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November 18, 2014

Bentley gauges interest with Grand Convertible concept as it guns for Rolls-Royce Drophead

Lucire staff/13.19

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Since Volkswagen took over Bentley, the company has only fielded one convertible line in the top tier, the Azure. Since 2010, the marque has left the convertible market for the Continental GTC to pursue, but those wanting something more exclusive have had to turn to Bentley’s former sister brand, Rolls-Royce, which had tapped into the Azure’s former market with the imposing Phantom Drophead. The Rolls-Royce took cues from expensive motor boats, with its wooden rear deck, and the cubic capacity was 6,749 cm¬≥, a single cubic centimetre less than the 6,750 that the company’s cars had as standard for much of the period under Vickers ownership.
   Bentley, not to be outdone, has taken its Mulsanne, which d√©buted in 2009, and created a new convertible, called simply the Grand Convertible. Under the bonnet is the company’s 6,752 cm¬≥ twin-turbo V8, developing 537 PS (395 kW), while externally, the Grand Convertible has a wooden deck, signalling just which car it is gunning for. However, it is just a concept for now, developed to gauge potential consumer interest.
   Bentley calls the Grand Convertible its ‘most sophisticated open-top car’ and it is relying on being more understated than its rival. It is certainly elegant, and its proportions are more classical than the Continental GTC’s.
   Bentley chairman and CEO, Wolfgang D√ľrheimer, said at the car’s unveiling in Los Angeles, ‘This concept demonstrates Bentley‚Äôs ability to create a pinnacle convertible Grand Tourer, while embodying elegance beyond compare. With this car we combine the opulent Mulsanne experience with the full sensory indulgence of open-air touring, continuing to unite luxury and performance in new ways.’
   The car will go on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show from November 19. In December, it will be displayed at Art Basel in Miami.

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October 27, 2014

Ikea will move into fashion next, predicts Swedish author Stefan Engeseth

Lucire staff/10.50

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Swedish author and business thinker Stefan Engeseth predicts that Ikea’s next move will be into the world of fashion.
   Engeseth says that Ikea‚Äôs expertise lends itself easily to the world of apparel. ‚ÄėFashion is an expression of how to package and sell design,‚Äô he says.
   He believes that fashion is in a repetitive cycle, stuck in history and needing renewal.
   Ikea could offer both complete apparel items and composite parts that customers could assemble themselves, says Mr Engeseth. The parts could be ‚Äútailored‚ÄĚ at home in inventive ways without the need for complex sewing.
   ‚ÄėEmotionally, this connects people to how life was in the beginning,‚Äô he says. ‚ÄėCustomers can personalize and ‚Äúhack‚ÄĚ the designs.‚Äô
   Jack Yan, publisher of Lucire, and a branding expert in his own right, says Engeseth‚Äôs ideas have a great deal of merit.
   ‚ÄėThis taps in to its existing fan base, and just as importantly, Ikea can make full use of its channels, outmanŇďuvring many existing fashion labels,‚Äô says Yan. ‚ÄėIkea has an international retail base and it has distribution down to a fine art.‚Äô
   For completed clothing, Engeseth says that Ikea could offer Unisex dressing, without the divisions of male and female, but as an ‚ÄėIkea member‚Äô.
   He sees Ikea clothing as being high-tech and low-cost, harder-wearing than the apparel found in mass-market retailers.
   ‚ÄėWe‚Äôre already seeing some shoppers go to outdoor and living stores to buy longer-lasting clothing. Ikea already sells reusable Kr 4 bags that are good and cheap; their clothes could be equally practical, as strong as work clothes,‚Äô he says.
   ‚ÄėYou could even extend this hard-wearing philosophy into wedding gowns‚ÄĒafter all, there are already some people opting to get married in Ikea stores.‚Äô
   Engeseth says Ikea could offer the clothing range to its fans first, so they have a ‚Äúuniform‚ÄĚ, much like football teams.
   ‚ÄėThere are 57 million Ikea ‚Äúfamily members‚ÄĚ already, so let them be the only ones who can buy the clothes first. This would be the longest catwalk ever.‚Äô
   He goes further, saying that those wearing Ikea clothing could qualify for greater discounts at the point of sale. ‚ÄėNot only will this build their tribe, it will ‚Äúdress it up‚ÄĚ to become a worldwide community.‚Äô
   Fans who have furnished their homes could host ‚ÄėIkea days‚Äô, where dressed-up fans could invite their friends to their homes, which become pop-up fan showrooms. ‚ÄėThat could give Ikea millions of stores, and greater exposure to how homes can be designed. That would bring in sales and the company could treble its profits,‚Äô he says.

