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December 30, 2013

NPO names Taylor Swift 2013’s most generous celebrity; One Direction in second place

Lucire staff/23.52

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Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

American NPO DoSomething.org has published its list of the top 20 celebrities who have given to charity. While the criteria are not given, it does appear restricted to celebrities who have made an impact Stateside.
   The site places Taylor Swift (above) in first place, with donations including US$100,000 to the Nashville Symphony out of her own pocket, and an event for Centrepoint, helping homeless youth.
   One Direction is in second place although their totals are more substantial—albeit not paid from their own net worth. The boy band’s Red Nose Day single raised over £2 million to help charities, and a further US$784,345 in donations for cancer research.
   No figure was given for third-placed Beyoncé, other than headlining the Chime for Change charity concert in London. Nor was an amount given to the late Paul Walker, who founded the Reach Out Worldwide charity, ‘a network of professionals with first responder skills,’ according to the website. Walker was killed in a car crash while aiding a charity raise funds for the Philippines’ disastrous Typhoon Haiyan.
   Macklemore & Ryan Lewis were placed fifth, while Sandra Bullock came sixth for her work in disaster relief and education. Kerry Washington was given seventh place, helping in the arts for low-income areas, Ian Somerhalder (The Vampire Diaries) followed for his work on the environment and animal rights, and Ryan Seacrest gave back through his foundation to children’s hospitals.
   Carrie Underwood made it into the top 10, donating US$1 million to the Red Cross, to help her home state, Oklahoma. One of our celebrity newsmakers of 2013, Jennifer Lawrence, was just outside the top 10, with her screening of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire in Louisville, Kentucky, which raised funds for St Mary’s Center, helping those with intellectual disabilities.
   The remaining nine can be found on DoSomething.org’s website.

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Angela Lansbury, Penelope Keith become Dames in New Year Honours’ List

Lucire staff/22.55

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Eva Rinaldi/Creative Commons 2·0


Hugo Bernand/Cartier

Top Angela Lansbury, who receives a DBE in the New Year Honours’ List, announced today. Above Katherine Jenkins receives an OBE for her contribution to music and services to charity.

Actresses Angela Lansbury and Penelope Keith are to become Dames in the New Year Honours’ List. Lansbury, 88, best known for her role in Murder, She Wrote, is on the diplomatic and overseas list for her work in drama, charitable work and philanthropy, while Keith, 73, is honoured for her services to the arts and charity.
   The Honours’ List this year has more women than men for the first time—611 out of 1,195—though men still outnumber women in the higher honours. Five per cent are from ethnic minorities.
   Singer and actor Michael Crawford, 71, receives a CBE for services to children’s charities.
   Nicholas Parsons, now 90, receives an OBE for his work in drama and broadcasting. Comedienne Sandi Toksvig also receives an OBE for her services to broadcasting, while mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins gets hers for her contribution to music and for services to charity. Lynda Bellingham, who was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, receives her OBE for her services to charity.
   Author Anthony Horowitz (Foyle’s War) receives an OBE for services to literature.
   Celebrity recipients on the list receiving MBEs include actress–writer Ruth Jones (Gavin & Stacey), for her services to entertainment, Kevin McCloud (Grand Designs) for his work on sustainable buildings, and DJ Pete Tong for services to broadcasting and music.

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December 29, 2013

Miss France 2014 your top story, and Princess Madeleine your favourite newsmaker

Lucire staff/1.19

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Bruno Ehrs/Kungahuset

Above HRH Princess Madeleine of Sweden was the person you searched for the most this year.

