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March 29, 2013

Tokyo Fashion Week: designers shift gears toward Asia

Lucire staff/4.37

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Japan Fashion Week Organization

Above left Christian Dada. Above right Vivienne Tam.

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Tokyo wrapped up Sunday as cherry blossoms bloom in Japan’s capital. Over the last couple of seasons, Tokyo Fashion Week kept its target on European and Japanese buyers and audiences, but this season, it has eyed the growing Asian market, especially China. It makes sense since Chinese consumers have now become the world’s leading buyers of luxury goods.
   Japanese fashion brand Christian Dada was the fashion week opener for the autumn–winter 2013–14 collections. Christian Dada’s designer, Masanori Morikawa, is known as a stage costume designer for the American pop singer Lady Gaga during her Born This Way Ball 2012 tour. Morikawa has been showcasing his signature style with a rebellious yet silent dark beauty, but this season he got inspiration from a Chinese mythological bird called the fenghuang (phoenix), which is the theme of his collection. Leather jackets and pants are mainly in black and white with blue, red and gold patterns representing the fenghuang. The most memorable moment of Morikawa’s show was definitely his signature tall boots with bird wings.
   Chinese-born designer Vivienne Tam held a special runway show during Tokyo Fashion Week to celebrate the 15th anniversary of her brand in Japan. Tam presented the same collection she first showed at New York Fashion Week for the lunar New Year. Chinese calligraphy added unexpected twists in her latest collection in a modern and punk-like way, which successfully engaged with the fashion-savvy Japanese audience.
   Johan Ku, a Taiwanese designer, presented his signature knit collection. This season, Ku revealed the sexiness of a woman’s silhouette, with the theme of Anna, the female lead in the 1992 movie Damage. Unlike his last several collections, this season was full of pieces that showed off plenty of skin using holes, fringes, and asymmetric necklines. They all look randomly placed but are well calculated, demonstrating Ku’s skill of knit-work, boosted since his last collection.
   Japanese veteran designer Hiroko Koshino was one of the highlighted designers at Tokyo Fashion Week, presenting her collection on the last day. She also eyed the growing Asian market as she presented her new “east meets west” look. In her collection, Floral Memories, it was not just flower-patterned dresses that walked down the runway. Her floral inspiration was everywhere: from texture of fabric, colour choice and make-up, to draping and rounded silhouettes on each of her looks. The natural phenomena of flowers were represented in an artistic form, rather than the romantic image which many designers use.
   Since the Great East Japan Earthquake, Japan has been investing a full effort to shift its gear towards marketing its brand outside the country, especially to the growing Asian market. There are still criticisms that Tokyo Fashion Week is marketing internally, while the fashion-savvy audience in Japan is interested in street fashion, which they call ‘real clothes’, as opposed to high fashion from the runway. Tokyo Fashion Week continues to tackle those challenges, and the next several seasons will be key to turning things around, to become a new trend-setting global destination.—Yuka Murai, YM Biz & Media


Japan Fashion Week Organization

Above left Johan Ku. Above right Hiroko Koshino.

Yuka Murai of YM Biz & Media is a correspondent for Lucire.

