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August 18, 2016

Stoneleigh’s right on trend with its Lighter wines, with 25 per cent less alcohol

Lucire staff/1.11

Can you have a wine lighter in alcohol yet still with the sumptuous flavours that the original is known for? Stoneleigh has cracked it with its Stoneleigh Lighter range, with grapes from the Rapuara vineyards, yet it has content that’s 25 per cent lower in alcohol compared with the original Stoneleigh range.
   The secret is in the sunstones at the vineyards, coupled with the sunlight and low rainfall—these allow grapes to develop their full flavour while their sugar content is lower. The wines retain the lifted aromatics and vibrant flavours that Stoneleigh is known for.
   ‘To create these new wines, we looked at how we could best capture the characteristics of early ripening grapes in the Rapaura subregion. We identified grapes with the fullest flavour profile and harvested them early in the season to capture each varietal’s signature characteristics in the final wine,’ said Jamie Marfell, Stoneleigh’s winemaker (below).
   The Stoneleigh Lighter Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2016 has an ABV of 9·6 per cent, with pink grapefruit and capsicum notes with hints of passionfruit on the nose, and a palate of fresh citrus, stonefruit and passionfruit. Stoneleigh Lighter Marlborough Pinot Gris 2016 has an ABV of 9·8 per cent, with aromas of apple and nashi pear, complemented by tropical guava and pineapple notes. Finally, Stoneleigh Lighter Marlborough Rosé 2016 has an ABV of 9·9 per cent, with notes of wild strawberry, yellow flesh plum and summer berries.
   The range is available now in New Zealand through leading liquor retailers with an RRP of NZ$17·29.

August 17, 2016

H&M opens first store in New Zealand in October 2016

Lucire staff/13.13

International Swedish retailer, Hennes & Mauritz, will open in New Zealand on October 1.
   The new store will be located at Sylvia Park, Auckland, and span two storeys and 2,300 m². The new store will have men, women, youth and children’s apparel and accessories. The H&M Studio collection for autumn–winter 2016–17 (above) will appear at the store, as well as the Modern Essentials by David Beckham collection.
   ‘We are excited to be making progress on our arrival in New Zealand and look forward to welcoming customers through the doors of H&M at Sylvia Park on the 1st of October,’ said Hans Andersson, Country Manager for H&M Australia and New Zealand in a release.
   The store will open at 10 a.m. on October 1. Regular hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. all days, except for Thursday and Friday, when it will close at 9 p.m.
   Lucire has been covering the growth of the retailer since 1998, and noted its pioneering programmes in corporate social responsibility and designer collaborations.

July 19, 2016

Beauty potion no. 43

Lucire staff/21.40




Elizabeth Zuluaga

Above: Founder Nicci Levy and VIP guests check out the services at Alchemy 43.

A dash of Botox. A sprinkle of Juvederm. A pinch of Restalyne. No, it’s not a recipe from a sorcerer’s manual. It’s a “beauty compound” that is only part of the magic at Alchemy 43 in Beverly Hills, a revolutionary new beauty lab that merges the concepts of luxury and medical sophistication. Members of the press got an up close and personal look at the future of non-invasive cosmetic medicine at their July 12 media event. Guests sipped blueberry cocktails and nibbled colourful macarons while experiencing the Alchemy 43 recipe for a lifetime of gorgeousness.
   If you think med-spas are all about attitude, think again. The only attitude here is genuine joy: endless smiles and a warm welcome greet you upon entry. The sleek storefront space boasts a well-appointed waiting area with sunny atrium, chic treatment rooms, and a VIP loft for private events. But that is just the beginning. No, this is not a “sign your name at a busy front desk and wait” med-spa. After enjoying a chilled beverage, you will have your photo taken for 3-D imaging. A licensed staff “alchemist” will then discuss your needs and goals, using the enlarged image to show precisely how each treatment will look when finished. This allows you to view countless possibilities and combinations, and to quell the anxiety that often accompanies cosmetic procedures. These skilled practitioners have mastered the art of natural enhancement. No duck lips or frozen, expressionless faces here. The desired result is a subtly enhanced, rested visage.
   Post-treatment, everyone receives a refreshing oxygen infusion for faster healing. Or you can choose from the menu of reasonably priced beauty boosters including serums, peels, and microcurrent therapy. The final stop is the make-up studio featuring Kevyn Aucoin products, where an artist will give you an expert touch-up before you head back to work, home, or a night out. No one will know where you were, only that you look amazing. It`s all included, and their introductory packages make it downright affordable. For even more benefits and savings, “wrinkle relaxing” memberships are available to keep those fine lines far, far away.—Jody Miller and Leyla Messian




















Elizabeth Zuluaga

July 5, 2016

Look Good Feel Better ups the ante for Feel Better Month; buying beauty products donates to the cause

