Above, from top: Art Lewin with Daniel Simons. Interior at Art Lewin’s Santa Monica store. Eugenia Kuzmina. With Kelsey Scott. Patrika Darbo.
Whether youâre going for an audition or a job interview, the first impression is critical. With a guest list that included actors, attorneys, and LA power-brokers, nobody understands this better than Art Lewin. In mid-November, he opened his sixth store in Santa Monica, which like the other locales, is outfitted with everything needed for the perfect custom suit: an extensive library of world-class quality fabrics from internationally renowned mills in England, Italy, France, Switzerland, and Germany; and canvas that is hand-padded and artisan-stitched (as opposed to machine stitching).
Lewin has long been a go-to tailor for Hollywood celebrities, including Jon Voight, Ernie Hudson, Jason Ritter, William Shatner, Lou Ferrigno, Esai Morales and Robert Wagner, to name a few. Art Lewin Bespoke is also preferred by a cadre of stylists. He also offers sleek suiting for women with the same attention to detail, and Sofia Milos is counted among the roster of loyal clients.
The invitation-only red carpet opening was a mix of 100 loyal fans and new converts, including 2016 Primetime Emmy winner Patrika Darbo, Kelsey Scott (12 Years a Slave), and modelâactress Eugenia Kuzmina. All guests parted with a Mario Masotti hand-made silk neck-tie to start the process of making a statement at their next court date, boardroom meeting, or audition.
Co-sponsors BuyWine.com offered guests the best of the best including gourmet cuisine, scrumptious desserts with other treats including Napa Valley wines from Sparrow Hawk and Highway 12 vineyards, Hint Water and Rekorderlig Cider from Sweden.âElyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor
Pretty Little Liarsâ Lucy Hale has been named as a spokeswoman and creative director for Casetify, a company retailing cellphone cases, Apple Watch bands, Macbook sleeves and clutches.
The capsule collection of 34 pieces has been launched in time for the new Apple Iphone 7, based around the idea of ‘delicate but daring,’ a motto credited to the actress. The designs reflect Hale’s tastes, including one with the quotation, ‘I like big brows and I cannot lie,’ as well as cheetah, floral and cacti prints, and one featuring her own dog, Elvis.
Prices begin at US$40, and the range can be found at www.casetify.com/lucy-hale.
The 15th annual Walpole Awards, presented in London on Wednesday, saw numerous fashion and beauty brands honoured for their contribution to luxury. Ralph & Russo won Outstanding Achievement in British Luxury, presented by Nadja Swarovski (right).
Other winners included make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury, who won British Luxury Brand of the Year, and accessories’ designer Anya Hindmarch won the prize for Digital Innovation in British Luxury. Burberry and House of St Barnabas jointly won the Champion of British Luxury Sustainability award.
Above, from top:Meistens Mozart. An excerpt from Political Mother. Pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty.
The New Zealand School of Danceâs Graduation Season once again brings an expertly executed programme, mixing genres from classical to modern to experimental. Among the programme tonight were three premières: Helgi Tomassonâs Meistens Mozart was performed for the first time in New Zealand, while Amber Hainesâs Incant and Jiři Bubeničekâs Dance Gallantries received their world premières on opening night of the season at Te Whaea. Meistens Mozart started the evening and showed that, with the right arrangement and choreography, the German language could be made cheerful. Songs by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf, Bernhard Flies and Jakob Haibel, sung by the Tölzer Boysâ Choir, accompanied the six dancers, the standout of whom was George Liang. Liang had previously been at Canadaâs National Ballet School, and we had seen him perform last month at the Republic of Chinaâs National Day celebration. There were no opening-night jitters from any of the six, who instantly transported us to an alpine society, celebrating springtime love, courtship and playfulness.
The all-male He Taongaâa Gift was an energetic and intense performance where drumbeats from Whirimako Blackâs âTorete te Kioreâ soundtrack sparked sudden moves, a demonstration of control and strength from the 14 dancers. Choreographed by Taiaroa Royal and Taane Mete, He Taonga was created for the School in 2009 and reprised tonight.
Opening the second section, Laura Crawford and Yuri Marques were like delicate dolls in their pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty, Act III, with the choreography after Marius Petipa. Marilyn Rowe, OBE staged and coached, while Qi Huan was répétiteur. This was a tough ballet piece to get right and the pair got stronger as they performed, gaining confidence and drawing us into their romance.
