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May 2, 2016

Committee of 100 celebrates Chinese-American success and talent

Lola Cristall/13.31




Committee of 100 and BeBe Jacobs

The Committee of 100 (C-100) came together for a celebratory event in Los Angeles to praise Chinese-American achievements in the midst of a society that tends to build bridges of understanding between cultures successfully. The extraordinary committee, founded in 1990, consists of acclaimed personalities including cellist Yo-Yo Ma, YouTube co-founder Steve Chen, NASA astronaut Leroy Chiao and figure-skating champion Michelle Kwan. Co-founded by renowned architect Ieoh Ming Pei (I. M. Pei), known for his structures including his beautifully designed Louvre Pyramid in Paris and the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, the committee intends to unite successful and prominent members of the Chinese-American community, sharing and discussing their endeavours while honouring Chinese culture. As an invitation-only committee, they recruited numerous distinguished faces in various industries to promote leadership and camaraderie between greater China and the United States. Headquartered in New York, they also host eventful gatherings in Washington DC, Los Angeles, Beijing and San Francisco.
   In April, the C-100 2016 annual conference took place at the prestigious Beverly Wilshire. The two-day summit included a number of panel discussions with various speakers such as Congressman Ted Lieu (Democrat, Calif.), Kevin Tsujihara (chair and CEO of Warner Brothers), Ari Emanuel (co-CEO of William Morris Endeavor) and Joe Tsai (CFO of Alibaba) discussing cases including Hollywood, China and the US–China economic and political outlook. Ming Tsai, chef and restaurateur, Joan Chen, actress and director, and Constance Wu, lead actress in Fresh off the Boat, also took centre-stage as they alluded to their Chinese-American journeys. Along with discussions throughout the day, a gala celebrated C-100 award winners for their considerable successes. Bob Chapek, the chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, won the Business Excellence Award. The Philanthropy Excellence Award went to the chairman of Hang Lung Properties, Ronnie Chan, as well as Gerald Chan, the chairman of Morningside Group.—Lola Cristall, Paris editor



April 21, 2016

Renault releases first details of Koleos II, its most upscale SUV yet

Jack Yan/13.11

We had anticipated this announcement since Salvatore Marti, operations’ manager of Renault New Zealand, told us to wait till April 21 to see photographs of the Koleos II, the company’s latest SUV.
   He never said Renault Maxthon, which was the name bandied about by the media for part of 2016. There’s a logic to having another name with a hard k sound at the start, tying in to Captur and Kadjar, Renault’s other own-brand SUVs.
   We had been concerned that the new Koleos wouldn’t match the Kadjar in looks, since the current model was conceived by Samsung of Korea, one of Renault’s subsidiaries, and never had the flair of some of its rivals.
   Marti assured us that we shouldn’t worry, and he was right: Koleos, which has the same 2,705 mm wheelbase as the Nissan X-Trail, is arguably better looking than the Kadjar. It’s also slightly bigger, in the same way the X-Trail is bigger than its sister car, the Nissan Qashqai, by the same amount. Both sets of Renault’s and Nissan’s SUVs are on Renault’s CMF–C/D platform.
   However, the Koleos will only be a five-seater, with Renault design boss Laurens van den Acker saying that the company was already catering to the seven-seat market with its Scénic IV and Espace V.
   The grille is similar to that of the international (as opposed to the Chinese-market) Renault Talisman, which had been fêted as the Most Beautiful Car of the Year by the Festival Automobile International in Paris. It also ties in to the look of the Renault Mégane IV. It appears that Renault is looking to target more upscale buyers with the Koleos.
   The Koleos II is one of the débutantes at the Beijing Motor Show next week, with CEO Carlos Ghosn officially unveiling it on the 25th. It will be built in Wuhan for the Chinese market, but no announcement has been made on where other countries’ Koleoses will be sourced from. Chinese buyers will get 2·0- and 2·5-litre petrol models, with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive.
   The Koleos II will be sold in New Zealand, but the Kadjar will not, said Marti.—Jack Yan, Publisher

March 5, 2016

Finding the Upper East Side’s far eastern haute cuisine at Philippe by Philippe Chow

