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April 17, 2014

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s CoppĂ©lia expertly executed at every level

Jack Yan/13.46


Royal New Zealand Ballet


Evan Li/Royal New Zealand Ballet

Top A publicity photograph from the Royal New Zealand Ballet for Coppélia, with Swanhilda, Franz and Coppélia. Above Kohei Iwamato as Franz and Lucy Green as Swanhilda from the premiÚre.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s CoppĂ©lia, which opened in Wellington on Thursday, is a lovingly designed and staged production that will suit family audiences.
   Set in a mountain village in Hungary, the RNZB’s production of CoppĂ©lia retains its well known storyline and period setting, with beautiful sets and costumes. The work of the late, award-winning designer Kristian Fredrikson is particularly poignant in the second act, inside Dr Coppelius’s house, where his seven very distinctive automatons, as well as CoppĂ©lia, rest. Two incomplete mannequins hung from the top. The third act, with the wedding scene, is another testament to Fredrikson’s design ability, evident through the villagers’ and Franz and Swanhilda’s wedding costumes. Jason Morphett’s lighting lifted the story, making it easy to follow—and it was the second act, too, with its moody atmosphere, where his work shone.
   Martin Vedel, ballet master on CoppĂ©lia, stayed true to the core of the story, with classical and folkloric dances playing out the plot. The energetic divertissements in the third act were perfectly performed. Vedel was, according to his notes, aware of the pre-modern, romantic period in which CoppĂ©lia was created, and sought to retain its beauty, but tightened up the storyline and more clearly portrayed Dr Coppelius—performed by Sir Jon Trimmer, who first danced it for the RNZB in 1964—as a social outcast.
   The 21st-century touches are, then, in the theatrics of the performance rather than the look and feel, although the limbless, faceless automaton, beautifully performed by Paul Mathews, could feel at home in science fiction to modern audiences.
   One cannot help but smile at the performances—after all, CoppĂ©lia is a happy, comedic ballet, and we noticed that the children on opening night enjoyed it as much as the adults. Lucy Green and Kohei Iwamoto were the well cast leads tonight, as Swanhilda and Franz respectively, dancing their roles expertly—and deservedly receiving standing ovations from some of the audience. Unsurprisingly, Sir Jon received similar acclaim, and Joseph Skelton as Zoltan, both in his emphatic solo and his dance with Katherine Grange as Ima, brought immediate reactions as well as loud applause at the end.
   Orchestra Wellington faithfully performed the LĂ©o Delibes score.
   After Wellington, CoppĂ©lia tours to to Palmerston North, Invercargill, Dunedin, Napier, Rotorua, Takapuna, and Auckland, with the season ending on May 31 inclusive. Further information on dates and venues, as well as booking, can be found at the RNZB website.—Jack Yan, Publisher

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March 11, 2014

Jameson Irish Whiskey shows limited-edition bottle for St Patrick’s Day 2014

Lucire staff/10.22

In the spirit of St Patrick’s Day 2014, Jameson Irish Whiskey will release its fourth limited-edition design bottle, this time the work of illustrator Dermot Flynn.
   Flynn was inspired by the sights and sounds of Dublin, and his illustration features a pub, statues, monuments, and humorous Irish sayings.
   Jameson says the limited-edition bottle is a must-have for those who love Ireland and the Irish character. Says Kathryn Love, Jameson’s marketing manager in New Zealand, ‘In addition to its smooth, balanced taste, one of the things that whiskey fans around the world tell us they love about Jameson is its intrinsic Irish character. Jameson embodies the down-to-earth character of Dubliners so with this new limited edition, we wanted to bring that to life and celebrate the great city which inspired John Jameson to make his now iconic whiskey for the first time over 230 years ago.’
   The limited-edition bottle retails for NZ$64·99 from March 17, 2014 at selected outlets, while stocks last.

