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August 20, 2014

Audi’s new TT is leaner and greener, with whole-life environmental impact reduced

Lucire staff/14.24



Audi’s third-generation TT, which goes on sale later this year, is greener and lighter than its predecessor, something which Lucire readers will applaud.
   The iconic sports’ car, which came on the scene in 1998 with its Bauhaus, geometric looks, carving its own niche, continues similar themes for 2014, but looks sleeker, with Audi’s hexagonal grille, and wider. However, it is virtually the same length as the outgoing model, while having a 37 mm longer wheelbase.
   The body is stiffer by 25 per cent and the centre of gravity lower by 10 mm, aiding handling. Power is up 14 per cent, while greenhouse gas emissions are down 11 per cent. The monocoque shell is a mixture of steel and aluminium, with the weight dropping by 50 kg compared with the second-generation model which Lucire tested in 2007. The weight, in fact, is only close to that of the original TT, which is no mean feat considering how much more modern cars pack, with the front-wheel-drive 2·0 TFSI model tipping the scales at 1,230 kg. By comparison, a 1998 1·8 front-wheel-drive TT weighed 1,240 kg.
   Audi has also reduced the whole-life impact on the environment, with each car saving 5·5 tonnes of greenhouse gas (not just carbon dioxide, but methane, nitrous oxide and halogenated organic emissions) in its lifetime. The construction sees a saving of 800 kg of greenhouse gas emissions (nine per cent) compared to the earlier model.
   UK deliveries commence in December 2014.


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Lindex will open London store for spring 2015

Lucire staff/13.45


Above An image from Lindex’s autumn 2014 campaign.

Lindex, the Swedish brand now part of the Finnish Stockmann group, will open a store in London in spring 2015.
   The company has been gradually raising its profile over the last few years, including hiring actress Penélope Cruz to model one of its collections.
   This latest move sees Lindex open at Westfield Stratford City, along with a UK distribution centre. UK customers can already purchase online at lindex.com.
   The store promises to reflect Lindex’s Scandinavian heritage with its décor and service.
   ‘This is a great day in our history. We have longed to offer our affordable and inspiring fashion in an exciting city like London, one of the world’s most attractive shopping destinations,’ said Lindex CEO Ingvar Larsson in a release.
   Lindex notes that London has more global fashion brands than any other city.

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Filed under: fashion, London, Lucire, Sweden
August 19, 2014

Sponsored video: Wasa uses paid parental leave to sell crisp bread

Lucire staff/10.53

A Lucire special promotion



Wasa’s blue and yellow logo already indicates its origins—Sweden. It’s a brand that most Swedes already know, as the company has been making knäckebröd, a type of cracker or crisp bread, for decades. The company, founded by K. E. Lundström in 1919 in Skellefteå, might now be under Italian ownership, but it still has its royal warrant, probably helped by Wasa’s name’s connection to the 16th-century monarch Gustav I and the Vasa dynasty.
   The new advertising campaign, aimed at the US, doesn’t look into the name’s royal origins, but plays on its perceived Swedishness. As multinational food brands go, many of them, now absorbed into bigger players, rely on their national origins for differentiation, and Wasa is no exception. The difference is that Wasa knäckebröd remains very Swedish in its execution and is seen as quintessential.
   But what is Sweden about? It certainly makes a telling contrast to the United States. The advertisement stays away from anything controversial like health care or law enforcement, and touches on Sweden’s image of an egalitarian democracy.
   Clarissa, the American businesswoman in Sweden for work, attends a yoga class, only to find that her classmates are a group of attractive fathers with their babies.
   Sweden offers 16 months’ paid parental leave or föräldraförsäkringen. Ninety per cent of Swedish fathers take the leave. This can be contrasted to New Zealand, which offers 14 weeks, increasing to 18 in 2016, after the policy was introduced by the Alliance in the 2000s. The US, where the ad is targeted, offers none—joining Lesotho, Liberia, Swaziland and Papua New Guinea.
   Proclaims one of the Dads in the ad, ‘This is Sweden. We have something called pappaledighet. It’s when the daddies stay at home for six months while the moms are working.’ Clarissa breaks the fourth wall, and ponders, ‘We sent a man to the moon. What a waste, when we could have sent him to the playground as our Swedish sisters do.’
   And to seal the deal, perhaps in a very obvious fashion, a baby brings her a box of Wasa crisp bread.
   It’s an unusual approach to selling a fast-moving consumer good, but it emphasizes that the Swedish national image remains a very healthy one for companies that have a connection to the Nordic nation.