Lola Cristall/10.38



Philippe by Philippe Chow, located on the Upper East Side in New York City, radiates with elegantly modern, yet simple, décor. The cozy setting welcomes guests into an elongated dining area in a slightly boisterous surrounding. For a quieter dining experience, a separate, private, serene room awaits guests. Lit candles glimmer within the romantic backdrop as hints of red underline the scene.
   Chow’s Beijing-style cuisine, with a modern twist, demonstrates his haute culinary skill. Dishes can be accompanied by a tasty cocktail, a delicate wine, or a delectable martini. Whether a whole steamed fish of the day with a simple soy sauce alongside minced green scallions and ginger vegetables, appetizing chicken satay, crisply luscious glazed pecking duck with house-made pancakes, delightful lettuce wraps, deliciously steamed shrimp, vegetable dumplings or crispy scallion pancakes, each dish explodes with intense flavours. While appetizers and main course are divine, the desserts are just as exciting. Pastry chef Kostas Paterakis presents a number of sweets to choose from, including a red velvet cake with cream cheese icing and dark chocolate layer cake. The pastries are mouthwatering and heavenly, both beautifully accompanied by a delicious raspberry sauce.
   Chef Chow has over three decades’ worth of cooking expertise, since his teenage years in Hong Kong. Since 2005, he has been sharing his culinary skill, revealing his knowledge and know-how amongst New Yorkers, celebrities and many notables. Guests can look forward to haute cuisine with dishes that reveal the chef’s close attention to detail, in the complexity of taste to a marvellous presentation.—Lola Cristall, Paris Editor






January 17, 2016

Indulging in the arts at Lincoln Center: La vie parisienne and Dragon Boat Racing

Lola Cristall/14.18



Chris Lee


藝想天成文化傳媒

Above, from top Makato Ozone on piano at La vie parisienne at Lincoln Center. The New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Dragon Boat Racing presented by the Guangdong Song and Dance Ensemble.

There were many ways to ring in the New Year but one sophisticated approach saw melodious tunes and laughter. The New York Philharmonic celebrated in style with La vie parisienne at the David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center. The beautifully organized spectacle paid homage to the spectacular city of lights with poetic tales and songs in both French and English. The talented comedian and two-time Tony winner Nathan Lane narrated Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of Animals, written by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin, adding humour and irony with each animal symbolizing a New York figure. Alan Gilbert energetically conducted the performance while Inon Barnatan and Makoto Ozone were the magnificent pianists of the soirée. Mezzo-soprano Susan Graham sang uplifting songs including ‘C’est ça la vie, c’est ça l’amour’ from Toi c’est moi, ‘Ah! que j’aime les militaires’ from La Grande Duchesse de Gerolstein and Edith Piaf’s ‘La vie en rose’. As 2016 fast approached, guests stood up to sing the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, while a large glimmering image of the Eiffel Tower reflected in the background. The setting was a marvellous escape into an evening à la française with a joyful, energetic and a high-spirited crowd impatiently waiting for the New Year to emerge.
   From a conductor’s baton to a dancer’s fast paced feet, Lincoln Center is the home of such performances. The beginning of January marked a memorable occasion to celebrate a talented group of dancers, during the China Arts and Entertainment Group’s Dragon Boat Racing presented by the Guangdong Song and Dance Ensemble. Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater welcomed the limited-time presentation to the stage. They featured phenomenal choreographed dance moves to the tune of traditional Cantonese music. The majestic ambiance was exquisite. Directed and choreographed by Zhou Liya and Han Zhen with music by Du Ming and scenario by Tang Dong, the spectacle blends the beauty of traditional and contemporary features on one stage, as the artistry of the east meets the modernity of the west. The production was vibrant and uplifting, as the dancers conveyed a love story where the main character, Nian (Li Xing), is torn between Ling (Li Yanchao), the woman he adores, and Ying (Wang Minrui), the woman Nian’s father wants his son to marry. The feud and adoration are expressed through the performers’ agility while the melody underlined the story’s elements.—Lola Cristall, Paris Editor





Chris Lee










藝想天成文化傳媒

January 6, 2016

Huawei collaborates with Swarovski on two additional smart watches

Lucire staff/20.46


Huawei impressed the tech crowd with its smart watches last year, but it’s going after a more premium market with the announcement of the Jewel and Elegant versions this time, in collaboration with Swarovski.
   The two watches, shown at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronic Show yesterday, join the Classic, Active and Élite models launched in 2015.
   The Jewel features 68 Swarovski zirconia, each measuring 1·5 mm, around its rose gold-plated case. The Elegant has a knurled pattern effect around its rose gold-plated case. Both are complemented by Italian leather watch straps in pearl white and sapphire blue, and come loaded with over 40 watch faces, including 10 exclusive designs that Huawei calls ‘feminine’.
   They are powered by Android Wear and are both Android and IOS compatible, have Bluetooth connectivity, and can accept voice commands for music and navigation. The watches also include a heart-rate sensor and a motion sensor for fitness and health.