Lucire staff/14.25



Look Good Feel Better, the charity that helps those diagnosed with cancer experience transformational workshops so they can feel normal and treated as an individual, has its Feel Better Month in July.
   The month, which seeks to raise funds to host workshops for thousands of women, men and teenagers, aims to help Look Good Feel Better increase the number of workshops it can hold. Last year’s campaign raised funds which added three in Auckland, plus additional workshops in Kapiti, Hawera, Taumarunui, and Kerikeri.
   Those wishing to support the cause can donate online at www.lgfb.co.nz/donate/ or offline at Farmers stores, add NZ$1 to purchases at Unichem or Life Pharmacy, buy selected lipstick or nail varnish from Farmers (for each lipstick sold, Farmers and the cosmetic brand will donate NZ$1), indulge in a mini-facial or purchase Look Good Feel Better merchandise, including nail files, butterfly bracelets and bookmarks, host mini-fundraisers on Fridays, or gift their time.
   ‘Our aim is that nobody should have to travel more than 30 minutes to attend a class, and we are determined to extend our programme to ensure we deliver on that,’ said Clare O’Higgins, Look Good Feel Better’s general manager. ‘To imagine putting somebody on a waiting list because we cannot provide a class for anybody is heart-breaking when you consider what they are going through. We never want that to happen. That means we need to provide more locations, more tutors, more make up volunteers and cosmetic products—and more funds.’
   The charity believes there is an immediate need for more workshops in Christchurch, Rangiora, Queenstown and Wanganui.
   An estimated 1,800 people will be diagnosed with cancer in July in New Zealand, and they will face 36,000 medical appointments during their treatment.



July 4, 2016

Sponsored video: in the spirit of Jurassic World, Energy Online launches its latest spot

Lucire staff/10.31


Energy Online has launched a sequel to its viral video from 2015, which showed door-to-door power company salespeople get scared off by an angry door-knocker.
   The message from the Genesis Energy brand is that door-knocking is so 20th-century, and it’s far easier and less threatening if you went to a website to make up your own mind.
   Even though the ad proved a hit, Energy Online has decided to do a follow-up for 2016, with the action dialled up considerably in a post-Jurassic World era.
   The salespeople are more international this time and have a range of accents, although the surprise guest who greets them only has one: scary.
   A house with a sign, ‘Doorknockers Beware’ and an illustration of a dinosaur tells the sellers just what to expect. The connection between a prehistoric creature and door-knocking being old-fashioned might not be that subtle, but it makes for a very humorous spot.
   The real kicker is that the dinosaur is called ‘Mr T’, though it’s not as big as a tyrannosaurus rex.
   And while filmed in a “hidden camera” style, don’t fear: the salespeople are actors and, like the 2015 spot, there’s some clever computer-generated imagery involved.
   Energy Online says that, on average, people spend nine minutes a year interacting with their power company, so they wanted something fun to cut through all the messages and media people get these days.
   As a challenger brand, they wanted things to be more fun and light-hearted, and hired Contagion, the agency, to create the various spots for them.
   You can sign up to Energy Online with the button in the video below.


Post sponsored by Energy Online but all thoughts and statements are our own

Filed under: New Zealand, TV
June 30, 2016

Letter from Venezia: a survival guide for summer ’16

Lucire staff/22.13




Paula Sweet

Above, from top: Venezia has legendary picture-perfect palaces all along the Grand Canal. Cruise ship departs, photographed from San Marco Square. Luna Hotel Bagioni’s Canova Restaurant.

