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October 31, 2010

The cutting edge of cool

Lucire staff/22.08

On a recent stealth mission, Lucire’s fashion spy Samantha Coagan visited the über-trendy Rudy’s Barber Shop in Santa Monica, California. Rudy’s, founded by one of the partners from the oh-so-chic Ace Hotel chain (see ‘Volante’ review of their Palm Springs property), advertises cheap cuts, no frills and a walk-in policy, though you can reserve. Most locations, five in the Southland—as well as Portland and Seattle—are open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week.
   Imposing the most difficult conditions on the unsuspecting business, Samantha danced unannounced into the Santa Monica shop at 1 p.m. on a Saturday, where five cutters were happily at work snipping away. She waited only 10 minutes before settling into her own chair in the minimalist, spacious, post-industrial storefront, which features vintage décor. The store has a friendly and open style, with cutters greeting their customers with a smile and a handshake. The manager was observed making a circuit of the stations, sweeping away the hair on the floor.
   ‘It’s a scene,’ Samantha says. ‘A place to see and be seen, and everybody has pierces and tattoos.’ There’s a shelf of old National Geographics which nobody was reading, opting instead for the excellent and up-to-date magazine rack. One guy thumbed through a style book trying to decide which look he wanted. ‘The stylist told me it’s mostly guys who come to the shop, but half the customers today were women. There were “before and after” Polaroids on the wall next to the desk, which gave me a feeling of reassurance, but I also felt pretty safe after the honest consultation with my tattooed lady stylist before she starting shearing me.’
   Samantha’s last cut was 60 days ago, so she was prepared lose some length, and the stylist didn’t disappoint. The final cut has a rough, retro ’60s shape that later very nicely survived a windblown ride in a convertible on the Santa Monica Freeway. Total price US$30, with a US$5 tip.
   Rudy’s stocks a full shelf of Bumble & Bumble products, and will soon have its own signature products on offer as well. Remember to pick up a free pencil on your way out.
   Would she go back? ‘Let’s see how it grows out,’ Samantha answered. ‘If I like it in a week, yes, I definitely would.’—Stanley Moss, Travel Editor

Rudy’s Barber Shop
3101 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90405
USA
Telephone 1 310 450-2930

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October 30, 2010

Royal New Zealand Ballet’s The Nutcracker a fresh, brilliant take

Jack Yan/23.56

The Nutcracker
Maarten Holl

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s The Nutcracker is a new take on the Tchaikovsky classic—set in a children’s hospital ward.
   Both fashion editor Sopheak Seng and I called it ‘brilliant’ when we chatted about it post-show: it really is a fresh and entertaining take that’s cleverly directed and choreographed. Coupled with the Vector Wellington orchestra, which didn’t miss a beat, the production is a must-see.
   The credit for the clever direction and choreography is that of artistic director, Gary Harris, who departs the Royal New Zealand Ballet after this production. Adrian Burnett provided additional choreography, while Kenneth Young conducted.
   Tonia Looker, as Clara, and Paul Russell, as Fritz, were particularly expressive as the children who begin the ballet opening their presents on Christmas Day.
   The audience, meanwhile, reserved most of its applause and delight for Sir Jon Trimmer as the Matron in the ward. Sir Jon was the Prince and the Russian for the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s first performance of The Nutcracker in 1963.
   And we must applaud the costumes, which brought The Nutcracker in to the 1930s, with smart men’s and women’s suiting and dresses.
   Harris’s successor, Ethan Stiefel, will have big shoes to fill when he takes up his role. Interestingly, Stiefel, too, recently staged and choreographed a version of The Nutcracker for the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. A recipient of the Statue Award of the Princess Grace Foundation (1999) and a Prix de Lausanne juror (2001), he takes up his role in September 2011.
   The RNZB’s The Nutcracker is at the St James in Wellington till November 6, and travels around the country to Invercargill (November 11–13), Christchurch (November 17–20), Palmerston North (November 23–4), Napier (November 27–8), Auckland (December 1–5) and Takapuna (December 8–9).—Jack Yan, Publisher

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October 29, 2010

BMW releases video footage of the 2011 X3

Lucire staff/2.34

Hopefully this video host (SmugMug) won’t disappear. On that note, here’s the 2011 BMW X3, which is larger than the model it replaces (whose role is taken over largely by the new X1). The videos were issued by BMW several days ago.
   Made in Spartanburg, South Carolina, alongside the X5 and X6, the X3 has two engine variants at launch: a four-cylinder diesel developing 184 bhp (135 kW) and a straight-six petrol engine developing 306 bhp (225 kW).
   The videos below show the X3 Xdrive20d going through its paces off-road—where its ability is, arguably, limited—and some exterior footage.