Article sponsored by Wasa

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Filed under: culture, living, society, Sweden
August 12, 2014

H&M collaborates with Kate Mara and Johnny Wujek on New York stores’ windows

Lucire staff/15.12



Hennes & Mauritz

Hennes & Mauritz, with its flagship Fifth Avenue store open in New York alongside other locations in the city, is collaborating with actress Kate Mara (Fantastic Four) and stylist Johnny Wujek to kick off Fashion Week there.
   Mara and Wujek will curate windows in nine H&M New York stores, and introduce their picks in select stores in the US, as well as online.
   On September 4, they will meet fashion students at the Fifth Avenue store for a panel discussion, as the first event of Fashion Week. It also marks the launch of the H&M Studio range for autumn–winter 2014–15.
   The pair are close friends and H&M says the windows will reflect their personalities: Mara with a chic, approachable sensibility, and Wujek with bold and quirky styles.
   Their inspiration has come from black-and-white photography of New York’s cityscape, and its light projections, bridges and building windows.
   ‘It was a no-brainer for us to work together on this as we both have a true appreciation for accessible high fashion and our favorite city of New York,’ said Mara in a release.
   Wujek added, ‘Immediately I said yes to work on this incredibly creative project with H&M and Kate. H&M is a pioneer in the field of fashion and being asked to creative-direct their store windows for the opening of New York Fashion Week was my Mannequin dream come true—one of my favourite movies growing up. I can’t wait for people to walk by and see the beauty we make in the H&M windows.’




Hennes & Mauritz

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August 11, 2014

Rihanna on the cover of W September 2014, with unmissable Meadowlark Jewellery

Lucire staff/2.03


Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott

Rihanna is on the September 2014 cover of W, photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, styled by Edward Enniful, the magazine’s fashion and style director.
   There’s a New Zealand connection, with the pop star wearing Meadowlark Jewellery’s large Thorn Septum ring, from its upcoming spring–summer 2014–15 collection, Dynasty, on the cover. The singer wears the ring on her nose on the cover.
   Two versions of the ring, one with diamonds and one without, feature in the editorial inside.
   Meadowlark says it gifted Rihanna the diamond-set septum ring on the day of the shoot, and she had been spotted wearing it.
   She also wears a Donna Karan New York dress, an Ashley Lloyd headdress, Amrapali ruby and diamond ear cuffs, and a Stephen Dweck sterling silver necklace. The shoot took place in July.
   Rihanna is currently on her Monster’s Ball tour with rapper Eminem.

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August 7, 2014

Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 finalists bid farewell to the Cape Dara Resort, Pattaya

Lucire staff/13.32



Alan Raga

It’s always hard saying goodbye, especially in tropical temperatures in the 30s, and facing a prospect of the remainder of winter back in New Zealand—but that’s what the top 25 finalists at Miss Universe New Zealand had to do today. The last breakfast of the tour at the Cape Dara Resort was a fitting farewell to the five-star treatment given by the property. There was a brief moment for some shopping, before the afternoon transfer to Subarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok.
   The finalists began checking in at 3.45 p.m. local time, with their flight arriving in Auckland on Friday morning NZST.
   From there, they will continue competing in the entrepreneurial challenge, raise funds for Variety, the Children’s Charity, and head to the countdown to the final at the Sky City Theatre on September 18, 2014.
   The public can vote for their favourite contestant, either through an online i-vote or text voting: see nextmissnz.com/top25.shtml for voting details. Further updates of the competition are on the Miss Universe New Zealand Facebook and Instagram, with hashtags #missuniversenz and #munz14.






Alan Raga

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Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 finalists visit Pattaya’s orphanage on last full day in Thailand

Lucire staff/3.54




Alan Raga

On their last full day in Thailand, the Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 finalists remained in Pattaya for their official events, visiting the Sanctuary of Truth, regarded the most beautiful temple in the area and still under construction using timber, and the Central Festival shopping district.
   Five contestants had their photo shoots with Alan Raga, wearing Surface Too Deep and Honey & Co. swimwear.
   The afternoon programme saw a visit to the Pattaya orphanage, possibly the most moving experience of the tour.
   The Father Ray Foundation, which looks after 850 orphans, disadvantaged and abused children, and children with disabilities, played host for an event which saw two of the young speakers move the finalists to tears. The Foundation’s policy is that no child is turned away. Its website accepts donations in US and Canadian dollars, euros, pounds sterling as well as baht.
   The finalists were greeted by Fathers Peter and Michael, the president and vice-president of the Foundation, and watched three performances. The first was from children from the Father Ray Day Care Centre, who performed a routine about a caterpillar turning into a butterfly; the second was from a student group using wheelchairs from the Redemptorist Vocational School for People with Disabilities, and the third was from the choir at the Pattaya Redemptorist School for the Blind who sang ‘Amazing Grace’ and ‘You Are My Sunshine’.
   They laid flowers at the statue of Father Ray, the founder of the NGO, who passed away 11 years ago this month.
   The final, beachside dinner in Pattaya was hosted by Damrong Puttan, a former senator and proprietor of KS Magazine. Afterwards, the finalists returned to the Cape Dara Resort for their final night.
   The Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 grand final takes place at Sky City Theatre, Auckland, on September 18. The public will have a hand in deciding the winner, through text voting and through the electronic i-vote. See nextmissnz.com/top25.shtml for voting details. Further updates of the competition are on the Miss Universe New Zealand Facebook and Instagram, with hashtags #missuniversenz and #munz14.





















