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The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s triple treat in New York

NEWS  by Lola Cristall/February 28, 2014/23.47

Evan Li

Above The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Gillian Murphy and Qi Huan.

Martha Graham once said, ‘Dance is the hidden language of the soul.’ The famous American modern dancer and choreographer’s perspective of dance lives on, especially when watching immensely passionate dancers take centre stage. They rely on their bodies to tell a story, disregarding the use of words, to articulate a tale. Sir Jon Trimmer, a New Zealand ballet dancer, has expressed himself on stage since the age of 12. Numerous other talented ballerinas continue to convey their talent and flair for people to enjoy, capturing the mind, body and everlasting spirit.
   The Royal New Zealand Ballet came together in 1953 thanks to Royal Danish Ballet principal dancer, Paul Gnatt. After more than two decades, the Royal New Zealand Ballet came back to North America to provide viewers with a graceful treat. From Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, to Minneapolis and New York, they brought such elegance to the stage under Artistic Director, Ethan Stiefel. The bright lights glimmered on the Royal New Zealand Ballet at the Joyce Theater in Chelsea in New York City. February 12, 2014 marked its New York début, presenting a brilliantly unforgettable evening with a three-part performance, providing everyone with their personal coup de cÅ“ur. Each dancer shared a beautiful story with their powerful body movements, elegant hand gestures and expressive faces that induced smiles, curiosity and engagement from one spectator to the next. They demonstrated their aptitude in various ballet techniques without simply focusing on the classics. Dancers included Qi Huan, who joined the Royal New Zealand Ballet in 2005, and Gillian Murphy, the guest principal dancer. They had both starred in the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s 2012 production of Giselle, which was co-produced by Stiefel and Johan Kobborg, moving with nobility and charm.
   The first feature, entitled 28 Variations on a Theme by Paganini (2005), was choreographed by Benjamin Millepied with traditional ballet movements flowing to music by the famous pianist and composer, Johannes Brahms. The classic rhythm and serene atmosphere expressed a sense of tranquillity as the male and female dancers flowed to the tempo moving away from the simple pirouettes and ever-so tender plies, but setting the scene with sudden runs and swift leaps. The prospect brought a bit of the traditional steps into the 21st century, embracing classical dancing methods. Females wore luminous hues, adding a dab of colour reflected from the light that shone from the single chandelier, a solo feature focusing its radiant glow on every dancer’s stride.
   The next scene presented Of Days by New Zealand native Andrew Simmons, a choreographer, designer and former Royal New Zealand Ballet member. The piece, created in 2013, was flawless and stunning to watch. Silent interludes created spectacular tension, waiting for the next move to follow. Mirroring effects brought an extravagant image to the eye, as a result considerably flamboyant expressions came to life. Various international composers were on the playlist including Ludovico Einaudi, Olafur Arnalds and Dustin O’Halloran, expanding the options of music and allowing each personality to reveal their inner talents. Simmons’ work left spectators mesmerized.
   From Brahm’s classically traditional piano skills to percussionist Yim Hok-Man’s expressive Chinese drums pulsating through the speakers, there is a sudden transition as audience members are left to admire the dancers’ extraordinary skill in Banderillero. According to each gesture, dancers fight for their lives as a bullfighter would fight for his. The drums acted like a pounding heart frightened of the unknown outcome, expressing a sense of sheer excitement. Choreographed by Venezuelan choreographer, Javier de Frutos, the spectacular Spanish bullfight had the venue yearn for an encore as the dancers were given a well deserved standing ovation for their intense speed, incredible ability and impressive performance.
   The Royal New Zealand Ballet left audiences with an exceptionally marvellous treat. As they continue their international tour to the United Kingdom and Ireland in 2015, New York anxiously waits for their return.—Lola Saab, Paris Editor

Miranda Kerr, Jessica Alba among celebrities at H&M Studio’s Paris show at Grand Palais

