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November 29, 2009

FedEx Global Access Awards create a sense of mystery

Jack Yan/4.02

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FedEx Global Access Awards
Above The five finalist labels of the FedEx Global Access Fashion Award.

One thing fashion journalists are seldom called on to do is the sort of investigative probing that was best exemplified by the fictional Cal McCaffrey, as played by John Simm, in State of Play. We investigate, but it all seems mundane in comparison. Could we ever be in the middle of an event where we could feel like McCaffrey? Or perhaps the television detective Bergerac, working on an island?
   The FedEx Global Access Fashion Award gave us a chance to come to an event where the company behind the awards kept enough secret to make Saturday a mystery journey of sorts.
   Keeping some mystery in the fashion business is nothing new. We come across designers keeping mum on locations at Fashion Week, to surprise us when we are driven there. However, I had not come across one that involved a ferry crossing.
   Media were asked to travel to Waiheke Island, along with the finalists for the awards. A FedEx sign was clearly erected and we were issued our tickets to board the ferry, which turned out to be one of the most enjoyable events in the business.
   Sitting with Marc Moore and Steve Dunstan of Stolen Girlfriends’ Club and Huffer, we joked about what might await us at the other end, and those of us in the media who I heard from likened the journey, inter alia, to an ‘Agatha Christie’ novel. Actor Karl Urban was on board the same ferry, and I took the opportunity to say hello to him—we had not seen each other for 24 years, since our school days—and caught up on some recent events. Former game show hostess and registered nurse Jude Dobson was also present on the crossing.
   Sadly, Urban was not part of our group, and was heading to Waiheke for another matter. But the journey was mostly uneventful save for a journalist and a photographer who asked to take our photograph.
   Reaching Waiheke, we were greeted by a bus driver who, we had to surmise later, was hard of hearing. He had had a few details wrong, not least the spelling of FedEx on his board, but it played into the hands of our inner Cal McCaffreys: it was fairly easy to deduce which was the driver for our group, and this contributed to the mystery the event had built up.
   Word has it that this proved too difficult for at least one of the media representatives, who gave up after the ferry crossing, and apparently went home. Maybe some of us have had it too easy.
   Held at a modernist home on the Island, Sián-Pearl Going of AP Group, which organized the event, announced that the five finalists—Nom D, Huffer, Lonely Hearts, Stolen Girlfriends’ Club and Zambesi—were in the running to win a total prize package of NZ$35,000, which included NZ$10,000 in cash. It was also tied to a 2010 consumer event called Style Series, details of which were promised by Going in January 2010. The designers could, at their option, show at Style Series, scheduled for March.
   The prize, by our reckoning, would be the largest given in New Zealand fashion in recent memory, and Denise McCamish, one of FedEx’s managers who handed out Wilson footballs (a reference to the Tom Hanks movie Castaway, where FedEx was very present), was delighted to have been part of the mystery tour with the rest of us. Designers were also encouraged to sign cards with pairs of Crocs for a charity event in Fiji in early December.
   Guests were treated to Zumwohl cocktails. Zumwohl stepped in when another alcohol brand failed to honour its commitments to the event, and most agreed that this was in fact a stroke of luck. The Schnaps from Zumwohl ranked above, rather than Below, the other brand’s, in the estimation of the guests who had sampled it.

FedEx Global Access Awards
Above Sián-Pearl Going announces the finalists as FedEx’s Denise McCamish and her three children look on. Below Enjoying Zumwohl Schnaps.
FedEx Global Access AwardsFedEx Global Access Awards
FedEx Global Access AwardsFedEx Global Access Awards

