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September 23, 2016

Gillian Saunders takes top honours at 2016 World of Wearable Art Awards’ Show, with Supernova

Lucire staff/11.00




WOW

New Zealand designer Gillian Saunders has scooped the Brancott Estate Supreme Award at tonight’s World of Wearable Art (WOW) Awards’ Show. Saunders, who had entered 15 garments before her winning entry, Supernova, has won eight awards prior to 2016, but this is the first time she has taken out the top prize.
   Saunders, who was born in England, has been involved in television and theatre for most of her working life. She was trained in Yorkshire, and went on to Christchurch, New Zealand, where she worked as a props’ maker for the Court Theatre.
   â€˜I had been making stage props for theatre and TV for years. WOW was the perfect challenge—could I make props for the body as well?’ she said.
   Supernova was inspired by ‘Thierry Mugler’s Chimera dress [from the autumn–winter 1997–8 collection], … the iridescent spiny fins of the Hippocampus from the Percy Jackson movie The Sea of Monsters, and some incredible NASA images taken by the Hubble Telescope,’ she noted. ‘Once all these elements were combined, Supernova was brought to life.
   â€˜The large gems represent new stars being born and the dark shadows represent deep space. Each scale has been individually cut, shaded with marker pens and then hand-sewn on to the garment. Each gem has had its sticky backing removed and then glued on by hand.’
   Saunders also won the Avant-Garde section in this year’s competition, judged by WOW founder Dame Suzie Moncrieff, Zambesi’s Elisabeth Findlay, and sculptor Gregor Kregar.
   Dame Suzie said, ‘Supernova has the design innovation, the construction quality and vibrant stage presence in performance to win WOW’s top award.’
   Saunders’ 2013 design, Inkling, won the Weta Creature Carnival Award and an internship for her at Academy Award-winning Weta Workshop. It is currently part of the WOW international exhibition, touring around the world, and presently at the EMP Museum in Seattle, Washington, where it will be displayed till January, after which the exhibition will head to the Peabody Essex Museum in Boston, Mass.
   She also won the Avant-Garde section in 2007 with Equus: behind Closed Doors, while in 2009, Tikini was second in the Air New Zealand South Pacific section.
   Designers from New Zealand, China, India, England, Australia, and the USA won awards in each section.
   The American Express Open section this year saw Renascence, by Yuru Ma and Siyu Fang of Shanghai take first place. The Spyglass Creative Excellence section was won by Mai (I), by Pritam Singh and Vishnu Ramesh of Gujarat. Queen Angel, by Adam McAlavey of London, won the MJF Lighting Performance Art section.
   Baroque Star, by Natasha English and Tatyanna Meharry of Christchurch, won the Weta Workshop Costume and Film section, netting the duo a four-week internship at Weta Workshop, plus travel, accommodation, and prize money.
   The Wellington Airport Aotearoa section was won by Maria Tsopanaki and Dimitry Mavinis of London, with their creation Princess Niwareka. The World of Wearable Art and Classic Cars Museum Bizarre Bra section was won by Julian Hartzog of Tarpon Springs, Fla., with Come Fly with Me.
   Of the special awards, Dame Suzie chose Incognita, by Ian Bernhard of Auckland, as the most innovative garment, giving it the WOW Factor Award. Renewal, by Alexa Cach, Miodrag Guberinic and Corey Gomes, won the First-Time Entrant Award. The Knight by Jiawen Gan of the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology won the Student Innovation Award. The Sustainability Award, recognizing the protection of our environment and the use of materials that would otherwise be discarded, was won by Bernise Milliken of Auckland, for Grandeer. Digital Stealth Gods, by Dylan Mulder of Wellington, won the Wearable Technology Award. The Wellington International Award, given to the best international entry, was won by Daisy May Collingridge of Woldingham, Surrey, England, for Lippydeema. Collingridge also won the UK–Europe Design Award with this entry.
   Khepri, by Miodrag Guberinic and Alexa Cach of New York, NY, won the Americas Design Award. Yu Tan of Shanghai won the Asia Design Award with The Renaissance Happens Again, while Cascade, by Victoria Edgar of Geelong, Victoria, won the Australia and South Pacific Design Award.
   The David Jones New Zealand Design Award was won by Voyage to Revolution, by Carolyn Gibson of Auckland.
   The Cirque du Soleil Performance Art Costume Award, chosen by Denise Tétreault, Costumes Lifecycle and Creative Spaces Director of the Cirque du Soleil, was won by Digital Stealth Gods, by Dylan Mulder. Mulder receives prize money, flights and accommodation for a one-month internship at Cirque du Soleil’s headquarters in Montréal, Québec.
   WOW runs in Wellington, New Zealand, through to October 9, and will be seen by 58,000 people live during its run. It employs over 350 cast and crew.
   This year, 133 entries by 163 designers (some worked in pairs) were received, competing for a prize pool of NZ$165,000.