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March 28, 2013

Sponsored video: Renault Clio’s ‘va va voom’ button

Lucire staff/13.04

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A Lucire special promotion

Today, Lucire has come full circle. One of the earliest stories on the web for our group was on the Renault Clio’s Nicole and Papa campaign, created in the early 1990s by Publicis. The Clio, which was the first Renault to hit the best sellers’ lists consistently in the UK, was sold with a cheeky campaign featuring two characters—Nicole, a young French lass, and Papa, obviously, her father. Those were the only two words uttered in the majority of the commercials, with the exceptions of ‘Maman’ and ‘Bob’, the final referring to comedian Bob Mortimer.
   The last Nicole and Papa TVC, released when the Clio II was launched in 1998, saw Nicole finally walk down the aisle, about to marry Vic Reeves (a.k.a. Jim Moir) when she finally decides, at the last minute, to run off with Bob Mortimer instead.
   It’s hard to believe that Nicole and Papa entered the British consciousness 20 years ago, in a series which also marketed French flair and the belief that the French have a better lifestyle than the British.
   The Clio is still with us, but it’s much larger than before. Now on its fourth incarnation, the latest Clio is more expressive and sporty in looks, thanks to the work of Laurens van den Acker. It’s on the previous model’s platform, albeit heavily revised, and that’s a good thing. In the stories we did on the Clio—both publisher Jack Yan and travel editor Stanley Moss took Clio 3s around France and New Zealand—we found it one of the most capable superminis, a small car with a big-car feel. In fact, we found it better for cruising New Zealand’s South Island than the Holden Commodore, which we tried around the same time.
   Clio IV features an 899 cm³, three-cylinder engine, but it’s turbocharged, developing more than 90 PS—those are the sorts of eco-friendly, yet powerful, specs that you can expect from the French these days. Renault claims a combined 88·3 mpg from the Energy dCi 90 engine. Archrival Peugeot similarly has three-cylinder units for its 208, the Clio’s closest rival at home, though the entry-level engine here is actually a 1·1 four which develops 75 PS. An RS model appears in 2013, getting 200 PS from a turbocharged 1·6, continuing the tradition of pocket rockets from Clio—Lucire photographer Doug Rimington once owned a Clio RS 182, which proved to be an able and taut sports hatch.
   The great thing is that Clio IV has the looks to match its ‘va-va-voom’ nature. The new model’s styling conveys everything that Nicole and Papa tried to do: that when you get a Clio, you’re getting a dose of French flair. But wait, there’s more: ‘va va voom’ includes a sense of passion, something which van den Acker’s styling attempts to do. This isn’t a dull little hatch in the domestic appliance mould: Clio IV is emotive, and even sexy. They’re not words you tend to hear in the B-segment.
   To show just what Renault means, the company has come up with two videos, one for unsuspecting male test drivers who come to a corner and are surprised at what happens when the ‘va va voom’ button is pressed, and the other for female test drivers.
   And to bring things full circle, Nicole and Papa make an appearance, uttering the lines that made them famous. It does seem that the years have not been kind to Nicole and Bob, because there’s no sign of Mortimer, as Nicole has found herself a new man.
   But isn’t that just what we expected?

Find out more from or book a test drive at the Renault website. Renault’s Twitter account can be found here, and its Facebook here.






Sponsored by Renault

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The joy of rediscovery: Zambesi’s autumn–winter 2013 collection

Sopheak Seng/8.22

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Nikita Brown/Nikita Brown Photography

Having viewed the Zambesi winter collection late last year in amongst the craziness of New Zealand Fashion Week, I had forgotten what my favourite pieces were (as so happens when you view collections six months before they are due in store and in quick sucession). When the invitation to attend the Wellington store’s winter launch appeared, the chance to stroll down memory lane and rediscover my favourites, and find some new gems, was welcome.
   Zambesi is one of those labels that is best appreciated up close. What appears to be plain shirting fabric is, in fact, a very fine mesh; or a print is turns out to be something else upon closer inspection. With the models rocking some looks from the collection, it was a joy to rediscover those well turned-out and brilliantly cut coats and jackets, tailored in fine wools and pieced together with wax-finish leathers. There were the beautiful brocades and jacquard prints featured on pants and dresses, the gorgeous knitwear, and one of my favourite standout prints of the season, the chequerboard print in butter yellow and ink navy.
   Stand-outs from the small showing in store were: the lace and knit dress—a beautiful, tight, sleeved dress with almost lace crochet detailing with tiny sequin embellishments, the perfect day-to-night outfit; and the black sheer silk shift dress with bandage-like side detailing and fringe work. The movement when the model walked was exquisite and very on trend with the flapper-esque feel to it all.
   From the menswear range, everything, from the military-style coats to the sharply tailored Slimane-like suiting, was very slick and super-stylish. The chequerboard pattern shirt is a must for winter, crafted in beautiful almost lace-like fabric. Also on the must-haves, one of the many coats that are in the collection: my favourite was the double-breasted wool coat with piece leather sleeves—cut with a surgeon’s scalpel this is a classic that will never date.
   The hair for the show had a very cool vibe to it—a mix of dishevelled chic, a wet look mixed with dry rough-and-tumble—directed by Buoy creative director Michael Beel. It was the perfect touch to the collection.
   Zambesi’s winter collection is in store now.—Sopheak Seng, Fashion and Beauty Editor






















