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BRM Chronographes announces limited-edition, hand-made Martini Racing chronographs


NEWS  by Lucire staff/March 23, 2017/11.52


Despite most brands announcing smart watches, one company remains true to traditional hand manufacture, emphasizing quality.
   BRM Chronographes, which machines and assembles its exclusive watches by hand in Vexin, France, has announced two limited-edition watches in partnership with Martini Racing.
   The two watches bear the famous Martini Racing blue and red stripes, as well as detailing from the car world, namely perforated hands, piston pushers and straps with holes. The crown, on the 44 mm stainless steel case, has a Martini Racing logo. BRM Chronographes will only make 150 of each type, one with a white dial and strap, the other with navy blue.
   BRM eschews mass manufacture, and makes only 2,000 watches per year.
   The timeless designs will be released in June 2017, and retail at €7,200.

Range Rover Velar launched at the Design Museum: Jaguar Land Rover bets on a future design classic


NEWS  by Lucire staff/March 1, 2017/21.42

Jaguar Land Rover is betting on its Range Rover Velar becoming a design classic, launching it today with the Design Museum playing host to the new SUV in its first car exhibit.
   Velar is a name from Range Rover’s archives: the name was originally a fictional one that adorned prototypes of the original 1970 Range Rover. JLR has dusted the name off and applied to the fourth member of the Range Rover range, slotting in between the Evoque and Sport, with a wheelbase of 2,874 mm.
   The Range Rover Velar (called Blade during development) is a sleeker, more avant-garde model, with the idea of simplicity driving each stage of its development. The drag coefficient is a low 0,32, a figure seldom seen in this class.
   The interior is an exercise in simplicity and calmness, with a sustainable seat material developed with Kvadrat, in place of leather. The Touch Pro Duo infotainment system, with two 10-inch high-definition touch screens, is said to be state of the art, with controls not appearing till they are lit up. The exterior features clean surfaces, slim LED headlights, flush door handles and a sleek tailgate. The Velar’s 22-inch wheels give it a show-car presence, but they help to give it Land Rover’s all-terrain capability, something Range Rover customers expect. A locking rear differential is optional. It will also have outstanding ride, says JLR, with standard air suspension on six-cylinder models, and Adaptive Dynamics for all models. The Velar uses plenty of aluminium in its structure, contributing to its lightness.
   The launch at the Design Museum, which drew guests including Poppy Delevingne, Damien Lewis, Rob Brydon, Jimmy Carr, Kostja Ullmann, and Rag ’n’ Bone Man, saw a capacity audience, who checked out both the new car and a photo exhibition featuring it, shot by Gary Bryan.
   There was a simultaneous unveiling at a pop-up display on Kensington High Street, West London.
   JLR also announced a partnership with the Design Museum, with events over the next three years.
   The Velar goes on sale in mid-July priced from £44,830. Engines range from a four-cylinder Ingenium diesel to a supercharged 3·0-litre V6 petrol engine delivering 380 PS.

Suite to go: Madison & Mulholland fashions “it” bag LA’s A-list and fashionistas seek out in honour of Academy Awards


NEWS  by Elyse Glickman/February 23, 2017/11.34

Hollywood-based journalists, bloggers, publicists and celebrities have spent the last two months canvassing the city to report on new products and services in beauty, fashion, lifestyle and travel getting rolled out, red carpet style. Oscar week, of course, is the grand finalé of a social season filled with teas, luncheons, ceremonies, and impromptu fashion happenings. Madison & Mulholland, anchored by founder Jane Ubell Meyer, has been a part of this evolving tradition since 2002.
   When we first crossed paths with Jane, during the 2006 season, she and her wondrous satchel of treasures was a part of the Haven House suite that occupied a West Hollywood Hills mansion. Today, she is flying solo and flying high in her 11th year on the scene with a particularly coveted awards’ season gift bag, valued at over US$25,000. The self-contained suite is filled with a mix of home, beauty and fashion essentials from high-profile and independent entrepreneurs. There is also a luxury getaway and edibles suited for home Oscar parties for good measure.
   Confirmed nominees receiving the bag delivered directly to them include Emma Stone, Nicole Kidman, Viola Davis, Ruth Negga, Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris, Natalie Portman and Octavia Spencer.