NEWS  by Lucire staff/February 27, 2014/10.35


Hennes & Mauritz’s Paris shows are becoming a regular occurrence on the circuit. Last night’s H&M Studio autumn–winter 2014–15 catwalk show during fashion week, with guests including Miranda Kerr, Jessica Alba, Jourdan Dunn, Emmanuelle Alt, Troian Bellisario and Solange Knowles, showed designs that mixed masculine and feminine, including slip dresses, aviator jackets and men’s blazers. Fabrics included silk crèpe, silk satin, cashmere, velvet and faux fur. H&M Studio’s collection not only contrasted feminine and masculine, but luxury (thanks to sequins and embroidery) and simplicity (with slim cuts and clean designs).
   Held at the Grand Palais, there were some 600 guests present, while a global audience watched online at with host Mademoiselle Agnes and models Andreea Diaconu, Joan Smalls, Izabel Goulart and Saskia. HollySiz performed live at the catwalk show.
   H&M Studio’s collection is a limited edition, created by a dedicated team within the Swedish fashion giant.
   â€˜It’s so good to be at H&M Studio in Paris to see this limited-edition collection. H&M is such a wonderful brand—it’s affordable, wearable, and very fashion-forward,’ said Kerr.
   â€˜I love H&M—it’s so exciting to be here, so much fun. The way I dress I mix things together, and I love to shop at H&M, I always find something new when I’m there,’ said Alba.


Hacienda in winter

NEWS  by Lucire staff//2.47

Paula Sweet

Greetings from Desert Hot Springs, where mid-80s winter temperatures, clear skies and brilliant sun serve as antidote to the grey chill we left behind in Europe only two weeks ago. Here in California we checked into Hacienda Hot Springs, our favourite secret hideaway, for the therapeutic waters and tranquil setting our high-velocity lifestyle craved. It’s great to be back and decelerate in a zone of rejuvenation.
   Once again GM Karl Stober personally welcomed us to the property. He showed off the last of the season’s nubby Mexican lemons from Hacienda’s modest orchard. Karl, who moonlights as a screenwriter and music journalist, walked us through the grounds, lush green, floral and palm fronds on all sides, past the well where the hot water gathers at 130°F before it reaches the 94°F big pool and the 104°F hot tub. Breakfast was out on the table, hearty granola, fresh fruit, aromatic coffee, and the waffle iron at the ready. We loved room 7, last stop at the end of the passage way, with its tiny patio and beckoning hammock. This tiny gem of a property sleeps only 12 at full occupancy, so exclusivity reigns and privacy prevails.
   Hacienda offers a special rate for Facebook friends. A phone call in advance will get you a special three-night winter deal for Lucire readers through June 2014, with the third night at a 30 per cent discount.—Stanley Moss, Travel Editor

Hacienda Hot Springs Inn
12885 Eliseo Road
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
Telephone 1 760 251-2885

Stoneleigh’s Wonder of Nature garden is an urban oasis for Auckland

NEWS  by Lucire staff/February 23, 2014/11.40

Stoneleigh will open its Wonder of Nature garden at 89 Quay Street, Queen’s Wharf, Auckland, New Zealand, from February 28 to March 8, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. It’s a dose of experiential marketing for the New Zealand wine label, bringing urban consumers closer to the brand.
   The suspended garden, designed by Jules Moore, promises to be a ‘multi-sensory experience’. The garden features sounds from the Stoneleigh vineyards in Marlborough, as recorded by Grammy Award-winning artist Paul McLaney. McLaney has reworked them into a unique soundscape. This complements the visual backdrop, giving visitors a sense of being in the vineyards in the summer.
   And what better way to extend the experience than to enjoy Stoneleigh wine in the garden? Winemaker Jamie Marfell (below) invites visitors to enjoy a glass while there. Entry is for 18 and over only.
   For those who cannot get to the garden itself, Stoneleigh has launched its Small Wonder of Nature app, where users can create their own part of nature, customize their photo and upload it to the gallery. All entries will be in to win a Stoneleigh Marlborough experience.