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October 15, 2014

Out now: Chanel releases new No. 5 campaign with Gis√®le B√ľndchen, directed by Baz Luhrmann

Lucire staff/4.59

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After teasers this week, Chanel has now premi√®red its new No. 5 campaign, The One That I Want, starring supermodel Gis√®le B√ľndchen, and written and directed by Baz Luhrmann. Academy Award winner Catherine Martin oversaw the production design.
   Luhrmann directed the 2004 campaign for Chanel No. 5 with Nicole Kidman.
   In the last 10 years, Luhrmann says that the focus has changed. With the Kidman campaign, he says it was about a woman breaking free, then return to reality. Today, B√ľndchen plays a woman who listens to her heart, free to make her own choices.
   ‚ÄėThe Chanel woman can be with herself on a beach, can be with her child, can have an aspirational and fulfilling work life, and at the same time she can have a true relationship; she can have romance. And in the end, the Chanel woman chooses love,’ says Luhrmann.
   Earlier, the director explained why B√ľndchen was the perfect casting: ‚ÄėShe can be on the beach one moment and incredibly athletic. She has children. She has a very, very significant relationship. And yet, she has a career where she can create aspirational, sensual, incredibly glamorous imagery, and somehow, what‚Äôs most important to her, ‚Ķ is love, to really be fulfilled. And I think that‚Äôs what we try to convey in this little film.‚Äô
   Chanel says the new film, which is 3 minutes 23 seconds‚ÄĒand cut to 30- and 60-second versions, ‘tells the story of a woman who struggles to find space for everything‚ÄĒherself, family, career, and love.’
   The film itself is emblematic of Luhrmann’s earlier work: glamorous, romantic, with mixed historical eras and music playing a huge role.
   Chanel has also released behind-the-scenes videos, including one on the costume design and another on the locations (including Fiji, Montauk, the Queensboro Bridge, and Manhattan), as well as interviews with Luhrmann and B√ľndchen.
   Other Chanel No. 5 campaign directors have included Ridley Scott, Luc Besson, Kathryn Bigelow, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, and Martin Scorsese.
   The accompanying music is Lo-Fang‚Äôs cover of ‚ÄėYou‚Äôre the One That I Want‚Äô, composed by John Farrar.

The making-of

Baz Luhrmann

Locations

Costume design

Song

The fragrance

Interview with Gis√®le B√ľndchen




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October 12, 2014

David Trubridge shows off artwork at World of Wearable Art celebrating Brancott Estate’s firsts