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Filed under: living, Lucire, media, TV

Adriana Lima models the 2010 Victoria’s Secret Bombshell Fantasy Bra

Lucire staff/1.16

Victoria's Secret Bombshell Fantasy Bra, modelled by Adriana Lima
Victoria's Secret Bombshell Fantasy Bra, modelled by Adriana Lima

Victoria’s Secret

Victoria's Secret Bombshell Fantasy Bra, modelled by Adriana LimaEarlier this month, we opted not to cover the hoop-la around the latest version of the Victoria’s Secret diamond bra, as worn by Adriana Lima—as there were some busy news days and catch-up work to do after the many fashion weeks around the world.
   However, we’ve noticed that there are many search-engine hits coming to this website, and all visitors are seeing are 2008’s design by Martin Katz. So, here it is: the 2010 edition, dubbed the Victoria’s Secret Bombshell Fantasy Bra, modelled once again by Miss Lima, this time created by Italian jeweller Damiani.
   The bra “only” costs US$2 million, compared with the US$5 million price tag put on the 2008 version. It features 3,000 brilliant-cut white diamonds, light blue sapphires and oval-shaped topazes, set in 18 ct white gold. There are 60 ct of diamonds and 82 ct of sapphires and topazes, says Damiani. Over 1,500 hours of labour were put in to the bra.
   It will appear in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show annual telecast, airing this year on November 30 on CBS in the US, and the company’s 2010 Christmas Dreams and Fantasies catalogue.
   There have been pricier Victoria’s Secret bras. In 2005, the fantasy bra was valued at US$12·5 million, modelled by Gisèle Bündchen. The 10th anniversary version in 2006 featured 2,000 diamonds weighing a massive 800 ct, valued at US$6·5 million, modelled by Karolina Kurková.

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October 28, 2010

Lancôme débuts 2010 Trésor ad, starring Penélope Cruz

Lucire staff/13.39

We haven’t started putting content on our new video home yet, so for now, we’ll embed Lancôme’s latest commercial for Trésor, starring Spanish actress Penélope Cruz, from YouTube.
   Also below is the making of the advertisement, filmed in Paris last spring, and directed by Mario Testino.
   Cruz says that she has been a fan of Trésor for a long time, and that she is ‘honoured’ to be the new face of the fragrance.

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Considering Lincoln Center, New York’s new fashion destination

Lola Saab/12.29

Mayor Bloomberg at Lincoln Center
Mayor Bloomberg at Lincoln Center
Lola Saab

Above Mayor Michael Bloomberg addresses a small group of media on New York Fashion Week’s move from Bryant Park to Lincoln Center, joined by (from left to right) Katherine Farley, Ted J. Forstman and Diane Von Furstenberg. The unveiling of the Fashion Line sign at the New York subway stop nearest to Lincoln Center.

New York Fashion Week is a seven-day event that is assisted by many; viewed and remembered by so many more. However, when we think of NYFW, we may think of the famous Bryant Park, a walk from Broadway and from the fashion district. This season, we experienced a change. NYFW found its new home in a new location: Lincoln Center.
   This year, the city decided to celebrate the change by “kicking off” with an eventful debut, with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg as host. The intimate welcome was held between the mayor and a small group of press. It took place a day before the first day of fashion week on September 8, 2010.
   Other than Mayor Bloomberg attending this eventful day, the Council of Fashion Designers of America president (as well as world-renowned designer) Diane Von Furstenberg was also present. Others included the Lincoln Center chair, Katherine Farley, and the chairman and CEO of IMG, Ted J. Forstman. They each had something to smile about: the time when people around the world could call Lincoln Center home when thinking about fashion. They also took the privilege in temporarily calling the metro stop near Lincoln Center ‘the Fashion Line’.
   In his speech, Bloomberg mentioned that ‘Lincoln Center is a great solution.’ He continued, ‘Fashion is art and fashion is performing art; it’s the right place at the right time.’
   Mayor Bloomberg went on in saying, ‘New York City has more fashion houses than any other city.’
   Similarly, Von Furstenberg explained, ‘Lincoln Center is part of art and culture.’
   In a general perspective, they are glad to take Fashion Week by the hand and allow Lincoln Center to hog the attention away from historical Bryant Park.
   Lincoln Center is officially the new home base for people of the fashion world. The question that we could focus on answering is: was it or was it not the move to make? Metaphorically speaking, one move in a game of chess can either destroy or allow the king to conquer all; on the other hand, the move from one location to another could change the vibe for better or for worse.
   Nineteen ninety-four represented the year where Bryant Park welcomed NYFW with opened arms; 16 years later Lincoln Center does the same. The beautiful arrangements in the main check-in area were wonderfully set with a warm sensation of welcome to the stunning people who entered the doors. Adapting to the technological additions in the area were difficult to get used to: there was a system to scan and go to the next scheduled show. 
   As it was the first time NYFW was held at Lincoln Center, there were a few points that could have been adjusted, but on the whole, the move was worth it. The Lincoln Center tents were set up in a more orderly fashion; and, as many stiletto wearing women might say, the floors they tread on were more comfortable, with their no longer needing to suffer stone-made flooring.
   I hope that certain aspects, including organization, improves in the future at our new home. We are finally happy to call Lincoln Center our own as we await to see how the next seasons in the near future will turn out.—Lola Saab, Paris Editor