Some of the highlights
   All the better to see you with: Madison & Mulholland starts with a pair of optical quality Swiss-designed readers and as well as a pair of Madison & Mulholland sunglasses.
   The ultimate statement accessory: Liberti USA’s Refugee Coordinates cuff, the Embrace ring and Classic cuff are not only designed, sourced and made in the USA. Every purchase made has a direct impact toward supporting resettled refugees here.
   Rediscovering Sex and the City’s impact on fashion: Lizzie Scheck Jewelry, which Sarah Jessica Parker put on the map during the Carrie years (that horseshoe necklace, and the stacked necklace trend) is still turning heads on celebs such as Kristen Bell, Amy Adams, Jennifer Garner and Tyra Banks. Other trend-setting baubles in the bag include a piece from the B5LineNYC’s Rock-n-Roll Grit line, the Convertible Collection’s bracelet and statement necklaces, and an item from Caterina Jewelry’s Kiss Kiss collection.
   Brushing up: Brushopolis’s Monroe USA Glamour (an hourglass round styling and finishing brush) and Teasedale (engineered to create maximum volume with minimum breakage) bringing professional flair to any vanity table and head of hair.
   In good taste: Kiklos Greek extra virgin olive oil and Michelle’s Maccs (revolutionary coconut macarons covered in élite Belgian chocolate) accessorize any home-Oscar party table, especially if they are served alongside pieces from the hand-crafted Julia Knight Collection nesting bowls, trays and spreading knife forged in sand-cast aluminium.
   Hair for all: Culture Hair Products’ hair care system designed for multicultural, curly, unmanageable, multi textured hair types.
   The eyes have it: One Two Cosmetics’ Magnetic Eyelashes, named Best of Beauty Breakthrough by Allure in 2016, takes some drama out of creating a dramatic eye for evening.
   Coffee clatch: Bio Miracle Skincare heats up with its new line of coffee-based body wash and scrubs.
   Haute Hamptons: top-tier recipients receive a three-night getaway at the posh Baron’s Cove Sag Harbor in Sag Harbor, NY, the heart of the legendary Hamptons. Activities at the Four Diamond AAA resort include massages, yoga classes, and gourmet cuisine.
   Picture this: the A-1 Array by Super A OK multi-camera ensures perfect 3-D red carpet shots, vacation shots at Baron’s Cove, or any special occasion. It’s the state-of-the-art trend in digital 3-D photography.
   That’s a stretch: made-in-Miami yoga gear from OM Shanti Clothing (handy for the Baron Cove yoga classes) and Tinsley Radix’s Becca tank with black sequins. Finish off the look with Isabella Hearst New York’s cheeky ‘No Paparazzi’ Italian leather luxe designer handbag.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor

Bringing Confucius’ legend to life


NEWS  by Lola Cristall/January 10, 2017/11.04




Liu Haidong

After Asia, Europe and Australia the dance drama, Confucius, lands in New York. The China Arts and Entertainment Group (CAEG) returned with a marvellous performance at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. The China National Opera and Dance Drama Theatre presented an inspiring feature, directed and choreographed by a 77th-generation descendant of Confucius, Kong Dexin. Written by Liu Chun with costume design by Yang Donglin, the set and its design make for a magnificent backdrop for this dramatic, expressive tale. The beautifully decorated Asian-influenced stage, upbeat traditional tunes and eye-catching outfits make the crowd yearn for more. The full 90-minute performance is divided into six parts: ‘Inquiry’, ‘The Chaotic Time’, ‘Out of Food’, ‘Great Harmony’, ‘Mourning for Bene­volence’, and ‘Happiness’, each explicitly telling a tale, evoking philosophical concepts brought about by the arts. The renowned philosopher’s life blossoms on the stage, sharing various profound messages. As dancers expressed the story, Confucius’ words of wisdom are highlighted on two screens on either side of the stage.—Lola Cristall, Paris Editor