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February 23, 2014

Stoneleigh’s Wonder of Nature garden is an urban oasis for Auckland

Lucire staff/11.40

Stoneleigh will open its Wonder of Nature garden at 89 Quay Street, Queen’s Wharf, Auckland, New Zealand, from February 28 to March 8, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. It’s a dose of experiential marketing for the New Zealand wine label, bringing urban consumers closer to the brand.
   The suspended garden, designed by Jules Moore, promises to be a ‘multi-sensory experience’. The garden features sounds from the Stoneleigh vineyards in Marlborough, as recorded by Grammy Award-winning artist Paul McLaney. McLaney has reworked them into a unique soundscape. This complements the visual backdrop, giving visitors a sense of being in the vineyards in the summer.
   And what better way to extend the experience than to enjoy Stoneleigh wine in the garden? Winemaker Jamie Marfell (below) invites visitors to enjoy a glass while there. Entry is for 18 and over only.
   For those who cannot get to the garden itself, Stoneleigh has launched its Small Wonder of Nature app, where users can create their own part of nature, customize their photo and upload it to the gallery. All entries will be in to win a Stoneleigh Marlborough experience.

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January 20, 2014

Six young designers selected for Rotterdam museum, to exhibit alongside Viktor & Rolf, Martin Margiela

Lucire staff/9.29


Iris van Herpen/Jean Baptiste Mondino


Karl Giant

Top Iris van Herpen is among the six winners of the Han Nefkens Fashion on the Edge Awards. Above Olek of Poland, also on the winners’ list.

An exhibition, The Future of Fashion Is Now, will open on October 11, 2014 and run to January 18, 2015 at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, featuring the works of Viktor & Rolf, Christophe Coppens, Martin Margiela, Hussein Chalayan, and others.
   Additionally, six young fashion designers will feature among the 60 who will exhibit, having just won the Han Nefkens Fashion on the Edge Awards.
   To find the emerging designers, 20 international scouts selected two or three designers for the exhibition and the Han Nefkens Fashion on the Edge Award. A jury of six—made up of Viktor & Rolf, Vogue Nederland editor-in-chief Karin Swerink, Vassilis Zidianakis, Han Nefkens and JosĂ© Teunissen, selected the final six.
   The winners are Iris van Herpen (the Netherlands), Craig Green (Great Britain), Dolci & Kabana (Australia), Olek (Poland), Digest Design (China) and Lucco (Peru).
   The Award, the brainchild of Nefkens and Tenuissen, supports fashion talent, offering designers the opportunity of creating new work, then given on perpetual loan to the museum.
   Swerink notes that the winners ‘had to engage, inspire and surprise me. All six designers met these three criteria.’
   The six will not fly blind: the jury will assist them up to the opening, says the Museum. The public can follow the process online.
   â€˜The exhibition addresses the critical position young fashion designers adopt towards the fashion system and the role of clothing in today’s society. Sustainability, new technologies and the value of clothing for the identity of an individual or a community are themes with which they open the discussion about fashion of the future,’ says the Museum.


Santos RomĂĄn



Above The jury included Han Nefkens, Karin Swerink, and Viktor & Rolf.

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January 18, 2014

Behind the Lucire 2014 redesign, and a features’ round-up

Jack Yan/13.31


Surface Too Deep

Top A promotional image from Surface Too Deep. The model on the left is reading Lucire. It’s a better photo than we could have come up with to promote ourselves. Above Lucire’s new look for the web edition’s news pages for 2014.

