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April 24, 2015

Jacob’s Creek introduces Double Barrel range—red wines aged in whisky barrels—in New Zealand

Lucire staff/22.03

Jacob’s Creek’s new Double Barrel range has made it across the Tasman, with Kiwis now able to sample chief winemaker Bernard Hickin’s successful concept of finishing wine in aged whisk(e)y barrels, the reverse of ageing whisky in old wine barrels. He believes that this hasn’t been done before, and the company has opted to use Scotch whisky and Irish whiskey barrels that had held their contents for up to 20 years.
   ‘I wanted to express the character of the whisky barrel but not make it taste like whisky. I figured that, if you wanted something to taste like whisky, you would drink a whisky,’ says Hickin.
   They begin their ageing in traditional French and American oak wine barrels first before being transferred to the whisk(e)y ones, hence the name.
   As far as we can tell, he’s succeeded. The 2012 first vintage Barossa shiraz, finished in Scotch barrels, is smoother while the 2012 first vintage Coonawarra cabernet sauvignon, in the Irish whiskey ones, has a stronger aroma.
   The process has taken Jacob’s Creek two years to perfect, says the company.
   Jacob’s Creek Double Barrel goes on sale at leading liquor retailers throughout New Zealand from May 2015, priced at NZ$24·99.

       
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Filed under: living, Lucire, New Zealand, Paris
April 22, 2015

The Royal Ballet announces its 2015–16 programme, including four world premières

Lucire staff/22.32


Above Steven McRae as Florizel in Christopher Wheeldon’s The Winter’s Tale, which will be revived for the Royal Ballet’s 2015–16 season. Photograph copyright ©2014 by Johan Persson.


Above Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet, performed in 1965. Photograph copyright ©1965 by Leslie E. Spatt.

The Royal Ballet has announced its 2015–16 season under its director, Kevin O’Hare, with four world premières, including the first main-stage, full-length narrative ballet by artist-in-residence Liam Scarlett based on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; new one-act ballets from resident choreographer Wayne McGregor and artistic associate Christopher Wheeldon; and a new production of Carmen by principal guest artist Carlos Acosta.
   The first production of the season is Kenneth MacMillan’s production of Romeo and Juliet, originally created in 1965 for Lynn Seymour and Christopher Gable, and performed by Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev at its première, which famously met with 43 curtain calls. It is the first work in the Royal Opera House Live Cinema Season for 2015–16.
   Acosta’s new adaptation of Carmen is set to the Bizet score with a new arrangement by Martin Yates. Acosta will dance the Don José and Escamillo roles at certain performances. Tim Hatley is behind the set and costume designs, and Peter Mumford has created the lighting. Scarlett’s Viscera, Jerome Robbins’ Afternoon of a Faun and George Balanchine’s Tchaikovsky pas de deux form the rest of the mixed programme, and part of the ROH Live Cinema Season.
   McGregor’s Raven Girl will be revived in October in a double bill with Alastair Marriott’s Connectome. In May 2016, McGregor premières a one-act ballet set to Nyx, a one-movement orchestral work by Esa-Pekka Salonen. The programme also features a revival of MacMillan’s The Invitation.
   In February 2016, the company premières a new ballet by Wheeldon set to a commissioned score by Mark-Antony Turnage, alongside a mixed programme featuring After the Rain and Within the Golden Hour. Designs are by Bob Crowley and lighting by Natasha Chivers.
   Wheeldon’s The Winter’s Tale will stage its first revival in April 2016. The original was nominated for an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance and won the Critics’ Circle Award for Best Classical Choreography. It has also been nominated for a South Bank Sky Arts Award for Dance.
   Scarlett’s full-length narrative ballet based on Frankenstein premières in May 2016, with a score by Lowell Liebermann with designs by John Macfarlane and lighting by David Finn. It will be broadcast live to cinemas on May 18, 2016.
   Mixed programmes of Frederick Ashton’s work will feature this season, the first being The Two Pigeons, created in 1961 for Lynn Seymour and Christopher Gable, appearing in November 2014, alongside Monotones I and II, set to Erik Satie’s Trois Gnossiennes and Trois Gymnopédies. It returns in January 2016 in a second double-bill alongside Rhapsody, created by Ashton for Lesley Collier and Mikhail Baryshnikov in honour of the Queen Mother on the occasion of her 80th birthday. It will be shown in cinemas on January 26, 2015.
   Peter Wright’s production of The Nutcracker, with design by Julia Trevelyan Oman, will be the Royal Ballet’s Christmas programme, while Wright’s Giselle returns in February.
   A summer tour to Japan is planned for 2016.
   As part of the Royal Ballet’s Linbury Studio Theatre programme, the Royal New Zealand Ballet is set to tour in the UK in November 2015, making its Royal Opera House début, performing a mixed programme, including a world première by Andrew Simmons. UK audiences will be delighted to see Anatomy of a Passing Cloud by Javier de Frutos, Selon Désir by Andonis Foniadakis, and Passchendaele by Neil Ieremia.
   Others to be hosted include Cas Public, which also makes a début at Linbury, presenting Symphonie Dramatique, inspired by Romeo and Juliet, and coinciding with the Royal Ballet’s production of Romeo and Juliet on the main stage.
   The Phoenix Dance Theatre will perform Until.With/Out.Enough, choreographed by Itzik Galili, a co-commission by the Royal Ballet. The company’s artistic director Sharon Watson will present TearFall in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust, exploring the complexities of crying, and Caroline Finn’s Bloom examines ‘a surreal universe with tragi-comic characters.’
   Former Royal Ballet and American Ballet Theatre principal Alessandra Ferri will make her Linbury début in Chéri, directed and choreographed by Martha Clarke, and inspired by the novella by Colette. Chéri will feature American Ballet Theatre principal Herman Cornejo.
   Will Tuckett’s Elizabeth will make its Linbury début, based on the life of Queen Elizabeth I, and featuring Carlos Acosta and Zenaida Yanowsky, set to a score by Martin Yates, derived from Elizabethan compositions by Dowland, Tallis and Morley.
   Keon Kessels succeeds Barry Wordsworth as music director; Wordsworth becomes principal guest conductor.
   Further information can be found at the Royal Opera House’s website at www.roh.org.uk.