Nikita Brown/Nikita Brown Photography

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March 27, 2013

Daniel Craig launches Range Rover Sport in New York: official images and videos

Lucire staff/1.16

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Updated March 28, 2013 at 10.56 a.m. GMT with The Delivery film and other highlights



James Bond star Daniel Craig has helped launch the Range Rover Sport in New York City with a drive through Manhattan, revealing the car to a celebrity audience that included former American football player Michael Strahan, Yasmin Le Bon, Zara Phillips, MBE, and Jade Jagger, at Skylight at Moynihan Station on 8th Avenue.
   The drive is part of a short film called The Delivery, broadcast live by Land Rover at www.newrangeroversport.com.
   The Delivery was directed by Jonathan P. B. Taylor, who most recently worked on A Good Day to Die Hard. It followed the journey of the new Range Rover Sport from Solihull to Manhattan, before it was driven by Craig over Manhattan Bridge to Moynihan Station.
   Craig drove the earlier Range Rover Sport in his second Bond film, Quantum of Solace, but was also attracted to working with the company because of its connection to the charity SAFE, of which he is a patron. Among other things, SAFE uses mobile street theatre and community programmes to help effect social change in third-world countries.
   Jaguar Land Rover says it chose New York for the launch as it sells more units in the US than in any other global market. New York is the car’s best selling city.
   The new Sport is no longer based on a Discovery, but has a new platform based around the company’s aluminium architecture, lightweight suspension design and chassis technologies. It was developed alongside the latest Range Rover but JLR claims that 75 per cent of the Sport’s parts are unique to it.
   It can be specified with occasional seating for sixth and seventh passengers, again appealing to the US market. The power seats can be folded to leave a flat floor.
   The new V6 diesel is 420 kg lighter than the outgoing model, while carbon dioxide emissions have been reduced to 194 g/km.
   The exterior design is more muscular and purposeful than the Range Rover presented last year, and some might say it is better balanced. It is positioned between the Range Rover and the smaller Evoque.
   It is 62 mm longer than the outgoing Sport, but the wheelbase has been increased by 178 mm—the overhangs have been shortened to give it more muscular proportions compared to the previous model. At 4,850 mm, it is shorter than other seven-seater SUVs and E-segment saloons, says the company. The drag co-efficient has dropped to 0,34.
   Connectivity includes Stolen Vehicle Tracking and a high-bandwidth wifi hotspot can be installed. An optional head-up display is available. Other features include lane departure warning, automatic high-beam assist, and a Wade Sensing feature that provides information on depth when driving through water.
   Land Rover said it had set out to create the most capable Range Rover ever, one which would be agile on-road, but unbeaten by its rivals off-road.
   In a release, Land Rover Global Brand Director John Edwards noted, ‘We’ve taken ride, handling and agility to another level for Land Rover to deliver a truly rewarding, sporting drive, together with unmatched luxury, capability and versatility.
   ‘Building on the success of the recently launched flagship Range Rover, the new Range Rover Sport also employs a vast array of new technologies which help to transform its performance, refinement and all round capabilities.’
   Again recognizing its clientèle, the wheel sizes range from 19 through to 21 inches.
   Suspension is fully independent, with double wishbones at front and multi-link at the rear. Wheel travel is 260 mm at the front and 272 mm at the rear; ground clearance has been increased to 278 mm. Land Rover’s Terrain Response 2 system selects the most suitable terrain program.
   A hybrid diesel with 169 g/km carbon dioxide emissions will follow, but at launch, the Sport has a supercharged five-litre V8 developing 510 PS, and a three-litre diesel developing 292 PS. Three- and 4·4-litre diesels will be added in 2014.







Above, from top Michael Strahan. Yasmin Le Bon. Daniel Craig and SAFE’s Nick Reding. Jade Jagger. Zara Phillips, MBE. Sienna Guillory and Jamie Chung. Thierry Henry. Below More shots of the new Range Rover Sport.