Lucire staff/11.00

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Visitors to the Brancott Estate World of Wearable Art award show on Sunday night got an extra treat, as furniture and lighting designer David Trubridge showed off a crowdsourced artwork constructed from bamboo plywood to commemorate the concept of “memorable firsts”.
   The theme ties in not only to the World of Wearable Art, but from Brancott Estate’s pioneering heritage as the first to establish a vineyard in New Zealand’s South Island in the 1970s.
   Trubridge and Brancott Estate asked the New Zealand public to submit photographs representing a memorable first. The 500-plus submissions‚ÄĒwhich the company says ranged from weddings and a first trip abroad to the first blossom of spring‚ÄĒwere printed using a red-and-white duotone effect on to lightweight bamboo plywood sheets, which formed the “feathers” in Trubridge’s giant winged creation.
   The artwork was revealed in a performance that resembled a bird taking off on its maiden flight, one of the inspirations Trubridge had. ‘The first thing that jumped into my mind was the image of a young gannet sitting on the edge of the cliff. The first time it flies is the start of its journey all the way to Australia. It takes off and it doesn‚Äôt stop,’ he says. The wearer gradually flexed before revealing the full form and all the images with arms outstretched.
   Trubridge had the help of his family in creating the performance, including his wife, Linda, who is an artist, and his son, Sam, who is a member of the performing arts’ faculty at Massey University.
   The wings were held together with twine, and move with the wearer. It presented a new challenge to Trubridge, as he was not accustomed to creating something that would be worn.
   ‚ÄėThe process of creating this artwork has taken my team and I on an amazing creative journey and exploration that has led us to many creative firsts. It‚Äôs a project I‚Äôm very proud to have taken part in,’ says Trubridge.
   ‚ÄėIt‚Äôs not a single pendant, fixed light or object, it requires a degree of flexibility. Creating something that can transform from a cloak to a wing was a challenge as my work is usually a closed form. We had to have the ability for it to go from one shape to another and flex and move with the figure and that‚Äôs a whole new, exciting, pioneering first for us.’
   ‚ÄėDavid has combined memorable firsts from the New Zealand public into a poetic, moving, kinetic piece of wearable art. The final creation truly embodies the pioneering spirit of Brancott Estate and WOW,’ says Brancott Estate’s chief winemaker, Patrick Materman.
   The artwork was shown at the Brancott Estate bar at the TSB Arena, and a filmed performance can be seen on the website at www.brancottestatewow.co.nz.

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October 10, 2014

The quality of Kare: German furniture brand has VIP M√ľnchen Ô¨āagship opening

Lucire staff/11.39

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Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Kare, the German furniture brand, opened its flagship store in M√ľnchen, on the Drygalski-Allee, on Thursday.
   Kare Kraftwerk’s founders, J√ľrgen Reiter and Peter Sch√∂nhofen, invited Bonnie Tyler as guest of honour to perform at the store, which is housed in a 1960s power station.
   The new store has a display area of 10,000 m¬≤ over five floors, and will be home to cultural and artistic events as well as the Kraftwerk Kitchen, to show off specially prepared food.
   Eight hundred guests turned up, including Lorenzo al Dino (who DJed at the event), Alexandra Polzin, Gerhard Leinauer, Michael K√§fer, Michael F. Schottenhammel, Marisa Burger, Thomas Peter Friedl, Andrea Kempter, Simone Ballack, Willi Gabalier, Baron Albrecht von Weech, Dieter Hochreiter, Papis Loveday, Veronika von Quast, Doreen Dietel, Kai Stuht, Peter Fraas, Helmut K√§s, Peter Reisenthel, and Prof Jan Armgardt.
   Kare also had dancers and a tape artist among the performers.
   The company already has 70 shops in 40 countries.















Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

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Filed under: design, living, Lucire
September 30, 2014

H&M to launch Design Award winner Eddy Anemian’s capsule collection on October 23

Lucire staff/13.05

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Hennes & Mauritz has shown the capsule collection created by la Cambre fashion graduate and winner of the H&M Design Award, Eddy Anemian (left), ahead of its on-sale date of October 23.
   Anemian worked with the H&M design team and was impressed at how faithfully his work was translated into reality, including his ‘couture cutting and sewing techniques.’
   Anemian’s winning H&M Design Award collection was inspired by Tilda Swinton’s character in I Am Love and the neoclassical French painter Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. He cut floral upholstery fabric into strips, then reconstructed them.
   The H&M capsule collection takes the same idea, and can be seen in a blue floral jacket with strips spreading out from the neckline, then curve back in over the hips, while a yellow floral skirt is constructed from vertical strips. Other items highlighted by the label include a white skirt with ruffles replicating marble patterns, and a white jumpsuit with floral sleeves.
   Anemian hopes to start his own label in the future. His collection will be available on- and offline at selected stores.




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September 26, 2014

The 2014 Brancott Estate World of Wearable Art awards: Supreme Award goes to Hawkes Bay

Lucire staff/11.00

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World of Wearable Art Awards

Top Kate MacKenzie’s winning Poly Nation, which took top honours at the 26th World of Wearable Art Awards; Show tonight in Wellington. Above Runner-up Gothic Habit, by San Francisco designer Lynne Christiansen.