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April 21, 2015

IWC Schaffhausen hosts 2015 Beijing International Film Festival dinner; Peter Chan honoured

Lucire staff/3.49




Emmanuel Wong

In Lucire 30’s ‘Red alert’ by Geneviève Hole, we noted how brands continued to focus their attentions eastward, and the trend continues with IWC Schaffhausen sponsoring its third Beijing International Film Festival.
   The fifth edition of the festival sees IWC return as an official sponsor and partner, spying an opportunity to promote its luxury Swiss watches.
   The day after the official opening last Thursday, IWC held its For the Love of Cinema filmmakers’ dinner, with 250 celebrities and VIPs from around the world.
   IWC Schaffhausen ambassador Zhou Xun was present, along with models Xi Meng Yao and Karolína Kurková, Kurková’s husband Archie Drury, Francis Ng, Yuan Quan, Wang Luodan, Dou Xiao, Ming Xi and Liu Chang. Thai-born producer–director Peter Chan (Comrades: Almost a Love Story, The Love Letter, The Warlords, Bodyguards and Assassins) was honoured with the IWC Filmmaker Award, presented by IWC Schaffhausen China MD Dennis Lee.
   Singer–songwriter Tayu Lo and a team of kung fu masters performed live at the dinner.
   It also launched a limited-edition watch from the Portugieser family, dedicated to the Festival.
   The Beijing International Film Festival, now with Venezia and Locarno festival veteran Marco Müller as artistic adviser, has proved to be a growing success and increasingly important to the international film market. The Beijing Film Market has reported 140 exhibitors from 25 countries, with foreign players exceeding domestic ones; and 36 deals were signed there totalling US$2,230 million. Forty films are having their world premières at the Festival.
   The event runs till the 23rd.




