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March 26, 2013

Video: Jennifer López receives award from Muhammad Ali at charity Fight Night awards

Lucire staff/10.52

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Jennifer López has received an award from Muhammad and Lonnie Ali at the Muhammad Ali Celebrity Fight Night Awards XIX at the J. W. Marriott Desert Ridge Resort in Phoenix, Arizona, held on March 23.
   López, who also performed at the event, said, ‘Muhammad has always been this massive presence, [a] larger-than-life person, who inspired the world, and showed us that anyone can achieve their dreams.’
   López sung a duet with Andrea Bocelli as well as a solo number.
   Others who took to the stage included Billy Crystal, Billy Ray Cyrus, Steve Martin and Haley Reinhart. Guests included Mario López, Tate Stevens and Verne Troyer.
   The awards are held for charity, to help find a cure for Parkinson’s disease. Ali himself, now 71, has suffered from the disease since 1984. This year’s event brought in US$7·2 million. A total of US$80 million has been raised to date.
   López attended the event with boyfriend Casper Smart.

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Deserving your support: My Culture Is Not a Trend; Darryn George heads to Venezia; Surface Too Deep to Sydney

Jack Yan/9.20

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Wellington artists Tai and Kaaterina Kerekere have just opened their latest exhibition, My Culture Is Not a Trend, at Thistle Hall, on the corner of Cuba and Arthur Streets in New Zealand’s capital city.
   The couple’s paintings take pride of place, expressing personal aspects of Māoridom, culture, womanhood, family, and identity, relevant not only to a Māori audience but to any in living in New Zealand.
   Of greater interest to Lucire readers, however, is the launch of their jewellery line. KE Design, as the Kerekeres’ company is called, has launched what it calls The Heritage Collection 2013, which features unique hand-crafted jewellery featuring simple motifs founded on, as the name suggests, their heritage and whakapapa. The designs are clear, eye-catching and modern, and have an internationalist flavour while proudly steeped in New Zealand’s own culture. Prices range from a very reasonable NZ$100 for earrings to NZ$400 for a pendant set in silver and garnet.
   The Kerekeres, no strangers to exhibiting their art internationally, are showing in Hawai‘i in January 2014, and will launch another jewellery collection there. They will also take 33 works of art to the 50th US state.
   My Culture Is Not a Trend runs from March 27 to 31 at Thistle Hall, open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. KE Design can be found at kedesign.co.nz, with the site developed by Adrian Owen of SweetChilli, and on Facebook at facebook.com/rina.taiart.
   Another New Zealand artist showing abroad is Darryn George, of Ngāpuhi descent, who has been invited to the Biennale di Venezia, showing at the Palazzo Bembo. The Christchurch-born artist recently gave a talk at Wellington’s Caffè L’Affarè about his plans to transform room 15 into a Wharenui-like space with highly reflective black surfaces, with the concept based around filing cabinets representing the lives lost in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.
   The work, consisting of 3,510 mm-high MDF boards painted with high-gloss automotive paints, is being made in New Zealand and will be shipped to Venezia, but George requires help to raise the funds to get to the Biennale. An impression of what the finished work will look like is shown below.

   He has already completed a work at the Connells Bay Sculpture Park at a smaller scale, and has exhibited in Paris, as well as throughout New Zealand.
   The freight will cost some NZ$110,000, and donations of NZ$2,500, NZ$5,000 or any amount are sought. More information can be sought either from John and Jo Gow at Connells Bay Sculpture Park (info@connellsbay.co.nz, or John on 64 21 363-613, or Jo on 64 21 963-613) or Rebecca Hamid, Director, RH Gallery (art@rhgallery.co.nz, 64 21 393-970). Donations to the Connells Bay Sculpture Trust are tax-deductible, with the Trust set up as a registered charity.
   We’ve further good news where readers can help the future of one of our subjects directly. With the success of their début at last year’s New Zealand Fashion Week as part of the Miromoda show, the lovely ladies behind Surface Too Deep (see Lucire issue 29) have been asked to showcase their brand at Mercedes-Benz Australian Fashion Week.
   As with any small start-up, business finances are tight and the need for sponsorship is crucial. It has long been a dream of the brand to showcase their wares on an international platform to reach international media and buyers. With this opportunity, they are hoping to garner more brand recognition as well as gain more stockists.
   Co-designer Sarah-Jane Abraham says that Surface Too Deep has planned a ‘pretty special’ range but needs the help of supporters to make sure that the label can show at Sydney.
   This will be an amazing opportunity for both these young women and you can help them fulfil their dreams by pledging at www.pledgeme.co.nz/845.—Jack Yan, Publisher, and Sopheak Seng, Fashion and Beauty Editor









Above Jewellery from KE Design and artwork by Tai and Kaaterina Kerekere, showing currently at Thistle Hall, Wellington. Below An image from Surface Too Deep, as shown in Lucire issue 29.