Doris’s day (in celebration of romance, fashion and the movies)

NEWS  by Elyse Glickman/February 21, 2014/13.26

Doris Bergman has done it again, cramming an astonishing mix of philanthropy, fashion and famous folks into an afternoon at the sixth annual Valentine Romance Oscar Style Lounge & Party at West Hollywood’s Fig & Olive restaurant.
   The inventive and innovative organizer of Oscar month’s first major style lounge welcomed celebrities such as Eva La Rue, Rosa Blasi, Obba Babatundé, Angela Bassett (and her handsome husband Courtney B. Vance), former Oscar winner Louis Gossett, Jr, Oscar nominee Robin Mathews (make-up artist for Dallas Buyers’ Club), Cheech & Chong, Elizabeth and William Shatner, Carla and Lou Ferrigno, Dot Marie Jones (Glee) and wife Bridgett Casteen Jones, Tia Carrere, Maria Conchita Alonso, Kevin Farley, Chelsie Hightower (Dancing with the Stars), Kate Flannery (The Office), Illeana Douglas, Tommy Lee Davidson, Richard Brooks and Lisa Vidal (Being Mary Jane), John Savage, Charlie Bewley, Jaclyn Betham and Peter Parros (The Haves and Have Nots), Jeremy Luke (Mob City), Katie Wagner and other respected talent to a lovely afternoon to not only receive some interesting fashion and health essentials, but also do their part donating goods, time and money to Wednesday’s Child–the Dave Thomas Foundation.
   The charity highlighted its initiative benefiting teens aged 16–18 in foster care, providing for their financial and educational needs as well as finding them permanent adoptive homes. Los Angeles Fox News anchorwoman Christine Devine, long the local celebrity spokesperson, was on hand to promote the cause in her signature stylish and witty way.
   Wednesday’s Child’s adoption information and services cover several US cities, including Washington, DC, New York, Philadelphia and Atlanta. While that organization is making a difference beyond Hollywood, it was interesting to note many of the genuinely cool products for wardrobe and home were also benefiting a number of charities. Hillel Rzepka and his Handmade Hearts were teamed up with Yes to Hope—a fine choice as it was a Valentine’s Day event, though everybody could use a little love throughout the year.
   Ooh La Bra takes heart coverage a little more literally with their bejewelled bra straps that transform necessary cleavage coverage and support into a fashion statement. Created by Lisa McKenzie, who hails from Louisiana, the collection ranges from the affordable $26–$40 for its general collection to sterling silver and diamond straps that retail between $1,500 and $2,300). Besides providing a neat and functional alternative to necklaces, McKenzie’s company also supports (no pun intended) You Night breast cancer survivor runway shows that raise money as well as self-esteem for the cause.
   Simply Eartha is a home and accessories developed by her daughter, Kitt Shapiro, that not only keeps the smart and sassy singer and actress’s spirit alive—the candles and shirts are adorned with Eartha Kitt’s words of wisdom to her daughter—but also the Colon Cancer Alliance. Said Kitt with a purr that recalls her strong mother, ‘My mother lost her battle with colon cancer in 2008. This is a disease that can be prevented and treated with regular screening. Anything that I can do to make people aware of the need for early screening and detection is important to me.’
   In fashion, you could say that the son also rises. Once again, Single Dress, a mainstay at Doris’s events had wonderful things for women on the town. However, founder Galina Sobolev’s son, Michael, is breaking out on his own with some smart underwear for the men in their lives. Then again, the charming young man himself offers something for the ladies, and proof the ever-youthful Galina was a fantastic Mom. Mon Atelier provided the after-eight formal glamour, while Timmy Woods was on the scene with her hand-crafted wooden minaudières and clutches.
   Most of the jewellery was both affordable and statement-making, from Kendra Bridelle’s LusciousS Collection (now with cool ’60s-inspired pieces), to earthy-antique inspired designs from Silvana K to Guess showcasing the latest hues in its timepiece collections: rose gold and navy blue. Another mainstay, Debra Mitchell’s Twisted Silver and Perch featured blasts of colour through integration of earthy semi-precious and rich gemstone colour crystals enlivening her popular, antique and reclaimed-piece inspired designs (where can I buy that great flower collar I spied on a colleague?). However, Bridelle was not only proud of her forthcoming eponymous line but also her representation of Gilbert Albert, a Swiss designer with show-stopping raw gems and rocks mounted with precious metals and diamonds.
   Whitening Lightening, Begley’s and Bill’s Sodas and Nature’s Flavors were also back with their healthy vices (teeth whitening, sodas and lip gloss), but the new company Mia Bath and Body mixed things up, literally with their own do-it-yourself fragrance products.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor

Style this week: taking it to Hart

NEWS  by Anna Deans/February 19, 2014/13.09

This week’s style profile looks at Rachel Bilson’s character’s style on the American television series, Hart of Dixie. Bilson’s character Zoe Hart’s style seems like a further polished and elevated version of her own personal style. Her real-life style is a sort of simple but slightly bohemian chic; Zoe Hart’s style is sort of New York chic with a bit of quirkiness thrown in through her use of colour and print, and sometimes mixes of prints. She loves little shorts, booties and shirts, with big earrings and beautiful leather bags. Another massive staple in both Bilson’s and Hart’s wardrobes would have to be a good pair of jeans. These are often paired in a more polished way, with heels or heeled booties. In terms of make-up, Hart is known for her ombre mane, dark-kohl smokey eyes and neutral toned lips, nails and complexion. This is different to what I would usually like, but on Zoe, it’s pure perfection. Both ladies have a sense of creating understated luxury and glamour.

   The first piece that came to mind for this look, was a wicked pair of jeans. I figured, why not go for a Zoe and Rachel classic: stone-washed boyfriend jeans, this pair by Swedish denim superstar, Acne. These are best worn rolled up with a fabulous pair of heels. The heels I chose were this new-season pair by Australian luxury shoe label Beau Coops. Zoe Hart loves her strappy, chucky-heel pairs and they also look super-cute with the funky denim. I also love the touch of the ombre effect in the heel and the straps of the shoes, nodding to Zoe’s hair.
   For the top, I immediately thought of Phillip Lim 3.1. Lim, being a must-have in both Rachel’s and her character’s wardrobes. This top both shows Zoe’s love of print, colour and peplum, so it is a win all round. I also love its pairing with the jean-and-shoe combo as well as the modern but still classic shape and neckline.
   Their love of black leather tote bags could not be ignored, so I knew I had to find a good one to pair with this look. Weeks ago, in looking for a new black tote for myself, I came across New York-based Kate Spade’s new bag collection and was very impressed. Spade effortlessly seems to combine luxury with an affordable price tag, which is a feat in itself. What I love about this specific bag is the structure, the lines of the quilting and chic half-chain strap. I can most definitely see Zoe out and about with this bag, as it evokes a chic simplicity.
   As previously mentioned, a staple piece would have to be her big dangly earrings, so I had to include them in this look. I also love a bit of bling to contrast a simple and casual denim piece. These earrings by Erickson Beamon ooze luxury and understated glamour, which is also an element of Zoe’s Hart of Dixie wardrobe. The off-white and gold tones also pair well with element of the shoes and bag without being overly matching.
   Rachel Bilson and her character both relay on neutral tones for make-up so I toned down the nail colour, choosing a classic dark maroon shade, which I think makes the mustard really pop as an interesting but well working combination.
   Finally, I recommend a slight wave in the hair with a mid-part, smoky eyes like Zoe, and nude lips and cheeks to go with this look. Simple and neutral are the way to go to further complete the ‘I’m not trying but I look luxuriously chic’ look that Zoe and Rachel are both known for.
   Do you like the luxurious pairings I have created to emulate Zoe Hart?—Anna Deans

London Fashion Week, autumn–winter 2014–15, live player

NEWS  by Lucire staff/February 14, 2014/11.51

London Fashion Week’s autumn–winter 2014–15 shows begin today. Catch all the shows from the week on our live player.
   Doug Rimington and Sarah Beresford will cover London Fashion Week and a post-event report will be published in Lucire.

Nina Agdal, Lily Aldridge, Chrissy Teigen share Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover, shot in the Cook Islands

NEWS  by Lucire staff//4.29

Three models share the cover honours for the 50th anniversary Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue for 2014: Nina Agdal, Lily Aldridge, and Chrissy Teigen.
   The 2014 edition was revealed Thursday night on the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit blog and débuted on national TV Thursday night in the US on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
   It is the first cover for all three models. Teigen has modelled for the special issue since 2010, and Agdal had her début in 2012. It is Aldridge’s first year.
   The last time three models appeared on the cover was in 2006.
   The cover was shot by James Macari in the Cook Islands. The magazine itself will hit newsstands next week, in print and digital formats.
   Teigen also appears in Air New Zealand’s latest safety video, co-branded with Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, which was also shot in the Cook Islands.
   Kate Upton had appeared on the cover over the previous two years.

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