Emmanuel Wong

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April 19, 2015

It’s all about the eyes with the Body Shop’s latest releases

Lucire staff/5.19

The Body Shop focuses on the eyes with its latest releases. It has launched two Matte Kajal eyeliners, in white and black. One complaint we often see at Lucire with kohl eyeliners is the difficult application, especially as some need three or four passes before getting any colour. The Body Shop’s Italian-made Matte Kajals—the Body Shop has opted for the Hindi term—don’t suffer from that problem: they are easy to apply and smudge, and enriched with Community Fair Trade beeswax from Cameroon. Each retails for NZ$25 and appear at the Body Shop’s New Zealand retail outlets and online from Monday, April 20.
   The Body Shop suggests that the white can come in handy to counteract redness and help make the eye look larger, and it can enhance eye-shadow colours. It can also be used under the brow, blending downards to create an eye-lift, while defining the brow.
   The look can be completed with the new Super Volume Mascara from the Body Shop, retailing at NZ$27·50. Like the Matte Kajals, the pigmentation is good and smudge-free, and stays on well during the day, though care is needed with the brush. The Body Shop adds that contact lens wearers won’t have any trouble with it. Knowing that it hasn’t been tested on animals is a huge bonus for our times, and it features Community Fair Trade marula oil from the Eudafano Women’s Cooperative in Namibia, an initiative that helps 1,750 women in the region.
   The company is also releasing its Velvet Gel Pen (NZ$19·95), Skinny Thin Felt Liner (NZ$22·95) and Bold Oversized Felt Liner (NZ$22·95).

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April 17, 2015

John Varvatos opens in Detroit with black-carpet party, with Alice Cooper rocking his best

Lucire staff/13.00


Loreen Sarkis



Tasos Katopodis

Detroit is undergoing a renaissance, at least in terms of its reputation across the US. A few years ago, Eminem promoted Chrysler as being proudly from Detroit, a city that has been through it all, and John Varvatos now celebrates the place with a new store, opening with a VIP party featuring a live performance by Alice Cooper.
   It’s no surprise, then, to learn that Chrysler had a hand in this party, too, and both Varvatos and Cooper are Detroit natives, proud that their city is emerging out of some of its toughest years.
   The 600-strong ‘black carpet’ party, at which Cooper belted out ‘Nice Guy’, ‘Wheels’, ‘Billion Dollar Babies’, ‘Be My Lover’, ‘Lost in America’, ‘Dirty Diamond’, ‘Bite Your Face Off’, ‘Brown Sugar’, ‘Break on Thru’, ‘Foxy’, ‘My Generation’, ‘18’, ‘Poison’, and ‘School’s Out’, was hosted in association with Dan Gilbert and Bedrock Real Estate.
   Other VIPs included model Kate Upton, Justin Verlander (Detroit Tigers), Michael Bolton, Nicole Curtis, Eric Ebron (Detroit Lions), Chris Chelios (NHL Hall of Famer), R&B and soul singer Dwele, Fiat–Chrysler top brass such as Al Gardner and Olivier François, Nate Forbes, Jim Ketai, Dan Mullen, Devin Gardner (NFL prospect) and Mojo in the Morning hosts Thomas ‘Mojo’ Carballo, Shannon Murphy, and Spike.
   Varvatos introduced the evening in his home town, saying, ‘For me, this is more than a store opening celebration. It’s a kick-off celebration of things to come to the city of Detroit. The future is bright and it’s just the beginning!’
   Cooper noted afterwards, ‘It’s great to be back in Detroit rocking out with John Varvatos.’
   Gardner said in a release, ‘The Chrysler brand has a long-standing partnership with John Varvatos that has evolved over the years, so when he asked us to be a part of this event taking place in our own backyard, we immediately said, “Yes.”’ Chrysler showed off its rebodied 300 on the black carpet, helping cement its position as a Detroit icon.
   Gilbert said, ‘The immeasurable energy felt in the store solidified that the arrival of J. V.’s iconic fashion and rock ’n’ roll brand in downtown Detroit is truly destined for success. With construction well underway for the M-1 Rail along the Woodward Corridor, combined with the rapid growth of retail, restaurants and tech companies opening in downtown Detroit, a grand celebration such as this one is the first of many more to come to Detroiters.’
   The new 4,600 ft², two-storey store is located at a brownstone at 1500 Woodward Avenue, and is owned and managed by Bedrock Real Estate Services. John Varvatos’ full line of menswear is represented, including John Varvatos Collection, John Varvatos Star USA and Converse by John Varvatos.