You may have noticed we’ve continued to do some housekeeping around the place. Our web news pages now sport a new look for 2014, following on from the facelifted home page. We’re still finding our feet a little with the image sizes, but we should settle into things by the lunar New Year.
   You’d never guess, but getting the new search button at the top of the page, as well as having DuckDuckGo handle our searches, took around an hour. (This switch means we will have no record of what you searched for. In the last 10 years, we knew which keywords were used, but we never bothered looking beyond that. With people increasingly concerned about online privacy, DuckDuckGo is a search engine that doesn’t leak anything to the NSA et al, for the simple reason that it doesn’t keep any search records.) The new footer took an hour and a half. And creating the template for these pages and making sure they worked took around 11 hours. The comment system is now driven by Disqus across the entire Lucire site, not just the features. We also switched from Feedburner for the daily email newsletters to Feedblitz, since there may have been a bug that saw Feedburner deliver the wrong news. We wanted to be safe rather than sorry.
   However, we hope you like it, although if you’re browsing on a cellphone and some mobile devices, you should be seeing a reduced version of these pages as before.
   There have also been new articles on the main part of the website. Elyse Glickman checked out DĂŒsseldorf in her ‘Volante’ feature (the first of three in Germany)—the first article to get the new look. Next up was Stanley Moss, writing as Lovejoy, with our serialization of his novel The Crimson Garter.
   It’s a departure for us to feature fiction, though readers may remember a few road tests by yours truly where I aped the style of another author—my Aston Martin V8 Vantage review was linked and even posted on a forum at the time. However, Stanley’s novel is so compelling it bears the hallmarks of many great Lucire travel stories (many of which were penned by him), and it covers subjects that are familiar to readers. Plus, you can also check out some of the places covered through the related links at the bottom of the page. The icing on the cake is that The Crimson Garter is a really good yarn. The first two chapters are up now, and we’ll add more regularly. Since many of you get into novels over summer, it seems to be an ideal time to serialize his novel. You can also order the whole thing if you want to read ahead—click through and there are links to Kobobooks and Amazon to the right of the title.
   In case you missed the features, Lola Saab has the low-down for spring 2014 from New York; Tamara Madison interviewed Alexandra von Bromssen; and Anna Deans looks at Lindex’s latest campaign with Matthew Williamson and Karlie Kloss. There were also two looks back at 2013: our news-makers, and my personal review of the year.
   Finally, though certainly not least, we have to give props to swimwear label Surface Too Deep for the great photograph above. The model on the left is reading Lucire. The model on the right has put down another title. I think it says it all: the print editions of Lucire, as we regularly hear from readers, truly engage you from cover to cover.—Jack Yan, Publisher

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January 16, 2014

Golden Globe suites: another great GBK “signature” event

Elyse Glickman/1.16



Cole Zimmerman, courtesy GBK

Behind every Golden Globe-nominated performance or directorial effort, there’s a great writer. However, it is not just the screenwriters who make the Hollywood world go around. The public relations’ reps and the payroll departments (who sign the cheques) deserve some credit, too. That’s why it is only fitting that Pilot Pens’ new affordable luxury line of fountain pens as well as their chic disposable models made for one of the best presentations among the sponsors. Behold, the GBK and Pilot Pen Luxury Gift Lounge made its mark on the 2014 award season while getting the point across for Lambda Legal (providing legal defense on behalf of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV across the nation for 40 years) and Guard-A-Heart.
   The other stand-out sponsor was Airweave, which showcased its innovative line of mattress toppers from Japan fashioned from resin strings similar to what’s used in their fishing industry. The mattress is made by three-dimensionally entwining and heat-bonding thin polyethylene strings. The resulted structure gives the mattress superior air permeability.
   While there were some familiar faces and product lines, like Sabra and Yoplait Greek Yogurt, there were some new fashion and beauty essentials in the mix worth writing home about. SAAS Hot Sauce rolled out bottles of its two flavours of savoury, authentic, all-purpose, and spicy sauce winning over foodies nationwide. Rolf Bleu by Caryn Sterling has expanded her line of Iphone and cross-body Ipad covers to jewellery and whimsical message beanies, costume jewellery and other goodies.
   Tweezerman had some clever new grooming instruments, including a spring-y facial hair remover, cuticle cutter and adorable minis designed by Isaac Mizrahi and for the Art of Elysium, a non-profit organization, founded in 1997 by Jennifer Howell, encouraging actors, artists and musicians to voluntarily dedicate their time and talent to children who are battling serious medical conditions. Spanx was back with a new laser line that should remedy the problem of waistband roll-down that can undo the desired effect of shapewear.
   Self-proclaimed ‘heart-ist’ and art glass jewellery designer Hillel Rzepka has teamed up with sponsoring charity Guard-a-Heart to drive home the importance of regular check-ups, common-sense health practices and preventative medicine to protect one’s coronary health. The suite also provided a nice platform for GWEN (Global Women’s Empowerment Network) which offers women in need a variety of services.
   I was completely enthusiastic about Fluxmob, an ingenious little company that just plugged in to the scene with its Bolt, the world’s smallest battery pack and wall charger combination charger.
   Though not plugged in or wired, some of the beauty essentials were also quite interesting. These included Sleep-in Rollers (comfy hair rollers that are designed to flatten like a sponge) Minerva Research Labs’ Pure Gold Collagen (a liquid food supplement with hydrolyzed collagen and active ingredients essential for the production of collagen and skin hydration), Embellash Eyelash Conditioner and Hands-Free Skin Brightener from the Crave Collection, and Burke Williams Spa, offering their newest products along with massages.
   Pink Diamond Jewelry by Fiamma dazzled, not only because of the gems’ radiance against filigree designs in white and yellow gold, but its continued efforts to raise funds for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Representative Tigerlily Skye not only wore those sparklers well but also reminded guests of how the purchase of the line’s pieces would benefit people beyond the wearer. Made By Survivors, an international non-profit gifting silver and brass hand-made jewellery made by survivors of human trafficking, made a similar impact with its modern, rustic designs.
   The Artisan Group was back, and GBK would not be the same without their grab-bags of creativity. My bag featured beautiful stationery from Angsana Seeds Photography and GeekGirly Photography, plus accessories from Jems by JB & Company, Jewelry by Andrea, Alison Lundahl Jewelry, Ruby White Tips nail enamel (in blingy bottles) and Maureen Connor of Meant 2B Cherished.
   One cool feature of the event was the way L’Ermitage Hotel’s new V Wine Room was introduced to all the tastemakers in attendance. V Wine Room is the only dedicated tasting room in Los Angeles, proudly pouring limited-production boutique California wines exclusively on their premises. This fabulousness is set against a backdrop of a 1930s-inspired library–speakeasy hybrid.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor











Cole Zimmerman, courtesy GBK






Elyse Glickman

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January 8, 2014

YSL, ïŹrst of two bio-pics on Yves Saint Laurent, opens today amid controversy

Lucire staff/7.48



Thibault Grabherr and Anouchka de Williencourt/SND

Top Pierre Niney as Yves Saint Laurent and Guillaume Gallienne as Pierre Bergé in YSL. Above Pierre Niney as Yves Saint Laurent and Charlotte Le Bon as Victoire Doutreleau.

The first of two bio-pics on fashion design legend Yves Saint Laurent opens today in France.
   YSL, directed by Jalil Lespert, stars Pierre Niney, whose make-up is so convincing that Saint Laurent’s last surviving dog reportedly mistook him for his master. Saint Laurent’s former partner and business manager, Pierre BergĂ©, has also called Niney’s performance convincing.
   Women’s Wear Daily noted that Niney studied footage of Saint Laurent and took sewing and drawing classes to prepare for his role.
   BergĂ© has endorsed Lespert’s film, which covers the period between 1957 and 1976, and provided the producers with access to the Pierre Bergé–Yves Saint Laurent foundation archive.
   Even from the trailer, there is a sense of visual verisimilitude, and the film has already received acclaim from Paris Match and Elle.
   BergĂ© has said, ‘The film does not take sides, but tells the truth. All men have a dark and a light side. My life with Yves Saint Laurent was not a fairy tale, but I would not change anything.’
   However, critics of Lespert’s film claim that it glosses over Saint Laurent’s genius. Thomas Bidegain, scriptwriter for the rival bio-pic, told The Daily Telegraph that YSL was ‘simply recounted by BergĂ©, like Mozart recounted by Salieri.’
   One can see the origins of Bidegain’s claim. In a positive review in L’Express, Mathilde Laurelli notes that YSL recounts a ‘pygmalion du couturier,’ and that it could be more objective.
   However, she and other reviewers tended to praise the film for exploring Saint Laurent’s inner demons, and the clothes from the archive.
   The rival film, which also claims “official” status, has the blessing of François Pinault, the owner of the Yves Saint Laurent brand. Saint Laurent, to be released in May, is directed by Bertrand Bonello, and stars Gaspard Ulliel as the designer. LĂ©a Seydoux plays Loulou de la Falaise and JĂ©rĂ©mie Renier portrays BergĂ©.
   Yves Saint Laurent started at Dior in the mid-1950s and succeeded the designer on his death in 1957. He was drafted in 1960 to fight in the Algerian War of Independence. On his return, BergĂ©, an art dealer who had met Saint Laurent while he was in a military hospital, tried to have Saint Laurent reinstated at Dior, but the house refused. They successfully sued for breach of contract. They went on to start the Yves Saint Laurent label along with some of the Dior staff. Saint Laurent was appointed Chevalier de la LĂ©gion d’honneur in 1985. The following year, the company took control of its fragrance business and floated on the stock exchange. In December 2007, President Nicolas Sarkozy appointed Saint Laurent OfïŹcier of the LĂ©gion d’honneur. Saint Laurent died in 2008.