   The drinks, and the rather lavish lunch laid on for us, helped create the sort of intimate atmosphere where we could chat to the designers and to our media colleagues. It was the sort of intimacy that is often missing from events. A home, we had to conclude, was far better than any official venue such as a hotel lobby or hall. Provided the home was suitably flash.
   The only hitch, it seemed, were our colleagues who were so keen to take our photograph aboard the ferry. It turns out that they were with a foreign-owned tabloid and had not been invited, and made use of a personal, non-transferable invitation sent to someone at their office. But at least they lasted a tad longer than whomever had given up at the Waiheke terminal.
   Call us genteel and old-fashioned, but snapping photographs inside someone’s home when you aren’t invited doesn’t rate well in our book, and I seem to remember this is as a no-no in the world of journalism here. The invited colleagues I spoke to agreed.
   The mystery solved, the designers enjoyed themselves, especially Nom D’s Margi Robertson and Zambesi’s Elisabeth Findlay: the two sisters welcomed the opportunity to have a reunion. Steve Ferguson and Amy Farlane at Lonely Hearts, well familiar to readers of our print edition, were delighted that Going was wearing one of their designs, while Dunstan and Moore comfortably looked the part of footballers as they posed.

I will be writing a few more details of recent events, such as Style Christchurch and the Massey University end-of-year show (great photos on the way for both of these), and a recent Sunglass Hut do, but believe the rather entertaining events of Saturday to have made a sufficiently lengthy entry. More soon.

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November 28, 2009

British Fashion Council announces 2009 awards’ nominees

Lucire staff/4.13

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The British Fashion Council (BFC) has announced its shortlist of nominees for the 2009 British Fashion Awards, supported by Swarovski. The winners will be announced at the British Fashion Awards on December 9.
   The judging panel included: Nadja Swarovski, vice-president, Swarovski Crystal Business; Lucy Yeomans, editor, Harper’s Bazaar UK; Alexandra Shulman, editor, British Vogue; Sarah Mower, leading international journalist and BFC Ambassador for Emerging Talent; and Joan Burstein, founder and owner of Browns.
   The nominees who have been announced so far follow.

Swarovski Emerging Talent Award—Accessories
Camilla Skovgaard, Holly Fulton, Jessica McCormack, Maria Francesca Pepe

Swarovski Emerging Talent Award—Ready-to-Wear
Mark Fast, Meadham Kirchhoff, Peter Pilotto

Designer Brand
Burberry, Mulberry, Pringle of Scotland

Model
Daisy Lowe, Georgia Jagger, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

Accessory Designer
Emma Hill for Mulberry, Katie Hillier, Nicholas Kirkwood

Menswear Designer
Graeme Fidler for Aquascutum, Kim Jones for Dunhill, Todd Lynn

British Collection of the Year
Christopher Kane, Erdem, Jonathan Saunders

The BFC has a list of nominees for the London 25 award, a one-off award to commemorate the organization’s 25th year, at its website. No nominees were announced for the Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator, BFC Designer of the Year and BFC Outstanding Achievement in Fashion Design categories.

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November 27, 2009

Michelle Obama leads Elle’s best-dressed list

Lucire staff/5.10

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Elle’s best-dressed list for 2009 has US First Lady Michelle Obama in first place in the ‘politique chic’ category, with France’s own First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy in second.
   French Sports Minister Rama Yade came third, followed by HRH Princess Letizia in fourth place and French presidential candidate Ségolène Royal in fifth.
   While the political list got the most international media attention, there were numerous others announced by the magazine that were largely ignored.
   Scarlett Johansson got the jury’s vote for the ‘Sexy Bombe’ category. Valérie Lemercier was its choice for ‘Black Addict’. In the ‘Stylista’ category, Tilda Swinton was chosen; Penélope Cruz was best dressed on the red carpet. Elettra Wiedemann is Elle’s ‘New It Girl’, Natalia Vodianova took the ‘Fashion pointue’ category. Alexa Chung was the best dressed Brit.
   The annual list’s jury, which was led by Nathalie Rykiel of Sonia Rykiel, gave Mrs Obama the top place in part based on her uniqueness.
   Olympia Le Tan, Catherine Rousso (chief fashion editor of Elle), Sophie Fontanel, Bertrand Burgalat, Thomas Lélu, Felipe Oliveira Baptista, Farida Khelfa and Simon Liberati are with Mlle Rykiel on the jury.
   Khelfa praised Mrs Obama for her risk-taking when it came to fashion.
   It is the second time Mme Sarkozy has come second in the Elle list: last year, she was beaten by Asma Assad, the First Lady of Syria.