Hawkes Bay designer Kate MacKenzie is the winner of the 2014 Brancott Estate Supreme WOW award, at the 26th World of Wearable Art Awards’ Show held in Wellington tonight.
   MacKenzie‚Äôs Poly Nation is an inventive design, telling the story of travel and made from leather and cardboard suitcases. The inspiration centred on the idea of ‚ÄėIf suitcases could talk, they would carry stories of travel, culture and integration.‚Äô It tells the story of people drawn to New Zealand with new ideas and beliefs.
   The design has netted MacKenzie NZ$30,000 in prizes.
   She also took out the Air New Zealand South Pacific section.
   MacKenzie had come third, along with Deidre Morgan, last year in the American Express Open section.
   Lynne Christiansen of San Francisco, Calif. took second place. She has entered seven times, and has won awards before, including the 2013 International Americas Award. Christiansen‚Äôs Gothic Habit was made from laser-etched felt and wood, constructed from 2,300 individually cut pieces to form a gothic cathedral. Christiansen also won the Open Section.
   In the individual categories, My Gradational Body by Zhujun Zhu of China won the Avant-Garde section; Fenced off by Luiz Fernando Sereno Penna of New Zealand won the children‚Äôs section.
   The Spark Creative Excellence section, with the Airborne theme this year, was won by Annkathrin Selthofer of Germany with her Waving Gorge design. Sebastian Denize of New Zealand won the Bizarre Bra section with Re-Decked, while Mark Dobson, also of New Zaland, won the Weta Costume and Film section (judged by Weta‚Äôs Sir Richard Taylor) with Sakana No Senshi.
   Emily Valentine Bullock of New Zealand took home the WOW Factor Award with her Sulphur Crested Frockatoo; the Shell Sustainability Award was won by Laura van Staveren of the Netherlands with Appearance. Shell also sponsored the Student Innovation Award, which was won by Tess Tavener Hanks of Australia with Baroque Living Room.
   The first-time entrant award was scooped by Ali Khan and Frida Khan of Qatar with Bling Warrior. Pop Cultural by Nicki van Asch of New Zealand won the New Zealand Design Award.
   The four Wellington International Awards, one being awarded to each geographic region, were won by Back to the Future: Chrome Queen, by Joanna Peacock of the UK, for Europe; Girl in Ribbons, by Julian Hartzog of the USA for the Americas; Odette by Lulan Huang of China for Asia; and Fenghuang (phoenix) by Svenja XX of Australia for Australia and the South Pacific.
   Wellington designers (Ross Hardie, Rachel Hardie, Hannah Goldblatt, Dylan Mulder, Kris Eriksen, Ian Loveridge, Liz Ritchie, Paula Rowan, Rénée Louie and Emily Valentine Bullock) netted the lion‚Äôs share of prizes this year, taking three section awards, four honourable mentions and one special award.
   Founder Dame Suzie Moncrieff, designer Vicky Taylor, and sculptor Jeff Thomson judged.
   Lucire fashion editor Sopheak Seng will have further thoughts from the designers as he files his report from awards‚Äô night at WOW.














World of Wearable Art Awards

Above, from top My Gradational Body, by Zhujun Zhu. Fenced off, by Luiz Fernando Sereno. Waving Gorge, by Annkathrin Selthofer. Re-Decked, by Sebastian Denize. Sakana No Senshi, by Mark Dobson. Sulphur Crested Frockatoo, by Emily Valentine Bullock. Baroque Living Room, by Tess Tavener Hanks. Bling Warrior, by Ali Khan and Frida Khan. Pop Cultural, by Nicki van Asch. Back to the Future: Chrome Queen, by Joanna Peacock. Girl in Ribbons, by Julian Hartzog. Odette, by Lulan Huang. Fenghuang, by Svenja XX.