WOW


Renascence, by Yuru Ma and Siyu Fang, Shanghai.


Mai (I), by Pritam Singh and Vishnu Ramesh, Gujarat.


Queen Angel, by Adam McAlavey, London.


Baroque Star, by Natasha English and Tatyanna Meharry, Christchurch, New Zealand.


Princess Niwareka, by Maria Tsopanaki and Dimitri Mavinis, London.


Come Fly with Me, by Julian Hartzog, Tarpon Springs, Fla.


Incognita, by Ian Bernhard, at AUT, Auckland.


Renewal, by Alexa Cach, Miodrag Guberinic and Corey Gomes.


Grandeer, by Bernise Milliken, Auckland.


Digital Stealth Gods, by Dylan Mulder, Wellington.


Lippydeema, by Daisy May Collingridge, Woldingham, Surrey.


Khepri, by Miodrag Guberinic and Alexa Cach, New York.


The Renaissance Happens Again, by Yu Tan, Shanghai.


Cascade by Victoria Edgar, Geelong, Victoria.


Voyage to Revolution by Carolyn Gibson, Auckland.

September 3, 2016

Tania Dawson crowned Miss Universe New Zealand 2016 in front of sold-out audience

Lucire staff/15.41




Alan Raga

Above: The moment: Tania Dawson hears the news that she’s been working toward for most of 2016, that she is the new Miss Universe New Zealand. Centre: After the announcement, Samantha McClung crowns her successor, Tania Dawson, Miss Universe New Zealand 2016. Above: Second runner-up Larissa Allen (left) and runner-up Seresa Lapaz (right) flank Miss Universe New Zealand 2016 Tania Dawson.

Secondary school drama and music studies’ teacher Tania Dawson, 23, was crowned Miss Universe New Zealand 2016 Saturday night at Skycity Theatre, taking home prizes including a stay at Plantation Bay Resort & Spa in Cebu, Philippines and the use of a Honda Jazz RS Sport Limited for the duration of her reign.
   Dawson, who is of half-Filipina extraction, was also the crowd favourite, with a large group of supporters in the live theatre audience.
   The event proved to be a Filipina one-two, with Seresa Lapaz, who was born in the Philippines but is a naturalized New Zealander, coming runner-up.
   Both ladies hail from Auckland, while second runner-up Larissa Allen comes from Tauranga.
   Dawson was crowned by her predecessor, Samantha McClung, who flew from Christchurch to join 2013 titleholder Holly Cassidy in a special parade featuring the exclusive designs of Ankia van der Berg of Golden Gowns.
   The sold-out audience enjoyed entertainment from special guest performers Stan Walker, Frankie Stevens, and Ali Walker, as well as the cast of Oh What a Night!, who appeared in a recorded segment filmed earlier on Saturday.
   The destination for Dawson, as well as the other national titleholders, is uncertain, but there have been suggestions it could be the Philippines, and already Lapaz has vowed to support her former competitor should she venture there.
   Dawson says she sees herself as an advocate for education, and entered the competition because she wanted to practise what she preached: to challenge herself and overcome any self-doubt.
   Repeating their roles from last year, Stephen McIvor and Sonia Gray hosted. Stevens was also on the judging panel (particularly appropriate given his similar role in NZ Idol), alongside motivational speaker and social practitioner Areena Deshpande, director of Head2Heels and former Miss Universe New Zealand director Evana Patterson, AJPR boss and BRCA cancer gene awareness champion Anna Jobsz, and arguably the top make-up practitioner and educator in New Zealand, Samala Robinson.
   Thanks to the support of Miss Universe New Zealand’s sponsors, including platinum partners Honda New Zealand, Bench, Skycity, the Quadrant Hotels and Suites, Golden Gowns and Beau Joie, and the fund-raising efforts of each year’s finalists, Miss Universe New Zealand cracked the $100,000 barrier with its donations to Variety, the Children’s Charity, this year.
   The stream was carried on Lucire, The New Zealand Herald and Stuff, and a delayed version will appear on 3Now.