Loreen Sarkis



Tasos Katopodis



Loreen Sarkis


Duane Prokop








Loreen Sarkis



Tasos Katopodis

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April 16, 2015

News in brief: Christina Perriam returns to ID; Preciosa, Johny Dar collaborate; Nana Judy’s pre-Coachella do

Lucire staff/14.26



Camilla Rutherford

Perriam, the luxury merino label from Christina Perriam, will show at ID Dunedin Fashion Week next week. The event begins on April 18 and runs to April 26. The last time she showed was under the Christina Perriam label in 2002.
   Her autumn–winter 2015 collection is structured and edgy, using New Zealand-sourced merino wool mixed with other fabrics and textiles, including merino leather. ‘It’s an amazing texture that you simply don’t find in deer pelts. When you look at a merino sheep, their skin is so wrinkly and that’s why the texture of the leather is really interesting,’ says Perriam.
   Preciosa, the Czech crystal brand HQed in the famed town of Jablonec nad Nisou, has collaborated with Ohio-born designer Johny Dar, known for his extravagant art, on a work called The Queen of Pearls. The sculpture features Preciosa crystals and took Dar 300 hours to complete. The company says it has been valued at €927,000.
   Finally, we learn that one of the “pre-parties” for Coachella, on April 9, was hosted by Australian streetwear label Nana Judy, partnering with One Oak nightclub, Tinder, and Up and Down, at the Château at Lake La Quinta. Celebrity names attending included Joe Jonas, Leonardo DiCaprio, Josh Henderson, Kendall Jenner, skateboarder Corbin Harris and model–blogger Mimi Elashiry.











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The Body Shop’s Fuji Green Tea range: satisfying at every level, from bath tea to cologne

Lucire staff/12.55



Top The Body Shop’s Fuji Green Tea range. Above The pièce de résistance of the range: the bath tea. Below left The huge bargain of them all: an eau de cologne that’s comparable to something twice the price.

The Body Shop’s latest Fuji Green Tea range, on sale in New Zealand from Monday, April 20, is one of the best the company has offered, and we’re not exaggerating. For starters, the full, fruity smells that we’ve become accustomed to with its earlier special editions is gone, replaced by a pure, healthy, subtler green tea scent. Now, there’s nothing wrong with the fruity and even chocolatey approaches of the Body Shop, but it’s great to see they have more secrets up their sleeves that they are gradually showing off to the public. Secondly, the methods the Body Shop has taken with the Fuji Green Tea range are very different: it has taken a uniquely eastern approach, combining tradition and authenticity with the Body Shop’s socially responsible aims.
   Green tea has antioxidant qualities, and we’re used to drinking it for its health benefits, but the Body Shop takes this idea further. Going into Japanese tradition, it found that women even bathed in it, and it’s believed to tighten pores help skin retain moisture, and have anti-ageing qualities.
   Sourcing authentic green tea from Mt Fuji, the Body Shop has developed an entire range featuring just what its customers expect: body scrub (250 ml, NZ$44·95); body butter (200 ml, NZ$36·95); body lotion (250 ml, NZ$24·95); body wash (250 ml, NZ$16·50); eau de cologne (100 ml, NZ$39·95); and exfoliating soap (100 g, NZ$19). However, the pièce de résistance has to be the bath tea, 300 g of goodness for detoxing and cleansing for NZ$64, allowing you soak those stresses away in Japanese fashion.
   With a metal container evoking a traditional tea tin, the bath tea comes with an infuser. Pour in the mixture of crystals and tea leaves, and let the water run over it. The water turns a nice green hue, and it smells great. A soak is indeed calming and soothing, leaving skin feeling healthy. You know the ritual—as fun as it is going through it—has a practical side, too.
   We sampled the body scrub as well, which is particularly effective, and only requires small quantities to work its magic.
   That feeling continues afterwards with the body butter for 24-hour hydration—the Body Shop suggests that the body lotion would be ideal for lighter hydration, and the Body Sorbet (200 ml, NZ$26) is a fresh alternative.
   The bath tea may be the pièce de résistance, but the surprises don’t stop: the eau de cologne is the icing on the proverbial cake. It’s actually a light, fruity floral, although you can detect the green tea mixed in among the top notes; the floral heart is very memorable and fresh. The Body Shop says it’s bergamot, lemon and mandarin that we detect there, and camellia, jasmine and violet in the middle. It’s actually a very elegant scent, something you would expect wearing a far more expensive label, and, like the rest of the Green Tea line, it’s a bargain. It’s not often a $40 scent smells like something that’s commonly twice or thrice the price.
   As a range, it’s one of the most complete and satisfying the Body Shop has offered.
   The Body Shop Fuji Green Tea range will be available online and at New Zealand retail outlets from next week.