We’ve told you who we thought 2013’s newsmakers were. But who did you want to read about this year?
   In first place: HRH Princess Madeleine of Sweden. The younger of HM King Carl XVI Gustaf’s daughters was married this year, to Anglo-American financier Chris O’Neill, and there was plenty of interest from you in the Royal Wedding.
   Keira Knightley and Penélope Cruz held your imaginations in second and third place this year, followed by Kylie Minogue, Leah Remini, Sonam Kapoor and David Gandy.
   Olivia Newton-John proved that she could still get readers’ interest a generation after Grease, while last year’s World Miss University Mia Hasanagic found herself in ninth place after an influx of searches in January. Fearne Cotton and the new Miss France, Flora Coquerel, manage 10th and 11th respectively, with Jay Kay, Honor Dillon and Adriana Lima following. Jeremy Renner and David Beckham were tied at 15th.
   Our top news items of 2013—unless something drastic happens in these final two days—were, as usual, the election of Miss France (right), while you were also very interested in GHD’s Candy Collection of straighteners.
   Pandora showed that it was a favourite among fashionistas, with its Black Friday charm getting plenty of attention.
   Given that Princess Madeleine was the most-searched person, the Royal Wedding slipped in to fourth and fifth on our charts. Another Royal Wedding story, on the couple’s honeymoon destination, was ninth.
   The current James Bond, Daniel Craig, launching the Range Rover Sport in New York came sixth, followed by Lana Del Rey releasing her new film Tropico last month.
   The top Kiwi story was on the Brancott Estate World of Wearable Art winners, in a year where New Zealanders took the top prizes.
   There remained plenty of interest in last year’s World Miss University, with our story on Mia Hasanagic’s win coming in 10th.
   Last year, Whitney Houston’s death made it into our top 10. Bad news, sadly, still sells, though it was the death of photographer Kate Barry (the cause remains unannounced) that came in at 11th.

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December 28, 2013

Dopo Natale: letter from Venezia

Lucire staff/23.19

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Paula Sweet

Greetings the week after Christmas 2013! I’m living here for the month, writing and reporting, and the city is grand. You still see huge tour groups of curious Asians—welcome, friends! But the lanes are comparatively empty now, and they will thin out next week after the New Year. It’s the perfect season to visit. Just bring your warm clothes.
   I’m gearing up to write an article for www.italiantalks.com about shopping with Cosimo from the Luna Baglioni, one of my favourite hotels in the world. Paula and I will accompany Chef Cosimo on an odyssey to the Rialto market and observe him as he selects the best of the region for the Canova Restaurant. We’ll photograph him, take some movies, and share his secret places and choices with you. Stay tuned!



Paula Sweet

   This week we dropped by the Luna to finalize our appointment, and we shared a coffee with Cosimo, our old friend GM Gianmatteo Zampieri, and were expertly taken care of by the legendary Nicoletta. Cosimo sent out a dessert sampler with zabaglioni, dates and mascarpone, cheesecake, chocolate mousse, and a delicate custard. It’s always great to visit the Luna, since it feels like home and family—also to consult with the world’s greatest concierge, Antonio Massari about the latest insider places of interest. He always knows what’s happening.
   Later, we went wandering, due east, out to the Castello neighbourhood, where a local resident pointed us to the Campo Ruga. It doesn’t get much more real than this. You may need your GPS to find it, but tucked away in this tiny square you’ll find Trattoria alla Nuova Speranza, where chef Alessandro (and his Viszla dog) welcomed us for an authentic Venetian lunch. A half litre of Valpolicella, traditional salad, and a lasagna which made us cry out loud, ‘Mamma mia!’ Then traditional Venetian cookies and vin santo, followed by a macchiatone, a coffee service unique to the Veneto—ask for it anywhere else and get a blank stare. The Trattoria is one of those real experiences that can’t be choreographed. True to custom, we had a shot of grappa before stepping back out into the windy chill. As the winter sun set behind the Gothic silhouettes, we strolled along via Giuseppe Garibaldi, back to the lagoon, where fantasy lights illuminated a temporary row of kids’ rides.—Stanley Moss, Travel Editor








Paula Sweet

Trattoria alla Nuova Speranza
Campo Ruga
Castello 145
Venezia
Telephone and fax 39 041 52-85-225

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Filed under: Lucire, travel, Volante