Liu Haidong

GBK puts the ‘lounge’ back into its Golden Globe Century Lounge


NEWS  by Elyse Glickman/January 7, 2017/22.23




Elyse Glickman

For GBK’s last several award show-outings, Gavin Keilly and his troupe went high volume and high production, complete with backdrops at such larger-than-life places as the W Hollywood. The sampling, gifting and revelry went on for days at these things (well, two, to be exact, but you get the idea, based on our coverages from the past). This time, Gavin went back to basics, staging his 2017 Golden Globes pre-party in At the P (a delightfully pared-down and intimate space not far from Paramount Studios, yet far from the maddening crowds of past parties).
   With excess stripped away, guests could give their undivided attention to marquee charities, American Friends of Magen David Adom (AFMDA) and Lambda Legal, whose contributions to the world will be especially welcome and needed in the changing (and more challenging) social climate brought on in force during 2016. Lambda Legal is a non-profit US organization whose members, since 1973, have worked tirelessly to attain and protect the civil liberties of gays, lesbians, transgender people and those affected by HIV through impact litigation, public policy work, activism and education. The MDA, Israel’s national emergency medical response agency and Red Cross affiliate, is a global pioneer in mass casualty response, sharing its knowledge with governments throughout the world.
   The comfy, gallery-like space also provided a nice backdrop for some wonderful bites and drinks from 4 Copas Tequila, IXIB DimSum Eats, and SuShe Art. The former put on quite a show, starring female sushi chefs doling out handrolls and cut roll pieces atop leaf-covered models. Napa Technology, meanwhile, demonstrated its Genesis Perfect Pour wine dispensing system that not only dispenses perfect glasses but extends the shelf life of uncorked bottles.
   GBK regulars were there to the delight of guests, including Tweezerman with its men’s grooming sets and metallic travel sets for women; Babar Hair Tools (including the Babar Mini Max cordless and rechargeable flat iron and its new hair-drier release); and the always welcome Artisan Group with their grab bags. Highlights from my surprise bag reflected that small jewellery items are big again. They included delicate semi-precious stone necklaces from Little P’s, Creations by Kristel and CY Designs, and earrings from Fizz Candy. BeezKneez is still buzzing with modern paper products that beg to bring back the art of handwritten notes.
   There was something for the sports fan (NIMA Sports college football helmet speakers), the amorous (virtual “toys” from SenseMax), savvy designer-brand shoppers (TemptBrands.com, offering guests Street Affaires sunglasses); Drew Barrymore followers (super cute Flower sunglasses) and shoe fanatics (guiltysoles.com). However, we really liked the new line of stylish, pet-feeding pieces from OnoFriends.com that mitigate food and water over-spill as well as the EZPZ all-in-one sectioned food dish and placemat for infants and toddlers.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor







Elyse Glickman

British glamour meets Moroccan tradition


NEWS  by Lucire staff/December 12, 2016/13.34



Marrakech, an historic crossroads, always surprises when east meets west, and today the city finds itself in a time of rediscovery. The recent COP convention drew global attention to the issues of climate change, the annual film festival is in full force, and all eyes turn toward the 2017 Biennale which begins next December. The breaking news that British style icon and design legend Jasper Conran has opened his first boutique hotel property here adds gloss to the blossoming Moroccan rose. L’Hôtel Marrakech is small by any standards, only five spacious luxuriously-appointed suites overlooking a courtyard garden, and can be booked in its entirety. Objects of décor selected from Conran’s personal collection artfully counterpoint the whitewashed walls and tile surfaces, garlanded by flowing voile curtains and opulent plantings. A heated lap pool hidden by banana trees nestles next to a classic burbling fountain. There’s a roof terrace with views of the Atlas Mountains, yet a sense of privacy and exclusivity prevails. This property delivers a fusion of rest and comfort, a nostalgic memory of a classic palace. A full-service kitchen is on hand to serve the finest local delicacies or a ‘perfect steak and chips’. Welcome to the medina, Jasper. It’s lovely to see your vision merge with these ancient walls!—Stanley Moss, Travel Editor

Editor’s note: Jasper Conran is quoted in the upcoming fourth edition of my book, What Is a Brand?, available spring 2017 from Ronzani Editori.











