campbell, Bring and Buy, ShowStudio, 2005. Copyright by Nick Knight.

Beginning during London Fashion Week, Somerset House will present an exhibition on ShowStudio, founded by Nick Knight. In 2003, both Lucire and ShowStudio were vying for a prize in the same category in the Webby Awards—which ShowStudio deservedly took that year.
   The exhibition will bring the whole process of creating fashion imagery to life, and features work by Nick Knight, Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Naomi Campbell, Gareth Pugh, Commes des Garçons, Kate Moss and Björk.
   Tickets are £5 (concession, £4; under 12s, free) and will be available from the Embankment Galleries from September 17, or online in advance.
   The exhibition runs from September 17 to December 22.

McQueen
The Bridegroom Stripped Bare, by Alexander McQueen, ShowStudio, 2002.

Peace and Joy this Christmas

Lucire staff/12.26

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Cerise UK in Lucire
Cerise UK in Lucire

We thought these were a lovely touch for Christmas: Peace and Joy necklaces from Cerise UK on London’s Columbia Road. The inspiration came initially from children’s jewellery that Cerise’s designer, Vicky Davies, was commissioned to make. The pieces are hand-engraved and cut, and the two birds come together. The ‘Peace’ bird has stars on the back. The silver ones are £80; £98 for the gold.

Filed under: design, fashion, London, Lucire

Iberian inspiration at Berlei

Lucire staff/8.38

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Berlei Flamenco

It seems quite a few people are tapping into an Iberian inspiration. Berlei’s spring–summer collection has ranges called Bolero, Flamenco and Paso Doble, at prices beginning at NZ$29·99 for the Flamenco G-string. For stockists, call (0800) 800-390 within New Zealand.

Integrating ‘News’ with ‘Insider’

Jack Yan/8.25

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We’re wondering whether we retain a ‘News’ page at the Lucire site, since the ‘Insider’ section nearly usurps its role. Historically, we have never been sure what to do with the section—I remember we ran fashion week updates on there in the pre-blog days, but the rest of the year, we struggled to keep up with mainstream media outlets. More recently, we’ve just let a script run headlines from other services, including MagPortal.com, which has syndicated Lucire stories since before RSS was invented.
   Have readers any preference? We’ve received little feedback about this section over the years, which makes me wonder if people still use it. I think we should integrate it with ‘Insider’ (which is hit a lot), and move the feeds to the ‘Community’ page.
   And thanks to all those who have commented so far on the two pages we have put up with the new look. Your suggestions have been really useful, and we’ve implemented most of them in terms of the tweaks to the designs.

Filed under: Lucire, media, publishing
August 30, 2009

Huffer releases limited range for the Warehouse to support Sign On

Lucire staff/12.00

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Huffer for the Warehouse

New Zealand retail chain, the Warehouse, and iconic Kiwi brand, Huffer, have joined forces with a limited-edition range selling at NZ$29·99. The partnership is part of the Sign On campaign to reduce greenhouse gases: the T-shirts include a swing tag that doubles as a postcard that can be sent in support of the campaign. There will be a run of 10,000 T-shirts.

Lucire’s A to Z week: from Alexandra Owen to Zum Wohl

Lucire staff/11.47

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Alexandra Owen
Above: From the Alexandra Owen dinner on August 24.

Alexandra OwenThe social week was a fairly full-on one. Wellington, New Zealand-based designer Alexandra Owen held a dinner on Monday night, in part to raise extra funds for her New York Fashion Week début for the fall 2010 season. Held at Hippopotamus inside the Museum Hotel, she showed her spring–summer 2009–10 collection, to an audience that included Mayor Kerry Prendergast (left, pictured with Owen).
   Fast forward two days, and Desire had a cocktail evening to thank its supporters, and it was a no-brainer that we would attend, especially since the invitation promised wine from Schubert of Martinborough, and jazz music from duo Scarlet.


Desire
Above: Lucire beauty editor Seka Ojdrović, former Miss Wanganui Michelle Kleinsmith, and publisher Jack Yan. (Photograph by Bronwyn Williams.)
DesireDesire

Zum Wohl   And to round off the week, Zum Wohl, a new brand of Schnaps with a distinct German style (smoother than what one would expect from the American-style schnapps) launched at Suite Gallery on Newtown’s Owen Street last night. Co-director Ulf Führer (his real name) mentioned that Zum Wohl was already in over two dozen bars around the country, and looks forward to more as the brand is launched around the country in the weeks to come.

Lucire experiments with a new look online

Lucire staff/10.02

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Bethany by Design

We’re currently experimenting with a new look at Lucire, our first facelift in three years.
   In the world of the Web, three years without a change is a long time. And if you like what we’ve done, we’ll roll it out more widely across the site.
   Hop on over to the first article with this look, where we have a look at designs by Bethany Halbreich of the US, Karishma Shahani of India and Anna Killick of New Zealand. These are all beautiful travel-inspired designs in dresses, bags and jewellery.
   The inspiration for the new web design was internal. In December 2002, we facelifted Lucire’s website and débuted the look with a story on Megan Tuffery and Bruxelles. (Note that the way this page looks today differs from how it looked in 2002, due to the change in stylesheets.) The Lucire layout has evolved since then, and the big development mid-decade was the introduction of larger ad sizes, to cope with the growing resolution of computer monitors.
   In 2006, we wondered how to modify the site to take advantage of these ads, notably the 300- by 250-pixel unit that you see to the right of this page.
   At the time, the web design trend was soft corners, a slight three-dimensional effect, and off-white shades. The pages were relatively complex, but we persisted.
   However, in 2009, the style is somewhat different—simplicity has returned to some websites, and we wanted to bring the look in line with what we were doing in the print editions of Lucire.
   Head designer for the print editions, Tanya Sooksombatisatian, drew up thumbnails in February 2009 in anticipation of the new style. Her observation was that websites were getting wider—and indeed, the Lucire web look had become ill-balanced on some screens, such as the ultra-wide Mac monitor of fashion editor Samantha Hannah.
   The latest design is planned for a nominal width of 960 pixels (the previous was 780), which does mean some people will need to widen their browsers. Based on our research, however, this should suit the majority of users. There’s even more good news in that it should be quicker to load for most people.
   But the overall look was directly inspired by the wide, spacious feel of the 2002 design—which unexpectedly accommodated wider images than what readers have had to put up with over the last three years.
   The look is not final. Unlike some websites, we believe readers are allowed to have input. They are most welcome in the comments.

Browsing at Hunters & Collectors

Jack Yan/4.00

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It was an interesting morning interviewing Nicole Clulee, an international model who calls New Zealand home (you’ll see her in the Tika story on the site). En route, assistant fashion ed. Bronwyn Williams and I, along with Nicole, popped in to Hunters & Collectors on Cuba Street, Wellington—a place that’s always worth a browse for any fashionista.

Hunters & Collectors

   What inspired this post was seeing some of these 4711 samples there. Older readers might remember this brand, and how hard it is to find nowadays—it was Mari Johnson’s 2001 article that I immediately thought of. For those who must have their 4711, this is what I saw (and I realize cellphone cameras are not what Lucire is typically about):

4711 at Hunters & Collectors

   Finally, for die-hard James Bond fans, there is a Moonraker annual for sale, one assumes, from 1979 or early 1980. Behind it rests annuals for Planet of the Apes and (no kidding) Morecambe & Wise (wig not included).

James Bond Moonraker annual at Hunters & Collectors

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