December 30, 2015

Chinese label Lanyu plans international growth, US launch

Lucire staff/4.38

Chinese designer Lan Yu, commemorating her 11th anniversary, says she will launch her Lanyu brand Stateside next, after having shown in Paris during 2015.
   Her Water Charm collection can be viewed on her brand’s home page.
   Her work combines eastern techniques, including traditional Suzhou embroidery that has been practised in China for over two millennia, with western materials. Lan herself had studied at the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology and in the US.
   Her couture wedding dresses were her first foray into the fashion business, before branching out to red-carpet gowns.
   Lanyu is available at retailers in Beijing and Shanghai, and can be found on Wechat at Lanyu.

September 7, 2015

Huawei and futurist Sabine Seymour predict technology’s impact on fashion

Lucire staff/22.44


We know that fashion and technology will continue coming together, and we’ve seen some innovative ideas where technology impacts on what we wear—including clothing that senses a person’s mood and alters itself accordingly. If Dr Sabine Seymour, futurist, author of Fashionable Technology, and professor of fashion and technology at Parsons is right, these ideas will become mainstream, including several others that would have been science fiction a generation ago.
   Huawei, the Chinese mobile device manufacturer, has teamed up with Seymour, as it launched a new smartwatch, which it called ‘premium … with a classic design, which is also technologically innovative.’
   Huawei’s new watch, measuring 42 mm in diameter, features a touch-sensitive AMOLED display coated in scratch-proof sapphire crystal and a stainless steel frame.
   Seymour says our underwear will begin having sensors that track personal data, such as heart rate and body temperature—an evolution of some of the exercise accessories that are commonplace today.
   We will be able to change the pattern, colour, shape and style of our garments in the future, forecasts Seymour, with technology more seamlessly integrated into clothing. Clothes will become gesture- and touch-sensitive. Length and shape can change as required, and users will be able to download new designs. Newly downloaded prints can display on to the garment.
   Garments that adjust to body temperature are on the horizon, too, while 3-D printing and on-demand manufacturing will see shoes produced in the home to a perfect fit. They will also connect to cars, which will adjust the seat accordingly.
   These fashions will be sustainable and their power will come possibly from kinetic energy, rather than batteries.



July 7, 2015

News round-up: Scandale Paris in Canada; Swymbag protecting gadgets in the water; Oilily shows womenswear

Lucire staff/2.16



Above The waterproof Swymbags: take your belongings with you and don’t risk them getting stolen at the beach.

Scandale Paris, Academy Award winner Halle Berry’s lingerie line, has secured distribution in Canada, through Boutique la Vie en Rose’s 63 outlet locations and online at lavieenrose.com. La Vie en Rose is Canada’s largest lingerie retailer.
   Originally founded in 1932, Scandale Paris was reintroduced by Berry, who serves as its creative director and curator, as well as having a co-ownership of the label with the Hong Kong-HQed Hop Lun Ltd. The basic and autumn–winter 2015–16 collections are available in nearly 50 styles, priced from C$9·95 to C$25·95.
   After Emily Gayton and Kristina Oliver had their belongings stolen when they left them on a beach, they decided to do something about it: invent a waterproof bag that you can put your belongings in, then take it swimming with you. They’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign to get their Swymbag range, in three styles, into production.
   Oilily, known best for its children’s line, will release its next womenswear collection at the Westergasfabriek during Amsterdam Fashion Week on July 13. ‘To show that Oilily moves with the times, we started the campaign Little Girls Grow up. The idea behind this campaign was to photograph women who grew up with our brand in the ’80s and ’90s wearing our new women’s collection,’ said Gijs de Kogel, Oilily’s marketing director. The campaign will break in time for the spring–summer 2016 season. The company aims to make “slow fashion”, staples that will still look good in half a decade’s time.



Top Halle Berry, promoting Scandale Paris. Above The spring–summer 2016 looks from Oilily in the Netherlands.

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