Alan Raga

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August 6, 2014

Retrospectives: great moments in Parisian fashion history, with YSL, McQueen, Galliano, Gaultier

Lucire staff/14.05

What are some of the great fashion moments in recent history? You’ll have seen these videos run on Lucire TV, and we’ve singled them out for an additional focus. In French and English.

1. The departure of Yves Saint Laurent
In January 2001, Yves Saint Laurent retired from the house that bears his name, with the brand’s final haute couture show and retrospective at the Hotel Inter-continental in Paris. Two thousand people were invited to the Centre Pompidou to see Saint Laurent’s 300 greatest classics, and models included Claudia Schiffer, Carla Bruni, Jerry Hall, and Naomi Campbell. In the finalé, 40 tuxedos paraded to a song performed by Laetitia Casta. Catherine Deneuve, a long-time friend of the designer, was in tears. Saint Laurent died in 2008.
   Saint Laurent says, ‘I tried to prove that Paris was still the city of light and of haute couture, and haute couture made like this was necessary for people’s imaginations. I like seeing my models evolve and seeing how the public react and actually in that moment I feel really close to the public. I still get nervous in this profession. I’m still not used to it after 42 years. I’ve tried again to perfect this style that has now become really important in fashion, this style that I created and to which I remain loyal, as fashions pass but style stays. It’s a part of me, it’s my life. I wouldn’t know what to do; I wouldn’t be able to live if I didn’t make dresses.’

2. The shows of Alexander McQueen
Lee Alexander McQueen was known for his extravagant shows, and had come to most people’s attention after he succeeded John Galliano at Givenchy in 1996. He was later hired by the Gucci Group, joining the group in 2000. Gucci had bought a controlling stake in McQueen’s own label. An extraordinary creator, McQueen was depressed after the death of his mother, and committed suicide in 2010. The video looks at some of his greatest hits.
   Said McQueen: ‘After I left college I went to Paris to look for work, like every student does, and I went to see Martin but he couldn’t afford to pay me, and then I went to Gaultier and then there was some nasty queen on the front door to Gaultier. And I thought f*** this. I was supposed to be there for five days I was back in five hours, because there was no one else I wanted to work for apart from Margiela and Gaultier …
   ‘I call myself very schizophrenic; I have so many different, you know, personalities.’
   Katy England notes in the video below, ‘He’s just got a very clever mind, and he doesn’t follow fashion, he’s not that interested in the trends. He just suddenly thinks of something that’s really really imaginative, he might be inspired by art or … he just has a very strange vision of things which suddenly comes to life. He’ll explain an image and you’ll think wow, that’s very very strong, and that will then in turn inspire a collection. I’ve never met someone else who thinks of these things, it’s just exciting really.’

3. John Galliano at Christian Dior, haute couture spring–summer 2002
One of John Galliano’s most controversial haute couture collections was for spring–summer 2002, where he showed one inspired by the homeless, paying tribute to the ‘ingenuity shown by the underprivileged in the way they dress,’ with unstitched dresses, jacket arms held on by pegs, the layering of trousers and torn effects. Galliano said, ‘There’s the new cut but it’s also to show the work, the delicacy of the Dior atelier’s work, and also to show that this house is a laboratory of ideas where you can thrive off the rest of the house, the ready-to-wear fashion, the collection and the accessories … that’s why I’m there, to inspire the house. I cut it up a bit, a little bit crazily and expressively … They took the dress upstairs and they made the whole patronage and everything and they came back down with the same expressive cutting which blew me away, me and Stephen [Jones] couldn’t tell the difference.’

4. Madonna models for Jean Paul Gaultier
Madonna, who had been friends with Jean Paul Gaultier since 1989 when he made the costumes for her Blonde Ambition tour, went to Paris in September 1994 to model the designer’s spring–summer 1995 collection. The show was memorable for both Madonna and Gaultier, for a body corset with a conical bra.
   Looking back, Gaultier says, ‘That exact date in 1989. I knew her from that, professionally because I made the costumes for the Blonde Ambition tour, so that was really fun, it was one of my most beautiful experiences I have to say. An then obviously she modelled for me. First, she modelled in a charity show in LA in support of Aids, and the second time she modelled, you recorded her, at the Musée des Arts Forains, that must have been around ’96. There you go!
   Marie-Christiane Marek summarizes the influence: ‘Madonna produced a visual shock, leaving a mark on her era and captivating a fascinated public from the end of the ’80s. She presented corseted silhouettes with conical bras, or more Jean Paul Gaultier men’s suits. Madonna, therefore, embodied the Parisian designer’s success, heralding a new feminine era with a stamp of sex appeal.’

Le départ d’Yves Saint Laurent (version française)

The departure of Yves Saint Laurent (English dub)

The shows of Alexander McQueen

John Galliano at Christian Dior, haute couture spring–summer 2002

Madonna défile chez Jean-Paul Gaultier (version française)

Madonna models for Jean Paul Gaultier (English dub)

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