Dragonfly launches this season’s must-have cookbook at Mojo St James pop-up venue


NEWS  by Cecilia Xu/December 7, 2016/18.25



Dragonfly has been a local favourite in Wellington Central since it opened: it’s the perfect bar to chill out at after work on any day of the week, even better on a Friday. It’s the spot to hit in the weekend, whether for fine dining or distinctive cocktails. It boasts a spacious and expansive breadth of contemporary environment in its indoor, bar, and outdoor garden seating. The atmosphere is beautifully constructed and decorated, which is what makes it such a magnetic regular spot for the locals, and a gem for the newcomers. It’s subtle, too, with no brash lighting or signage cluttering up its Courtenay Place location.
   Dragonfly’s mixture of modernity, with rustic Asian influences, romanticism and relaxation matches its cuisine perfectly. This is reflected in the launch of their début cookbook, featuring the restaurant’s name on the cover—Dragonfly—Asian Dining Lounge—but referred to as the Dragonfly Cookbook. After years of successful cuisine perfectionism and experience, the book is a compilation of Dragonfly’s finest recipes, credited on the cover to brother and sister co-owners Brent Wong and Tania Siladi, with copy by Siladi and her daughter Jenna. Aided by a copious number of beautiful photographs and food imagery, by restaurant manager Ginny Maddock, who is a trained photographer, the book draws you to want to either dine at Dragonfly, or begin your own rustic Asian food adventure and exploration.
   The book has been painstakingly art-directed, and lavishly printed in Wellington, New Zealand; and priced at NZ$55. Wong explains that they won’t be making much on the book—and once time is factored in, the price will barely cover the cost. However, they see it as a way to share Dragonfly’s expertise. The Dragonfly Cookbook is available at Moore Wilson’s and online at www.orient-nz.com/dragonflycookbook.
   Due to the recent 7·8 Kaikōura earthquake that also affected Wellington, Dragonfly was one of the many businesses and stores closed for safety reasons. However, nearby Mojo in the St James Theatre just metres away has opened its doors for regular night time pop-up openings of Dragonfly. To see many of their regular customers quick to attend this as well as their book launch event on Tuesday night reflects how well Dragonfly is liked and respected by many in the capital, and perhaps a little change in operating venue may be great for the Christmas season.—Cecilia Xu; with Jack Yan, Publisher


Opel previews Insignia B, with clues to next Holden Commodore and Buick Regal


NEWS  by Lucire staff//1.07



GM has shown official photographs of the Opel Insignia B, which will be sold in the UK as a Vauxhall and Australasia as the Holden Commodore. Opel has focused on making the new Insignia more efficient, and it has completely reinterpreted how a sporty, large car should look. The new large car boasts a Cd figure of 0,26, yet lightweight materials have shaved up to 175 kg off the weight.
   Length is roughly the same as before, but it’s 29 mm lower, and the wheelbase has been increased by 92 mm (aiding rear passenger space), and the track by 11 mm. In isolation, it appears larger compared with the outgoing Insignia, something which will help its prospects internationally, where a version of the Insignia has to compete in China as the upscale Buick Regal, and in the former E-segment in Australia as the Holden Commodore. There is an increasing commonality between Opel and Buick design languages, too, with GM saying the Insignia B has a ‘sweepspear’ line that begins at the front door—a term that was first used at Buick in the 1940s. A coupé-like fastback roofline and an upper chrome strip—the latter is also tipped for the estate—give the Insignia B a more distinctive appearance. The driver also sits 30 mm lower than before.
   Opel’s design vice-president for Europe, Mark Adams, says that the Insignia B is meant to look more upscale than its predecessor, saying it has ‘the aura of a car from the premium, upper class.’ Inspiration came from the Opel Monza Concept of 2013.
   There is a new eight-speed automatic transmission, and a wide range of engines, though Opel has not yet revealed specifics before the Insignia B’s official launch in Genève next year. The big news under the skin is all-wheel drive with torque vectoring, aiding stability: this feature is expected on the top models worldwide. FlexRide adapts dampers, steering and throttle response to suit a driver’s style.
   Its LED headlights adapt to the traffic conditions, and there are other premium features, including a head-up display, adaptive cruise control, lane assist with lane-departure warning, and rear cross-traffic alert. GM’s Onstar service is also standard, with automatic crash response and stolen vehicle assistance, with a concierge service allowing occupants to book hotels, launching with the car next year.







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