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November 25, 2009

Electric Mini Es hit UK streets

Lucire staff/16.03

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BMW has announced that 20 prototype Mini E electric cars will be on British roads from next month, as part of a research project. They will be driven by successful online applicants, as part of a six-month leasing programme that begins in December. A second round of applications will be accepted in mid-2010, with Mini seeking 20 drivers.
   Below videos feature the Mini Es driving around London. Interestingly, all models are left-hand drive, as with the model seen in our February video shot in Berlin.

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David Bailey selling exhibition to open at Bonhams in March

Lucire staff/11.38

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Jean Shrimpton in Vogue
Above Jean Shrimpton, a.k.a. the Shrimp, as photographed by Bailey in British Vogue.

A selling exhibition, Pure Sixties, Pure Bailey, of David Bailey’s iconic images of the 1960s will be hosted by Bonhams at 101 New Bond Street from March 7 to April 7, the company announced yesterday.
   In celebrating the 50th anniversary of the start of the ’60s, Bonhams approached Bailey to put together an exhibition.
   Bailey, whose work typifies the new energy of the era, began working at British Vogue in July 1960 and was famously quoted as saying, ‘When Vogue offered to pay me to photograph beautiful women all day I thought I was on a dream-boat.’ Amongst the many faces he captured were Jean Shrimpton, Penelope Tree, Catherine Deneuve, Brigitte Bardot and Raquel Welch.
   Bailey also photographed other headline-makers, including the Rolling Stones, Andy Warhol, Rudolf Nureyev, Cecil Beaton, Michael Caine, the Beatles, David Hockney, Roger Vadim, Kenneth Tynan, the Who and the Kray brothers. Many of the images he shot were very direct, closely cropped portraits.
   He continues to be active and has two shows planned, along with an exhibition of his sculpture.

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November 24, 2009

Supermodels go naked for latest I-D cover

Lucire staff/12.06

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i-D cover with Eva, Helena and Claudia
Photographed by Kayt Jones; I-D

Showing that the original supermodels still have pull, I-D has Eva Herzigova, Hélèna Christensen and Claudia Schiffer in the nude, save for their leather boots, on the cover of its winter 2009–10 issue.
   Herzigova, 36, Christensen, 40, and Schiffer, 39, were photographed by expat Brit Kayt Jones, who is known for her intimate, personal portraits.
   Schiffer has commented to the Murdoch Press that the shoot went well because of the chemistry between Jones and the models.
   Herzigova and Schiffer had both appeared nude with fellow supermodel Naomi Campbell earlier this year for a Dolce & Gabbana campaign, photographed by Mario Testino.

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November 23, 2009

First videos: new BMW 5-series saloon revealed

Lucire staff/23.16

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For those who lamented the disappearance of the elegant BMW 5-series, or 5er-Reihe in German, lament no more: the new 5 was unveiled today, and we have the first videos of the car.
   It’s a far more attractive vehicle than the outgoing saloon, taking cues from the larger 7-series, and putting them into a sportier, more compact form. BMW claims top-of-the-class dynamics, something which earlier incarnations established for this model line.
   We haven’t driven it yet, but on looks alone, this looks to reestablish the BMW Fünfer as the most elegant executive-class model on the roads.
   Our videos are of the 535i and the 530d, and include footage of the parking assistant feature—improved from the current 3 and 7-series and the X5 and X6 models—and the rear-end-collision warning system, which will automatically slow down the car if it gets too close to the one in front.

BMW 535i

BMW 530d

BMW 530d parking assistant and side-view cameras

BMW 530d rear-end-collision warning system

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Filed under: design, living, Lucire, technology, TV

The retro Diana camera is back for Christmas

Lucire staff/11.57

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Diana Mini
What’s old is new again. Remember the Diana camera of the 1960s? Originally produced in Hong Kong at a very low cost, many people will remember these as being quite popular, if less than reliable, in the 1970s.
   Now produced by Lomography, modern Dianas are quirky, fashionable items. The Diana Mini, smaller than the classic F+ model, is now available at Liberty of London, and can shoot either in the square format, or half-frame, meaning that one can pack 72 shots on to a 35 mm film. See www.liberty.co.uk/xmas for more information and online ordering. A colour booklet and lens cap are included in the £44 base price.

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