August 31, 2016

Mumm showcases Grand Cordon, delivering by drone; Anna White launches; Karl Lagerfeld débuts autumn campaign

Bhavana Bhim/19.24




Karl Lagerfeld

On August 30 and 31, the new Mumm Grand Cordon champagne was exhibited at Croatia’s Hula Hula Beach Club. For each order of champagne at the Club, a bottle was flown over the sea by a drone. Music accompanied the delivery—those receiving the champagne would get a particularly special experience, emphasizing Mumm’s current ‘celebrate’ theme, and its taste for daring innovation.
   The new bottle was created by Ross Lovegrove and has no front label. The G. H. Mumm signature and emblem are printed directly on to the glass, while the Cordon Rouge sash is actually a real red ribbon indented in the glass. The new design meant changes to the traditional champagne production process.
   Karl Lagerfeld Paris has launched its autumn 2016 advertising campaign, Love from Paris, Karl ××, coinciding with the label’s launch in North America. Lagerfeld himself art-directed and photographed the campaign, which was styled by Charlotte Stockdale, and modelled by Joan Smalls and Hailey Baldwin. It’s a predominantly black-and-white collection with colour splashes, featuring prêt-à-porter clothes and accessories.
   Also on the theme of new and luxury: a new leathergoods label, Anna White, has launched in New Zealand, with a contemporary line consisting of the AW1 tote, Liberty shoulder bag and Protagonist clutch. Right now, Anna White is also offering a limited-edition Classique tote, retailing at NZ$650. The range has simple lines with a quality look. It’s the ideal chance to own stylish bags before others jump on board—Anna White’s off to a good start.—Bhavana Bhim with Lucire staff



August 23, 2016

H&M’s New Zealand store will be the first to see the Kenzo × H&M collection

Bhavana Bhim/1.45




Oliver Hadlee Pearch

H&M will retail the Kenzo × H&M collaboration announced last month, with the line joining its Sylvia Park store on November 3. With the time difference, this means the New Zealand store is the first to carry the line.
   Since joining Kenzo in 2011, Carol Lim and Humberto Leon have set their own fashion agenda with collections full of bold colours and vivid prints, revealed through high-impact shows, artist collaborations and creative digital campaigns. Global influences and traditions are remixed and fused with the energy of the street, resulting in collections that are both inspirational and accessible to their fans around the world. At Kenzo, fashion expresses freedom, joy and individuality for all.
   â€˜We can’t wait to share with everyone the world of Kenzo × H&M, with all of its creativity, fun and love of fashion,’ said Ann-Sofie Johansson, creative adviser at H&M.
   Last month, the brand revealed the four first looks from the collaboration which combine vivid personalities and bright prints of the clothing for a fun atmosphere.
   Amy Sall, a student activist based in New York and founder of SUNU: Journal of African Affairs, Critical Thought & Æsthetics is photographed beside Juliana Huxtable, a 28 year old artist, poet and DJ also based in New York, wearing tiger-print jerseys, roll-neck tops and matching high-waisted leggings. They also wear black leather gloves containing a pink logo print and jacquard knitted tiger-sock shaft boots.
   The second look shows the 19-year-old musician and performance artist based in Paris, Oko Ebombo. He wears a parka with a removable printed collar, block colour tiger-print jeans, plus padded flip-flops with tabi socks. Ebombo also wears a tiger-printed cap with an attached scarf, a printed woven scarf and the tiger-printed cross-body bag.
   The third look shows Isamaya French, a make-up artist based in London, part of the London-based collective, Theo Adams Company. She wears an oversized leather jacket with pink faux shearling lining, with a matching tiger print jersey roll-neck top, and high-waisted leggings.
   The final look is revealed on Anna of the North, a 25-year-old Norwegian musician who gained global attention earlier during the year with her track ‘The Dreamers’. She wears a fresh interpretation by Kenzo’s creative directors, of an iconic design by founder Kenzo Takada: a short folkloric ribbon dress featuring various prints from the collection.
   â€˜With this collaboration with H&M we want to think big, push the boundaries and bring the new energy of Kenzo to everyone around the world,’ say Lim and Leon.—Bhavana Bhim


Oliver Hadlee Pearch

August 11, 2016

A renewed energy for the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Giselle