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September 9, 2014

Jaguar launches XE in London, with David Gandy, Stella McCartney, Eva Herzigova, Laura Whitmore

Lucire staff/1.28

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Jaguar has launched its most important car in years with the brand-new XE, a saloon that sees the Indian-owned company tackle a segment dominated by the BMW 3er and Audi A4. The XE also marks a new generation of Jaguars powered by the company’s new series of Ingenium engines, and features a first-in-segment aluminium-intensive monocoque structure for lightness and strength.
   Jaguar Land Rover, which has seen its profits soar in recent years, spared no expense with the XE’s launch in London, bringing celebrities including Stella McCartney, David Gandy, Eva Herzigova, Sir Stirling Moss, Jos√© Mourinho, Laura Whitmore, Damian Lewis, Ruben Cortada, David Blakeley, Sam Riley, Sienna Guillory, Steve Redgrave, Brian Johnson and Gary Lineker together at an event that saw Emeli Sand√©, the Kaiser Chiefs, Eliza Doolittle, the Royal Ballet, Max Milner (The Voice), and members of the London Philharmonic Orchestra perform, and John Hannah narrating.
   While many saw the helicopter delivery of the red XE into London on Monday, Jaguar formally kicked off the launch event that evening at Earls Court with its VIP audience, with the performances evoking models from the company’s past, including the SS100 of 1935.
   Sand√© composed a ‘Feels Like’ track for the event that had been inspired by the public via social media and the hashtag #FeelXE. The song received its premi√®re live on a floating stage on the Thames in a 45-minute set later in the evening, with the London Eye and County Hall as a backdrop.
   The performance was complemented with a projection-mapping show on London’s County Hall, showing the public’s messages that inspired the composition. Red flares lit up the London skyline in red to match the hero colour of the new car.
   McCartney will reveal her Parisian Feel XE experience later this month, while Idris Elba will reveal his Feel XE project afterwards.
   Earlier in the day, employees at Jaguar’s Solihull plant‚ÄĒwhere 1,700 jobs are expected to be created‚ÄĒformed an XE shape as the Red Arrows flew past, and the car was airlifted by helicopter toward London. It was placed on a high-speed landing craft on the Thames to Chelsea Harbour.
   In another nod to its past, Jaguar then had the new XE escorted by two 1960s Mk II police cars from Battersea Bridge to Earls Court.
   The “delivery” was intentional: Jaguar wanted to signal that the XE is the spiritual successor to the Mk II, still considered by many fans to be the quintessential Jaguar close-coupled sporting saloon, and the car that arguably pioneered the segment in which the new model now competes.
   One car from Jaguar’s past that was not mentioned was the X-type, the company’s turn-of-the-century attempt to tap into the compact executive market. Younger buyers rejected that model partly because of its unadventurous styling, overseen by Jaguar’s then-parent company Ford. The X-type was also hampered by its front-wheel-drive transmission on cheaper models, something that Jaguar has avoided repeating by giving the XE rear-wheel drive. It is also the most aerodynamic Jaguar made, with a drag coefficient of 0,26.
   The cab-backward fastback look of the XE takes styling themes established by the XJ and XF, and features a short front overhang and a low driving position. The car looks more aggressive and taut than the larger models, which should appeal to buyers in the segment.
   ‚ÄėOur mission was to create an exciting and dynamic design clearly reflecting the XE‚Äôs positioning as a serious driver‚Äôs car. The cab-rearward proportions and tight packaging achieve that and give the XE the appearance of movement even when it‚Äôs standing still. It bears a strong family resemblance to the F-type and will stand apart in the crowd,’ says Jaguar’s director of design, Ian Callum.
   The aluminium components also mean more effective recycling, and in a world first for cars, Jaguar has specified RC5754, an aluminium alloy made from recycled material.
   The high-tech features extend to Jaguar’s new electric power steering, which is more efficient than a traditional hydraulic system, and what the company calls All Surface Progress Control (ASPC), which works as a low-speed cruise control that can control the brake system and powertrain for the best traction in slippery conditions. The XE also features a laser head-up display, nearly a third lighter than existing systems. Jaguar also d√©buts a new InControl infotainment system, which is claimed to be more intuitive, especially with a pioneering plain-speech voice control. The car is also a wifi hotspot for internet-enabled devices, and both Apple Iphone and Android users can control various functions remotely.
   Full details of the XE range will be released at the Salon de Paris on October 2. The range will be topped by a supercharged V6 delivering 340 PS, while the two-litre Ingenium diesel is claimed to deliver 75 mpg (Imperial) with carbon dioxide emissions of 99 g/km. Prices are set to begin at ¬£27,000.















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