Louise Hatton

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March 25, 2013

Jameson Empire Awards’ star-studded turnout: Sam Mendes, Jenna-Louise Coleman, Dame Helen Mirren, Daniel Radcliffe

Lucire staff/4.15

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The Jameson Empire Awards took place at the Grosvenor House, a J. W. Marriott Hotel, in Park Lane in London at the weekend, with Sam Mendes, Dame Helen Mirren, Daniel Radcliffe, Martin Freeman, and Jennifer Lawrence among those honoured.
   Other VIPs included Sir Ian McKellen, Jenna-Louise Coleman, Kevin Spacey, Mark Strong, Vanessa Kirby, Beth Tweddle, Ellie Goulding, Alexandra Roach, Edgar Wright, Robert Sheehan, Johnny Vegas, Michael G. Wilson, Jonathan Ross, Nick Park, Sam Claflin, Laura Haddock, Tom Riley, Laura Whitmore, Maia Dunphy, Mariella Frostrup, Rickie Haywood Williams, Melvin O’Doom, Dexter Fletcher and Blake Harrison. Ed Byrne was host.
   The Empire Awards, which celebrate the best movies of the previous year, are judged based on an international public vote.
   Mendes picked up three awards for the James Bond film Skyfall, including the Empire Inspiration award presented by Jameson Irish Whiskey, as well as Best Film, presented by Sky Movies, and Best Director, presented by Monitor Audio.
   The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey won two awards, for Best Sci-Fi or Fantasy Film, presented by MediCinema, and the Jameson Best Actor award, presented by Rebecca Hall, which went to Martin Freeman.
   Sightseers was Best British Film, presented by Trésor Paris.
   Dame Helen Mirren took home the second Empire Legend award, presented by Tom Hiddleston, for her career, which has seen films such as The Queen and Hitchcock. Director Danny Boyle won the Empire Outstanding Contribution award, for his films, including Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire and Trance.
   Daniel Radcliffe won the Empire Hero award, presented to him by director James Watkins.
   Jennifer Lawrence, who was not present at the awards, thanked audiences from location in Hawai‘i, after winning Best Actress, presented by Citroën, for The Hunger Games.
   Tom Holland won Best Male Newcomer for The Impossible, presented by Entertainment Tonight, while Samantha Barks won Best Female Newcomer for Les Misérables.
   Ted won Best Comedy, presented by Magic 105.4; Headhunters won Best Thriller, presented by Vue Entertainment; and Dredd 3D picked up the Art of 3D award, presented by RealD.
   The Jameson Empire Done in 60 Seconds short film award was won by Philip Askins, for his remake of Blade Runner. Tom Hiddleston, Edith Bowman, Alex Zane, Joanne Froggatt, Bauer Media CEO Paul Keenan and Empire editor-in-chief Mark Dinning served on the judging panel.
   The Awards will be televised on March 30 at 8.30 p.m. on Sky Movies in the UK, and repeated the following night at 7.30 p.m. on Sky Movies Showcase. To celebrate the awards, US readers can download Empire’s US edition for Ipad free from now through March 27.




















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Daniel Radcliffe on the Frankenstein remake

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March 21, 2013

Justin Bieber appears in Adidas Neo’s spring–summer 2013 online look book

Lucire staff/22.00

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In another fashion–music tie-up, Adidas Neo, the German company’s sub-brand targeted at teenagers, secured the services of Justin Bieber for its spring–summer 2013 campaign last October. The campaign has now been released with a digital look book.
   The look book is available at adidas.com/neoliveyourstyle, featuring Bieber alongside Neo teens in 12 short interactive films.
   Bieber drums in one of the 12 short videos, while most feature teenagers living with their Neo clothing. The company has come up with various hashtags for the videos, including #liveyourstyle for the main collection, and #nailit, #dreamit, #styleit and others for the individual scenarios.
   Cleverly, by clicking on the person in the video, the look book brings up each item they are wearing, and a link to Adidas’s online shop.
   The items can be shared socially on Facebook and Twitter. Adidas Neo, meanwhile, can check out the brand at these two social networks, and at Instagram and Tumblr.
   The song in the videos, written exclusively for Neo by British artist Femme, can be downloaded via the site.

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