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A spring in their steps: Secret Room’s pre-MTV Movie Awards’ suite

Lucire staff/10.22




Leyla Messian

As usual, Rita Branch and Amy Boatright’s Secret Room Events lined up a docket of product talent filled with delights for girls and boys of all ages. However, young Reef Carneson was the true VIP of the day. At age six, he is a cancer survivor as well as the first pediatric bonemarrow recipient in his native South Africa. Unfortunately, he developed Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD) after his procedure. When a diagnosis of skin cancer made matters worse, his family came to the United States for further treatment. To help offset the costs for his family, Rock It 4 Reef has been established to keep Reef and his family going strong in his quest to beat his illness. This year, generous Style Lounge attendees have enabled the Secret Room to collect for little Reef’s health care.
   As befitting any pre-awards show fête, a red carpet led into one of the brightly lit ballrooms of the elegant SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. But this was no ordinary trade show. A sparkling hall showcased a hit parade of new products, accompanied by high-energy pop blasting out of a small device that looked like a coffee pot. In spite of its appearance, the Archt One 360-degree sound system did not dispense Lavazza or Starbucks. Instead, a pulsating brew of multi-directional sound poured straight from the Singapore-based inventor’s Iphone, through the device and to the farthest corners of the ballroom. Information for this percolating Kickstarter invention can be found at archtaudio.com.
   Another impressive device we discovered is Cheero’s Ingress Power Cube, offering 12,000 MHz of juice that allows the user to charge two devices while flying, camping, mountain biking or surviving on a deserted island. Even castaways and hermits need their music and games. Cheero has several models of chargers available, including one that comes with a flexible toy “transformer” whose eyes light up when the gadget is fully charged. Speck was on hand with a colourful array of Ipad, tablet and phone covers with mid-century modern patterns in vivid turquoise, teal, yellow and vermilion.
   One literal highlight of the day is best used at night-time, and not only by children. Total Dreamz by Aloka Designs USA offers a variety of hypnotic, colour-changing nightlights. Little girls will fall asleep alongside a rainbow-tinted horse, puppy, or fairy, while little boys will ride a train or spaceship to Dreamland. Children over 18 will be mesmerized by the psychedelic heart and butterfly designs that bring an aurora borealis effect to their bedroom. Sleepyheads can program these night lights to turn off automatically when the fun is over.
   After splitting a surprisingly tasty, probiotic-packed Effi Bar made of raw dates, cashews, and goji berries, we moved on to the clothing and accessories. Wiley X Eyewear outfitted attendees with the same sleek model of shades worn by Bradley Cooper in American Sniper. Although designed for men, these are quite flattering on women. Lightweight yet durable, they cool off the eyes by cutting the glare effectively. It is interesting to note that this brand also provides eye protection for the Australian military.
   No style lounge is complete without introducing designers who turn trash into fashion. Protecting the earth while making us look good: we’ve all seen or worn recycled denim, restructured vintage clothing, and jewellery created from old glass. Made from recycled plastic bottles harvested in the US, Underground Chic has a collection of stylish handbags, clutches, and totes in a variety of fun, crayon-coloured hues. One style looks and feels like genuine, soft brown suede. It’s easy to forget that these cute accessories were once bottles that could have ended up clogging our oceans.
   Anje, also based in New York, has created a line of luxurious yet minimalist cashmere garments in multiple shades of grey, charcoal and black. Although expensive, the generous, flowing silhouettes flatter all figure types. They are true and timeless investment pieces for one’s wardrobe.