Thibault Grabherr and Anouchka de Williencourt/SND

Top Charlotte Le Bon plays Victoire, Dior’s muse, later at Saint Laurent. Above Yves Saint Laurent and Victoire Doutreleau in 1962.







Thibault Grabherr and Anouchka de Williencourt/SND

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January 7, 2014

Original 1960s Karl Lagerfeld sketches for Tiziani to be auctioned

Lucire staff/12.55



Above Lots 173 and 174: an original Karl Lagerfeld sketch, and the corresponding Tiziani coral gown with feathered cape.

Fashion sketchbooks and drawings by Karl Lagerfeld will be auctioned on January 11 by Palm Beach Modern Auctions in West Palm Beach, Fla.
   The drawings were done for Tiziani, which was set up by American designer Evan ‘Buddy’ Richards in Roma in 1963, catering to celebrities and royalty. Lagerfeld freelanced for the house and the drawings illustrate how haute couture made the leap to designer ready-to-wear.
   Rico Baca, auctioneer at Palm Beach Modern Auctions, notes that the collection is unique. Even though Lagerfeld was in the habit of throwing out old work, Richards meticulously held on to the sketches produced for him by the young designer. The collection was maintained in full by subsequent estates.
   He also says that the drawings showed the shift from haute couture to prĂȘt-Ă -porter: ‘Evan Richards and his brilliant designer Karl Lagerfeld were right at the forefront. Richards had grown weary of his couture designs being purchased, taken apart and copied line for line by New York department stores. Eventually he thought, “Why shouldn’t we be the ones selling our designs as ready-to-wear?” That was the beginning of it all.’
   Baca says, ‘It contains Lagerfeld sketchbooks—some showing entire ready-to-wear lines for a season—hundreds of individual sketches by Lagerfeld and other Tiziani designers, hundreds of photos of couture shows, and several signed photos and personal notes from Elizabeth Taylor to Tiziani.’
   Tiziani designed for Princess Marcella Borghese, Doris Duke and Gina Lollobrigida, and was a favourite of Elizabeth Taylor. Tiziani designed for Taylor for several films, and some of the drawings are marked for ‘Elizabeth Taylor Burton’.
   The auction includes a Tiziani coral gown with feathered cape, matched to Lagerfeld’s original pre-production sketch. There are also four other pieces of Tiziani couture—three dresses and a beaded top—plus four Mary McFadden couture garments and a mod-style Kiki Hart pantsuit, according to the auction house.
   The 400-lot archive will be auctioned on January 11 at 12 p.m. EST, at 417 Bunker Road, West Palm Beach, Fla. 33405. Internet bids will be taken via LiveAuctioneers.com. The online catalogue can be viewed at LiveAuctioneers.com. A cocktail party preview benefiting the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens will be held at Palm Beach Modern Auctions on January 9 at 5 p.m.


Above Lots 95 and 3: original sketches by Karl Lagerfeld for Tiziani. The one on the right bears a note that it is for ‘Elizabeth Taylor Burton’.

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