Lucire TV: fashion’s significant moments and trends of 2013

Lucire staff/11.57

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While we had our newsmakers, what else summed up 2013 in the fashion business?
   In a nutshell: Marc Jacobs’ departure from Louis Vuitton after 16 years and his last show at Paris Fashion Week, the return of Tom Ford and a big show to London, the revival of Schiaparelli under Christian Lacroix, the return of grunge on the streets and the catwalks, the Met-inspired revival of punk, the exhibitions on Azzedine Alaïa at Palais Galliera, Chanel at the Palais de Tokyo and Christian Dior at the Grand Palais, Ralph Lauren’s restoration and patron sponsorship of L’École des Beaux-Arts and Fendi’s restoration of the Fontana di Trevi, under Karl Lagereld and Silvia Venturini Fendi.
   There were also more films promoting fashion this year, and while promotional in motive, they have increasingly become works of art. Kenzo had its Electric Jungle by Mat Maitland and directors Smith & Read, Fendi at the Palazzo Farnese, Miu Miu’s dancing women, Martin Scorsese directing Scarlett Johansson and Matthew McConaughey for Dolce & Gabbana’s The One, Sienna Miller and fiancé Tom Sturridge for Burberry, Monica Bellucci for Dolce & Gabbana, and Wes Anderson directing his film for Prada. Karl Lagerfeld’s astonishing works for Chanel get special mention, revealing more each season about the history of la maison.
   Our final video shows this year’s most intriguing fashion show scenery, featuring Jean Paul Gaultier, Givenchy, Rick Owens, Vionnet, Rodarte, Jason Wu, Yves Saint Laurent, Proenza Schuler, Antonio Berardi, Christian Dior, Marc Jacobs, Moncler Gamme Rouge, Hermès, Kenzo, Alexander McQueen, Prada, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, and Chanel.

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Ready for ’14: a new look for Lucire’s home page

Jack Yan/11.04

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Above Out with the old, in with the new—with J-Law doing the honours as the first cover girl of the new look. (It was Kylie Minogue a year ago.)

Our home page has had a nip–tuck today. Well, it’s closer to a full redesign.
   During 2013, there seems to have been a trend toward longer and longer web pages, probably thanks to mobile devices and tablets, and our ease of “swiping”.
   This has changed the way we consume web publications, although the new design breaks a few rules that were de rigueur when we started in 1997.
   If you head there today, you’ll see a more impressive, “bled” home page image (Jennifer Lawrence is the ideal person to kick this off—especially if you read my ‘Newsmakers of 2013’ story) but the menu bar isn’t where you expect it to be.
   We still haven’t quite got there in terms of making the page perfect for lower resolutions—some images still don’t resize properly—but we will make these corrections through 2014.
   One of our advertisers, Vidal Sassoon, was arguably the inspiration behind the new look. While we can’t be quite as fancy—a magazine must still present easily digestible facts first, and dazzle with new products second—we began rethinking how Lucire should look. We also felt, that with how quickly blogs had caught up with magazine-style layouts, we had to differentiate ourselves again.
   It’s interesting to note that the last redesign for Lucire’s home page took place around this time last year—and at the time, we all thought the new look would last us for a couple of years (as most have). It’s the shortest stint of any home-page look Lucire has had in its 16-year history.
   Internally, we feel the new look is closer to that of the print editions of Lucire, which only makes sense. Each should reinforce the other.
   We’ll phase in the new look, as we want to wait to get your feedback.
   I mentioned my ‘Newsmakers’ story earlier. Click through here and see if you agree with our team’s top six for 2013. We didn’t include Miley.
   Have a wonderful 2014, and please let us know your thoughts on the redesign in the comments or via our social media presences (we’ve had a few positive ones on our Facebook group and our Facebook page).—Jack Yan, Publisher