Taking a complete tangent into modern dance was the solo performance of Glitch, a new work from NZSD tutor Victoria Columbus, whose talents we most recently saw at the World of Wearable Art, where she serves as director of choreography. The movements themselves were created by graduate Connor Masseurs, who performed the dance, playing the part of a “glitching” robotic man short-circuiting on stage with skilful, shuddering movements. Masseurs completely absorbed us with his solo: it wasnât just his limbs that Masseurs controlled, he extended the idea to facial movements, inventively finding new ways to glitch. Masseurs first performed the dance at the Grand Théâtre at the Maison de la Culture de Tahiti as part of a gala at the Académie de Danse Annie Fayn. Incant was mysterious, brooding, and ethereal: this all-female work saw dancers come together to generate new shapes, conveying to us notions of clouds, trees in a forest, or tunnels, at times passing a lit sphere between them. Hainesâs choreography was meant to question traditional notions of beauty and got us successfully focusing on the collective moves of the dancers. âThis world,â she notes in the programme, âinvokes a mesmerizing state of collective consciousness and celebrates the power and luminous beauty of shared intention.â A captivating work, it ended the second set of dances. Dance Gallantries was another more traditional work, with 10 dancers telling more playful stories of romance, complemented by Otto Bubeničekâs colourful costume design and solo violin music by J. S. Bach.
A group of 12 performed an extract from Political Mother, the eveningâs one political work with jarring music and clever choreography by Hofesh Shechter. A couple merrily folk-dances in a town square, happy to be part of their society, but are they genuinely happy or manipulated by the state? Their expressions seem to suggest the latter, fooled into believing that all is well and happy in their naïveté. The action moves on to a prison, where the music is muffled and dancers ape being restrained by either arms or ankles. The final scene, with a large group of dancers back in the town, show that the entire society has succumbed to the illusion, raising their arms in acceptance. It makes you question about the times we live in, and whether intellectual discourse is suppressed in favour of simpler ideas, a population told to be happy without really knowing why.
Finally, Tchaikovskyâs music from The Nutcracker was excerpted for the upbeat Tempo di Valse, with the NZSD returning to a ballet to finish the evening. The âWaltz of the Flowersâ was instantly recognizable, the 15 dancers showing classical movements. Nadine Tyson choreographed, while the colourful traditional costumes were designed by Donna Jefferis.
Depending on the show, the pas de deux from The Sleeping Beauty may be replaced by Jack Carterâs Pas de deux romantique, with music by Rossini; while Glitch may give way to The Wanderer, choreographed by Columbus and perforned by Liang.
The season runs from November 16 to 26 at Te Whaea in Wellington, New Zealand, with prices ranging from NZ$18 to NZ$33. Tickets can be booked at the New Zealand School of Dance, or online at nzschoolofdance.ac.nz/book-tickets. Weâd rate it another must-see, especially to catch some rising starsâwe understand that some are off overseas, already snatched up by dance companies.âJack Yan, Publisher
Chanel is heavily promoting its new No. 5 L’Eau spokeswoman, Lily-Rose Depp, decking her out fully in fashion, accessories and make-up from the brand. On Tuesday, she was at the screening of Planetarium in Paris, a film by Rebecca Zlotowski in which she co-stars as Natalie Portman’s younger sister. She wore a Chanel black cotton jacket from the cruise 2016â17 collection, and the Coco Crush ring in 18 ct yellow gold. As a rising star, and the daughter of two major celebrities, Depp is attracting plenty of attention as her own acting career takes off. After opening in New Zealand, Hennes & Mauritz (H&M), the international fashion brand known for offering fashion and quality at the best price in a sustainable way, has signed for its first store openings in Vietnam during 2017. More information will follow, says the company. In 2017, H&M will also open in Colombia, Iceland, Kazakhstan and Georgia.
Finally, the British Fashion Council announced earlier this week that photographer Bruce Weber, famed for his black-and-white portraits will receive its Isabella Blow Award for Fashion Creator at the British Fashion Awards 2016. Weber will be honoured at this yearâs ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall. Weber’s work has appeared in Vogue, Elle, Interview, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, and other publications, and rose to prominence with the 1982 Calvin Klein campaign featuring Tom Hintnaus in Greece.âCecilia Xu, with Lucire staff
Bruce Weber/Calvin Klein Advertising Archive
Above: Tom Hinthaus, photographed by Bruce Weber for Calvin Klein, 1982.
For a short period, the Saatchi Gallery has been transformed into a temple with not just one, but a series of Buddhas. Each one of them has been âdressed upâ into somewhat inappropriate attire, symbolizing the obsessive consumerist society we live in. From recognizable brands to modern-day icons to symbols instantly recognized by the millennials, the Buddhas silently, without judgement, point out how engrossed we all are into disconnecting from our spiritual selves and consuming more and more physical and digital content.
Renowned London-based artist Olga Lomaka is presenting her latest exhibition, Artefacts. The leitmotif of the Artefacts is the clash of contemporary western and ancient eastern civilizations. It contrasts the principles of consumer society, its cultural and technological obsession, with the peacefulness and profoundness of Buddhism, the major religion of the east.
âThe project is ambiguous: I do not expect the viewer to make a choice, or to draw any dichotomies between cultures and notions,’ says Lomaka. Artefacts is a collision of tradition and spiritualism with what most of us see as being important here and nowâthe latest gadget, the latest trend. ‘I believe that only a harmonious balancing of these two attitudes can propel us out of the current âconfrontationâ between them. The wisdom of traditional past will help us advance on the path of our spiritual evolution,’ adds the artist.