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Christchurch readies itself for its busiest week in fashion

Lucire staff/4.46


Angela Stone Consulting



Jack Yan

Above, from top Scenes from last year’s Addington races: organizer Angela Stone on the far left with some of the supporters of the 2009 event. Lynne Robertson, Miss Lindauer, representing one of the sponsors, with one of the 2009 Best Dressed winners. Carly Flynn, TV3 anchor.

Lucire had marvellous fun at Christchurch’s Cup Week last year, thanks to organizer Angela Stone, who oversaw the fashion events. This year, Angela’s back with the New Zealand Trotting Cup meeting at Addington on November 9 and the New Zealand Galloping Cup meeting at Riccarton on November 13.
   The Addington fashion event, where judges decide on the the best dressed man and woman, takes place all day long in the Lindauer Fashion Marquée, with the final scheduled for 4.30 p.m.
   The best dressed woman receives a return trip for two flying Air New Zealand to London, staying at a Millennium Hotel, and gets the free use of a new Audi car. She also receives her height in Lindauer magnums, a Seiko watch from Pascoes, a gift basket from Christian Dior, flowers from Inwater and a Mods Hair pack.
   The best dressed Addington man receives an Audi Ice Experience (two days of snow driving) at the Wanaka Snow farm, with all meals and luxury accommodation included, a NZ$1,500 Hugo Boss suit from Sergios, a NZ$1,250 TAG Heuer Formula One watch from Nairns Swiss Watch Service, a return trip for two flying Air New Zealand to Sydney for two nights plus accommodation, and other prizes.
   There is also a NZ$4,000 body art award for the best painted body wear.
   At Riccarton, the heats take place on the catwalk next to the birdcage so the public can watch the event all day long. The final is at 3.10 p.m. Riccarton’s best dressed woman receives a trip for two to Los Angeles flying Air New Zealand, with five nights’ accommodation at a Millennium hotel. She will also represent the region at Ellerslie in Auckland for the national final on March 5, 2011, and compete for a prize pool that exceeds NZ$100,000.
   The best dressed man will receive flights for two to Brisbane with seven nights’ accommodation at the Peninsular Beachfront Resort in Mooloolaba.
   This year’s Addington judges include New Zealand Fashion Week organizer Pieter Stewart, while at Riccarton, one of the judges is Ria van Dyke, the current Miss Universe New Zealand.—Lucire staff, with Kip Brook/Word of Mouth Media

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October 27, 2010

Wellington’s Hobbit party almost overshadows inauguration

Jack Yan/12.26

I hadn’t planned on a big night. I attended the inauguration of Mayor Celia Wade-Brown in Wellington, New Zealand, and joined her and some of her newly sworn-in councillors at St John’s Bar earlier tonight. But on the way to the latter, we got word that The Hobbit, the troubled Warner Bros. production that had threatened to leave New Zealand shores thanks to union issues, would remain, thanks to intervention by the government. There was another party—an unscheduled one, but equally joyous—on what proved to be a big night out in Wellington.
   When I left the Matterhorn bar just before midnight, some members of Wellington film crews, Gerry Brownlee MP, Minister of Economic Development, and his team were still celebrating.
   The two Hobbit movies, based on the J. R. R. Tolkien novel and produced by, inter alia, Sir Peter Jackson, were budgeted for US$500 million, with the New Zealand Government providing greater tax breaks to secure them staying on-shore.
   The tax breaks announced by the Prime Minister, John Key, include an extra NZ$20 million on top of the NZ$45 million that had already been pledged. A labour law change will be presented before Parliament to secure the deal and to end the threat of a strike.
   The informality of the Hobbit party at the Matterhorn almost overshadowed the dignity and ceremony of the inauguration tonight.
   The Hobbit is the prequel to The Lord of the Rings. Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Sir Ian McKellen and Mark Hadlow have been cast.—Jack Yan, Publisher

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