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December 27, 2013

Polaroid projection: originality in the digital age

Anna Deans/0.49

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In a modern context, we look to social media to promote us and to expand our visibility in the world. Images are posted and reposted, only to be reposted again. Even this blog is an attempt to promote what I want the world to see of myself, to reach more people than I see in the reality of my day-to-day life.
   I like to believe I belong outside the technological generation we live in. My mind constantly ponders the idea of living in the ’60s or ’70s. A better generation, perhaps? I like the less commercial, less complex nature of this time. Every photograph had vastly more value than in the throwaway mentality of today. This may, however, seem crazy to those who grew up at this time, as the ’60s was no question the dawn of what we would recognize as modern commercialism. They believed factories and the extreme speed of the making of new products, including the production of photography, was exciting and beneficial. And perhaps it is … or not.
   Twenty thirteen represents a time of contradictions: it continues to promote fast consumption while emphasizing the need to slow things down. This concept makes me wonder about my obsessive need for things to be both one-off, special and not designed to be used and thrown out. My 1970s Polaroid is a prime example. What do I love about it? Its tactile nature. Its reality: the touchable nature of the images, they are an object that is not purely a series of pixels inside my Mac. Maybe what I love most, though, is the inability to fake it. The images can’t be staged: they are taken once, printed out and that’s it. No Photoshop. No filter. Nothing. They are what they are and due to cost of film, it seems crazy to throw any out. Whereas on my Iphone millions of images are taken, deleted, altered, posted, etc. It’s no longer the exciting act of capturing a moment; it has become something quite different. Once posted, they become freely accessible to anybody and have the ability to be endlessly copied to the point of no longer being original. I contradict my hate of this, however, by photographing the Polaroid photos themselves, and posting. Otherwise, how would anybody see their beauty? Therefore, the same fate can fall to my photos of photos. Maybe having the only original for myself in a physical state makes me have less hate for this copying.
   The mindset I have about everyone needing to see the photos is very 21st-century, however. The ’60s saw no need for everyone you know to see your images, purely those who took the time to look through your photo albums, those close to you, not the public or, frankly, anyone in the world who wants to look.
   I find myself loving and hating the digital age. I hate the lack of original thought of how it is now, though the transmission of imagery. But I love its ability to share imagery with more people. I love that my friend Kat in the US can see what I’m doing, but I hate that she will never know if I chucked a filter on to make it look more sunny or me more tanned. In the same sense, I love my Polaroid because it is void of the perils of the Photoshop age where everyone is altered to be perfect or the same. Once again who wants to be the same: that’s not beautiful is it?
   This hatred of un-originality is repeated in all aspects of my life. My hate for chain stores: all looking like clones of one another. Copying another style, that really grills me. I open a trashy OK magazine only to find I can buy the exact outfit Kim Kardashian is wearing today. So if I shop where she shops and wear what she’s wearing I will be better or look better? Is that the point? I’m struggling to get it. This obviously is also enabled by the transmitting of imagery.
   Don’t get me wrong, I have women I admire in terms of style, but that doesn’t make me want to be them or look identical to them. Strangely enough, I want to be myself. I want to look like nobody else. My face already does that as does my voice, my personality and my life experiences so I want my fashion to be also. I like to think the way I put things together is a direct representation of me and me alone. More than anything I hate the lack of ownership over images, as well as personal style. I believe the celebrating of originality is strongly lacking in our modern context. Perhaps what I love most about my Polaroid in that case, is the one-off nature of every single image. This is how I want my style to be also: one-off, like me.—Anna Deans

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December 21, 2013

British Airways celebrates 100 years of Indian cinema with Bollywood film event

Lucire staff/10.51

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British Airways’ film extravaganza, Silent Picturehouse, celebrated the centenary of Indian cinema in Mumbai last week, with Arjun Rampal, Malaika Arora Khan, Arbaaz Khan, Arjun Kapoor, Mandira Bedi, Chitrangda Singh, Minissha Lamba, and Sophie Choudry among the red-carpet VIPs.
   The event, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Mumbai, had Bollywood screenings in three cinemas over the December 16–18 period, showing Dharma Productions’ Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, among others, hand-picked by Karan Johar, the film director and producer. The films were played in a space that re-created the in-flight entertainment experience. Guests tuned in to the movie of their choice and wore wireless headphones while seated in the environment of a traditional cinema.
   Bedi said, ‘Silent Picturehouse was an exciting and unique experience brought by British Airways. I was curious to know I would travel the world from my seat as the invite said but I must say I quite enjoyed it. Great experience.’ Arbaaz Khan, meanwhile, called it ‘a fab experience’.
   Said Malaika Arora Khan, ‘I was quite curious about the concept of British Airways’ Silent Picturehouse and how it would work. I really enjoyed the experience of indulging in British Airways’ hospitality whilst watching some of the biggest super hits of Bollywood. This is something we enjoy on our long-haul flights when we travel with British Airways. A unique cinematic experience to remember!’
   Kapoor noted, ‘I had a great time at British Airways’ Silent Picturehouse to commemorate 100 years of Indian cinema. It was definitely a unique experience, something I have not experienced or seen anywhere before this. It’s important to keep your audience in mind while introducing initiatives for them and like Bollywood, British Airways does a great job of that. It’s fun to be here tonight.’
   Another supporter, former model and Miss India-turned-designer Queenie Dhody, got to showcase her line of jewellery at Silent Picturehouse.
   The after-party took place at AER Lounge at the Four Seasons Hotel, with teas from Twinings.
   The Silent Picturehouse concept was created by British Airways in 2010 and was originally used to mark its partnership with BAFTA.


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