The concept of Artefacts may have surprised many but it certainly didnât make the guests of Saatchi Gallery leave without questioning their values. Some of the Buddhas have travelled with Olga Lomaka to the prestigious Art Monaco fair where the she has been granted the Best Artist award. Some of the other Buddhas, including Fashion Guru, Miss Universe and Super Buddha were chosen to represent the artist at the Biennale of Contemporary Art in Firenze in 2017, where you could view them and ponder what is important to you. After all, there is never a wrong time to question your beliefs, right?âElina Lukas, Correspondent
ValmonS Photography, Erik Erxon, Deivydas Lekavicius
As Topshop opens its doors in Wellington today, its second store in New Zealand, and in the wake of an announcement of a new flagship store in Dublin, Sir Philip Green, who chairs its parent Arcadia Group, has been under assault by British politicians.
The most recent controversy surrounds Sir Philipâs knighthood, which was awarded to him for services to retail. However, a damning report published in July 2016 concluded that British Home Stores, which had been bought by Sir Philip in 2000 for ÂŁ200 million and was formerly part of Arcadia, had been plundered, leaving BHS on life support. The mood in the Commons in October was that Sir Philip should be stripped of his knighthood, passing the amendment, â[This House] noting that Philip Green received his knighthood for his services for the retail industry, believes his actions raise the question of whether he should be allowed to continue to be a holder of the honour and calls on the honours forfeiture committee to recommend his knighthood be cancelled and annulled.â
None of Sir Philipâs supporters were present at the debate, where MPs launched into attacks on the multi-millionaire whilst under parliamentary privilege.
Also ignored as attacks were launched against Sir Philip was that, for a considerable period between 2000 and 2015, BHS employed thousands and the British establishment fĂȘted the businessman. There were talks of a business venture with Simon Cowell, involving Cheryl Cole; supermodel Kate Moss created a line sold through Topshop. Even in the US, Sir Philip enjoyed a glowing reputation, winning a National Retail Federationâs Retailer of the Year Award. Between 2002 and 2009 BHS had paid ÂŁ167 million of corporation tax, and capital expenditure had been ÂŁ421 million while it was under Sir Philipâs control, according to Taveta Investments, his holding company. However, The Guardian believes that ÂŁ580 million in dividends, rents and interest had been extracted by the Green family.
While the motion does not mean Sir Philip will lose his knighthood, it will be difficult for the honoursâ forfeiture committee, which considers the matter, to ignore.
Sir Philip sold BHS for ÂŁ1 in 2015 to investors led by Dominic Chappellâsomeone whom he now considers to be âcategoricallyâ the wrong buyer; by April 2016 it had gone into administration, with the loss of 11,000 jobs and a ÂŁ571 million pension scheme deficit. Sixteen years before the fund had been in a ÂŁ5 million surplus.
By July, the work and pensionsâ select committee and the business, innovation and skills (BIS) committee issued a report which placed the blame of BHSâs collapse at Sir Philipâs feet. They accused him and others of extracting hundreds of millions of pounds from BHS, enriching himself and his family, and that he showed little business acumen. The committees further labelled the âsystematic plunderâ of BHS âthe unacceptable face of capitalismâ, a term once linked to the Lonrho conglomerate in the 1970s and its chief executive Tiny Rowland. The committees also concluded that Sir Philip failed to invest in the business and that he was ultimately responsible for the pension fundâs deficit.
BHSâs overseas franchises and its website were sold to Al Mana Group, under which they have thrived.
Earlier in October, it is believed that Prime Minister Theresa Mayâs reference at the Conservative Party conference to business people who âtake out massive dividends while knowing that the company pension is about to go bustâ was about Sir Philip.
The man who chaired the work and pensionsâ committee, the Rt Hon Frank Field MP, launched into a further attack on Sir Philip on Channel 4 News on October 18, forcing Taveta to counter the statements. Field said that Sir Philip was now running Arcadia âinto the ground like BHS,â and warned that Arcadia staff should be concerned for their pension fund.
The same week, Sir Philip pledged to find a solution to the pension deficit in an interview with ITV and was âvery sorryâ for those affected by the collapse. He claimed that he was in discussions with the Pensionsâ Regulator to find a solution, though the Regulator stated that it was yet to receive a âcomprehensive and credibleâ proposal.
On ITV, Sir Philip defended the years during which a dividend was taken out, stating that BHS was profitable at the time, though the committees concluded that those profits were made by cost-cutting and squeezing suppliers. He believes that the support he and his company gave to BHS from 2005 was closer to ÂŁ850 million.
Chappell, meanwhile, facing criticisms from Sir Philip, supported the stripping of Sir Philipâs knighthood.
There is an ongoing investigation into the failure by the Insolvency Service while the Serious Fraud Office has begun looking into the matter.