Jack Yan/14.51


Stephen A’Court

Every opportunity to see the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Giselle is a renewed pleasure. First performed in 2012, and garnering a great review from this publication for its outstanding choreography and production. Conceived in Wellington four years ago by then RNZB artistic director Ethan Stiefel, with Johan Kobborg, Giselle has become one of the company’s signature ballets, performed in China, the US, the UK, and Italy.
   What was astonishing was being able to enjoy Giselle as though we had never seen the 2012 première: there was a freshness about the latest performance, despite our being familiar with the story. On opening night, Qi Huan, who had retired from the RNZB to teach at the New Zealand School of Dance, returned to take up the role of Albrecht, which we saw him perform in 2012. The years since his 2014 departure haven’t diminished his skills one iota: the ballerino still has a star quality that places him a cut above so many, and his entrechats in the second act showed the power and grace that we have come to expect from someone who has mastered his craft. Also performing Albrecht on other occasions is Daniel Gaudiello, former principal dancer of the Australian Ballet, who is similarly acclaimed.
   Lucy Green took the title role on opening night and it was her youthfulness that gave Giselle a fresh take; the drama of Giselle descending into madness in the first act was so well done that one couldn’t help but sympathize with her character’s pain. Her pas de deux with Huan were exquisite and romantic.
   Also of note was the extensive pointe work by the Wilis in the second act, which demonstrated that the RNZB remains on top of its game.
   Jacob Chown’s Hilarion and Mayu Tanigaito’s Myrtha deserve mention in supporting roles: the dancing by both performers was integral to the story and Chown’s battle with the Wilis was emotionally done; Tanigaito kept the pace of the less plot-driven second act going with intricate skill till we saw what had happened to Giselle and Albrecht. Tanigaito also plays Giselle in performances where Gaudiello is Albrecht, and it’s not hard to see her take on the role with aplomb.
   Stiefel returned to Wellington to fine-tune the production, working with his successor, Francesco Ventriglia, who was responsible for the casting of Huan and Gaudiello.
   Marc Taddei conducted Orchestra Wellington, also giving the performance a new energy, performing the full-length score by Adolphe Adam. He will also conduct the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra and Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra when Giselle reaches those cities.
   Giselle opened in Wellington on August 11, before touring to Napier, Christchurch, Dunedin, Auckland, Rotorua, and Palmerston North, where the season concludes on September 9. Full details are at the Royal New Zealand Ballet’s website, rnzb.org.nz.—Jack Yan, Publisher

July 26, 2016

News in brief: new releases from Kenneth Cole and Madam C. J. Walker; London Fashion Week on Instagram

Lucire staff/12.11

Kenneth Cole’s Black Bold fragrance, from Parlux, is an evolution of the earlier Kenneth Cole Black. The men’s fragrance, on sale in August, is inspired by New York, and is aimed at ‘the man who will take on any challenge, regardless of the odds and who is brave enough to believe that they can make an impact,’ says the company. Kenneth Cole himself notes, ‘For more than 30 years, the company has embraced the essence of New York—its boldness, its energy, and its diversity. I wanted Black Bold to do just that: to celebrate the confident individuals who are the protagonists in their own personal stories of resilience, optimism, and ambition.’
   Cole collaborated with Firmenich master perfumer Harry Fremont. The new scent has top notes of citrus and herbal tones, rounded out with ground nutmeg and a touch of lotus flower, and finished with elements of wood and leathery musks. The campaign, featuring model and artist David Alexander Flinn, was shot by Gregory Harris. The eau de parfum begins at US$46 for 1 fl oz; US$58 for 1·7 fl oz; and US$76 for 3·4 oz.
   Meanwhile, Madam C. J. Walker Beauty Culture’s Jamaican Black Castor & Murumuru Oils Defining Butter Crème has launched at Sephora and Sephora.com, retailing at US$26. The new hair formula revives and gives body to hair, helping give soft curls. The Crème features murumuru oil, giving a conditioning coating that seals in moisture. It is paraben-, sulphate-, and phthalate-free.
   Finally, the British Fashion Council has joined the Instagram age, and invites netizens to follow London Fashion Week for spring–summer 2017 at @londonfashionweek.

July 16, 2016

Launch of John Varvatos’s new fragrance, Bad-Boy Biker, at New York Men’s Fashion Week

Bhavana Bhim/2.56

John Varvatos introduced his newest fragrance, Dark Rebel Rider, during a celebratory concert featuring Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown at his New York City Bowery store.
   The event was held immediately following the John Varvatos spring–summer 2017 fashion show on July 14. The night featured a special performance by Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown, a band specially selected by John Varvatos. There to support the Dark Rebel Rider launch were musicians Machine Gun Kelly and Travis Mills, as well as actor Corey Hawkins and athlete–model Dale Moss.
   â€˜Dark Rebel Rider is an extension of the Dark Rebel fragrance collection, which originally launched in 2015. The fragrance is inspired by the bad-boy biker, who walks to his own beat and has an edge but also doesn’t try too hard,’ said John Varvatos. ‘Just like my clothes, the Dark Rebel Rider fragrance is iconic, timeless and represents a courageous attitude. It is a clear expression of a personality that defies the norm.’
   The alluring scent features bitter orange, saffron with black violet and Somalian frankincense amongst the heart of the fragrance. The fragrance is the result of a long-standing collaboration between Varvatos and Givaudan vice-president of perfumery, Rodrigo Flores-Roux. ‘Dark Rebel Rider captures the heart and soul of rebelliousness and bad boy idols through ultra-sexy leather and ambery notes,’ said Flores-Roux. ‘It is luminous but has incredible gravitas and depth; it is supple and sensual but delivers a punch. It is voluminous but never heavy, it is an extraordinary olfactive chiaroscuro.’
   The fragrance is available now exclusively at Bloomingdale’s, and other retailers beginning August 2016, with an MSRP of US$89 for 4·2 fl oz.—Bhavana Bhim

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.

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