   So, what about colour? After all, it is spring here in North America, and not only the Ipads should be attired in teal and vermilion. When choosing the most flattering gowns, celebrities the world over reach out to color consultant Jill Kirsh. She provides one-on-one as well as online consultations for international clients to determine the best colour palette based on the individual’s hair colour. She also customizes make-up to complement each client’s hair colour, skin tone, and wardrobe, thereby ensuring a uniform look.
   We had already shared our second better-for-you-than-yoghurt Effi Bar (this time it was coconut and cacao) when we started to explore the multitude of beauty products and services. Joey New York introduced their newest skin care product, This N That, a multi-use liquid to shrink pores and exfoliate; their Keep It Up, described as an instant natural facelift, is one of their best-selling products. Coconut water and ginseng, used in some Joey New York products, lift and tighten sagging skin and pesky jowls. The new Cellusanaskin care line rejuvenates the skin with the same stem cell technology used for burn victims. Cellusana looks forward to the launch of injectable stem cells, which eliminate wrinkles and other imperfections, without the use of paralysing toxins.
   EMK presented attendees with a gift of plant placental anti-ageing face serum with firming kelp and clarifying tea tree oil. Used together with their Supra night cream and their firming eye gel, we can look forward to waking up with brighter, more refreshed skin. The line has a devoted following in Malaysia and Dubai, where hot climates wreak havoc upon delicate skin. Our first whiff of Kuumba Made botanically infused organic body care and first-aid products brought back memories of the late 1960s and early 1970s, of bell-bottomed jeans, incense and free love. We were particularly drawn to the jasmine, white ginger and black coconut scents. The all-natural scented coconut oil relieves feminine dryness, and the vanilla-infused variety improves intimacy. And speaking of which, Matt Titus is the first nationally recognized male matchmaker to develop a fragrance collection. The YOU collection (also known as the Scent of a Woman collection) consists of three distinctive fragrances sold together, each with notes of fresh green tea, warm musk or feminine florals.
   Korean bath houses are becoming increasingly popular outside the Korean community. Men and women enjoy a variety of saunas, hot and cold plunge pools, and body treatments au naturel. Tikkun Holistic Spa is one of the better known, high-end Korean spas with heat therapy and infrared rooms that help soothe tired muscles and tense moods. The ladies of Tikkun are delighted to introduce Lucire readers to an indulgent cleansing ritual designed for our “lady bits”. One just sits on the specially designed ‘V’ treatment chair (‘A’ treatment for the boys), and allow the steam to do its thing. Afterwards, one retires to either the clay or the salt room at the spa to further detoxify and relax. A day at Tikkun is an all-day affair. Karen’s Skincare is the secret behind the effectiveness of Tikkun’s facials. In particular, the Advanced C and E Infusion Complex diffuses highly concentrated vitamins to combat wrinkles, age spots and sagging skin. Made in the US without animal testing, Tikkun’s products are paraben-free and customized for various skin types.
   Of course, time is ultimately a thief, and steals our youthful appearances no matter how carefully we take care of ourselves. Dr Jason Emer offers facial contouring with fillers as well as surgical and non-invasive procedures. Boasting clients like Sofia Vergara and Cara Delevingne, Dr Emer offers the Venus Treatment, guaranteed to lift and tighten one’s face, neck or body.—Leyla Messian, LA correspondent, with Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor









Leyla Messian

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