Greetings from La Serenissima, where the sultry days of summer have descended as the lanes grow thick with eager visitors. It’s late June, and temperatures already read in the low 30s (high 80s for our US readers), humidity hovering around 65 per cent. By midday, as the sun burns through the Adriatic haze, gelato sellers enjoy a thriving business. Lucire has some insider tips to make your visit a happy one.
   1. Arrive mid-week to avoid the extreme crowds. The city has finally limited the number of cruise ships—at one time 15 a day were allowed—now held to three a day. The behemoth vessels arrive on Friday, depositing 15,000 extra day-trippers loosed into the ancient city on weekends. The city can be more navigable on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.
   2. Expect higher prices. Venezia is old and delicate, and tourists a captive audience. There’s an old maxim for travellers, ‘Take half as many clothes as you think you need and twice as much money.’ This holds true for Venezia. As an example, a friend and her daughter sat down at one of the outdoor tables facing the Grand Canal, ordered two small pizzas and two bottles of water. Cost €50. Don’t be surprised!
   3. Wear a hat and keep hydrating. The heat is deceptive, so cover your head and don’t overdo it. If you want to help preserve Venezia, buy an Italian-made straw fedora from a street vendor in support of the local economy. It’s the most functional headgear for the weather and you won’t regret the stylistic flourish you take home. You may also find an afternoon siesta in your hotel room another strategy to beat the heat.
   4. Have a meal at an outdoor restaurant on via Giuseppe Garibaldi. Venezia’s best-kept-secret neighbourhood, where prices may be lower than Rialto or San Marco. A very typical quarter where you will see real Venetians going about their daily business. An easy 15-minute walk from San Marco, along the waterfront, just beyond Arsenale, facing the Lido and the open sea.
   5. Visit the Ghetto. 2016 commemorates the 500th anniversary of the founding of the historic district, located very near the train station. There on March 29, 1516, Jewish residents were granted exclusive sanctuary and permitted to live and do business. While no official celebrations are planned, the area has fascinating architecture, shops and exhibits.
   6. Explore fine dining at Venezia’s great hotels. During the summer, reservations at Venezia’s well known restaurants can be difficult to score. But many of the five-star hotels have great kitchens ready to show you the best of the lagoon’s catch, and new twists on classic preparations in their signature restaurants.
   There’s good news in this category from the Luna Hotel Baglioni, a favourite property located just off San Marco, which upholds an incomparable standard of hospitality and comfort. The hotel’s outstanding Canova Restaurant will soon have outdoor tables adjacent to the entrance, where lunch and dinner can be enjoyed on a quiet passage facing a little-known gondola landing. Fine cuisine, prime location and impeccable service are the hallmarks of this great restaurant.
   While we’re on the subject of the Luna, another new addition to the service package is the introduction this season of dedicated butler service, included with Junior or Senior Suite bookings. Maurizio, a career hospitality professional, brings the full complement of high-grade personalized service and acts as your primary contact to the Luna’s team and the outer world. His mission in life: to make any request come true.
   Hot tip: at the Luna, request Room 407, smaller in size, but with a balcony view of the Grand Canal and Doge’s Palace and a light-filled white marble bathroom. Highly recommended.—Stanley Moss, Travel Editor



Paula Sweet

Above: Butler Maurizio adds to the Luna’s premium package.

June 28, 2016

Keira Knightley to front Chanel Coco Crush campaign for autumn 2016, directed by Mario Testino

Lucire staff/1.48


Mario Testino

Keira Knightley is the new face of Chanel’s Coco Crush haute joaillerie campaign, directed by Mario Testino and scheduled to break in the northern autumn.
   In 2011, Knightley became the face of the Coco Mademoiselle perfume, and she also fronts the company’s Rouge Coco collection.
   Chanel describes its Coco Crush collection as ‘euphoric’ and ‘hedonistic’, featuring pieces that are ‘voluptuous, sensual and timeless’.
   Knightley’s upcoming film is Collateral Beauty, directed by David Frankel, where she co-stars alongside Will Smith and Kate Winslet.

June 22, 2016

Aston Martin reveals Vanquish Zagato, with production limited to 99

Lucire staff/22.25



As expected, the Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato concept that was shown at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este at Lake Como has become a production reality, with the company saying that it will produce 99 examples at Gaydon, Warwickshire, with deliveries commencing during the first quarter of 2017.
   Aston Martin says the car is an example of its collaboration with Zagato, though its press information does not say whether the model, based on its Vanquish flagship, was styled by the Italian coachbuilder or done in-house, as it had been for the V12 Vantage Zagato in 2011.
   The company notes that the new car has ‘Aston Martin’s acclaimed dynamic and material qualities with Zagato’s signature design language.’
   At the launch of the concept last month, Zagato CEO Andrea Zagato noted, ‘We pride ourselves on our strong partnership and the creation of the Vanquish Zagato Concept was a true shared experience. It represents the essence of an important design relationship that dates back over fifty years,’ but there was no elaboration on where the design took place.
   The first collaboration began with the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato of 1960, and it was revived under Victor Gauntlett’s leadership of the company in the 1980s with the V8 Vantage Zagato. Neither car was considered attractive on launch, though both were perceived to be future classics—which they became. The DB4 GT Zagato is now valued at over £10 million and has few critics today.
   Subsequent collaborations were the 2002 DB7 Vantage Zagato, which used a lightly modified version of the donor car’s front end so it did not have to be retested for safety; and the 2011 V12 Vantage Zagato.
   The Vanquish Zagato has an engine uprated to 600 PS, with a claimed 0–60 mph time of 3·5 s. The company says the suspension set-up will be unique to the model. It features a unique carbonfibre body that has new round rear taillights, LED technology shared with the Aston martin Vulcan supercar, a sculpted rear end that has a profile similar to that of the DB11, with a downward contour and pronounced spoiler splitting the taillights. There is a pronounced side strake, reinterpreted so it now runs more deeply down the height of the front wing aft of the wheels, and, as expected, there is the famed Zagato double-bubble roof. The Vanquish Zagato is a liftback.
   Inside, the Vanquish Zagato uses herringbone carbonfibre, and shadow and anodized bronze leather, with the option of aniline leather. The seats and doors have a Z-pattern stitch, and the Zagato Z is embossed on headrests and stitched into the centre console.















Filed under: design, history, living, London, Lucire
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