Today, Lucire has come full circle. One of the earliest stories on the web for our group was on the Renault Clioâs Nicole and Papa campaign, created in the early 1990s by Publicis. The Clio, which was the first Renault to hit the best sellersâ lists consistently in the UK, was sold with a cheeky campaign featuring two charactersâNicole, a young French lass, and Papa, obviously, her father. Those were the only two words uttered in the majority of the commercials, with the exceptions of âMamanâ and âBobâ, the final referring to comedian Bob Mortimer.
The last Nicole and Papa TVC, released when the Clio II was launched in 1998, saw Nicole finally walk down the aisle, about to marry Vic Reeves (a.k.a. Jim Moir) when she finally decides, at the last minute, to run off with Bob Mortimer instead.
Itâs hard to believe that Nicole and Papa entered the British consciousness 20 years ago, in a series which also marketed French flair and the belief that the French have a better lifestyle than the British.
The Clio is still with us, but itâs much larger than before. Now on its fourth incarnation, the latest Clio is more expressive and sporty in looks, thanks to the work of Laurens van den Acker. Itâs on the previous modelâs platform, albeit heavily revised, and thatâs a good thing. In the stories we did on the Clioâboth publisher Jack Yan and travel editor Stanley Moss took Clio 3s around France and New Zealandâwe found it one of the most capable superminis, a small car with a big-car feel. In fact, we found it better for cruising New Zealandâs South Island than the Holden Commodore, which we tried around the same time.
Clio IV features an 899 cmÂł, three-cylinder engine, but itâs turbocharged, developing more than 90 PSâthose are the sorts of eco-friendly, yet powerful, specs that you can expect from the French these days. Renault claims a combined 88Â·3 mpg from the Energy dCi 90 engine. Archrival Peugeot similarly has three-cylinder units for its 208, the Clioâs closest rival at home, though the entry-level engine here is actually a 1Â·1 four which develops 75 PS. An RS model appears in 2013, getting 200 PS from a turbocharged 1Â·6, continuing the tradition of pocket rockets from ClioâLucire photographer Doug Rimington once owned a Clio RS 182, which proved to be an able and taut sports hatch.
The great thing is that Clio IV has the looks to match its âva-va-voomâ nature. The new modelâs styling conveys everything that Nicole and Papa tried to do: that when you get a Clio, youâre getting a dose of French flair. But wait, thereâs more: âva va voomâ includes a sense of passion, something which van den Ackerâs styling attempts to do. This isnât a dull little hatch in the domestic appliance mould: Clio IV is emotive, and even sexy. Theyâre not words you tend to hear in the B-segment.
To show just what Renault means, the company has come up with two videos, one for unsuspecting male test drivers who come to a corner and are surprised at what happens when the âva va voomâ button is pressed, and the other for female test drivers.
And to bring things full circle, Nicole and Papa make an appearance, uttering the lines that made them famous. It does seem that the years have not been kind to Nicole and Bob, because thereâs no sign of Mortimer, as Nicole has found herself a new man.
But isnât that just what we expected?
Find out more from or book a test drive at the Renault website. Renault’s Twitter account can be found here, and its Facebook here.
Updated March 28, 2013 at 10.56 a.m. GMT with The Delivery film and other highlights
James Bond star Daniel Craig has helped launch the Range Rover Sport in New York City with a drive through Manhattan, revealing the car to a celebrity audience that included former American football player Michael Strahan, Yasmin Le Bon, Zara Phillips, MBE, and Jade Jagger, at Skylight at Moynihan Station on 8th Avenue.
The drive is part of a short film called The Delivery, broadcast live by Land Rover at www.newrangeroversport.com. The Delivery was directed by Jonathan P. B. Taylor, who most recently worked on A Good Day to Die Hard. It followed the journey of the new Range Rover Sport from Solihull to Manhattan, before it was driven by Craig over Manhattan Bridge to Moynihan Station.
Craig drove the earlier Range Rover Sport in his second Bond film, Quantum of Solace, but was also attracted to working with the company because of its connection to the charity SAFE, of which he is a patron. Among other things, SAFE uses mobile street theatre and community programmes to help effect social change in third-world countries.
Jaguar Land Rover says it chose New York for the launch as it sells more units in the US than in any other global market. New York is the car’s best selling city.
The new Sport is no longer based on a Discovery, but has a new platform based around the company’s aluminium architecture, lightweight suspension design and chassis technologies. It was developed alongside the latest Range Rover but JLR claims that 75 per cent of the Sport’s parts are unique to it.
It can be specified with occasional seating for sixth and seventh passengers, again appealing to the US market. The power seats can be folded to leave a flat floor.
The new V6 diesel is 420 kg lighter than the outgoing model, while carbon dioxide emissions have been reduced to 194 g/km.
The exterior design is more muscular and purposeful than the Range Rover presented last year, and some might say it is better balanced. It is positioned between the Range Rover and the smaller Evoque.
It is 62 mm longer than the outgoing Sport, but the wheelbase has been increased by 178 mmâthe overhangs have been shortened to give it more muscular proportions compared to the previous model. At 4,850 mm, it is shorter than other seven-seater SUVs and E-segment saloons, says the company. The drag co-efficient has dropped to 0,34.
Connectivity includes Stolen Vehicle Tracking and a high-bandwidth wifi hotspot can be installed. An optional head-up display is available. Other features include lane departure warning, automatic high-beam assist, and a Wade Sensing feature that provides information on depth when driving through water.
Land Rover said it had set out to create the most capable Range Rover ever, one which would be agile on-road, but unbeaten by its rivals off-road.
In a release, Land Rover Global Brand Director John Edwards noted, ‘Weâve taken ride, handling and agility to another level for Land Rover to deliver a truly rewarding, sporting drive, together with unmatched luxury, capability and versatility.
âBuilding on the success of the recently launched flagship Range Rover, the new Range Rover Sport also employs a vast array of new technologies which help to transform its performance, refinement and all round capabilities.’
Again recognizing its clientĂšle, the wheel sizes range from 19 through to 21 inches.
Suspension is fully independent, with double wishbones at front and multi-link at the rear. Wheel travel is 260 mm at the front and 272 mm at the rear; ground clearance has been increased to 278 mm. Land Rover’s Terrain Response 2 system selects the most suitable terrain program.
A hybrid diesel with 169 g/km carbon dioxide emissions will follow, but at launch, the Sport has a supercharged five-litre V8 developing 510 PS, and a three-litre diesel developing 292 PS. Three- and 4Â·4-litre diesels will be added in 2014.
Above, from top Michael Strahan. Yasmin Le Bon. Daniel Craig and SAFE’s Nick Reding. Jade Jagger. Zara Phillips, MBE. Sienna Guillory and Jamie Chung. Thierry Henry. Below More shots of the new Range Rover Sport.
Wellington artists Tai and Kaaterina Kerekere have just opened their latest exhibition, My Culture Is Not a Trend, at Thistle Hall, on the corner of Cuba and Arthur Streets in New Zealand’s capital city.
The couple’s paintings take pride of place, expressing personal aspects of Māoridom, culture, womanhood, family, and identity, relevant not only to a Māori audience but to any in living in New Zealand.
Of greater interest to Lucire readers, however, is the launch of their jewellery line. KE Design, as the Kerekeres’ company is called, has launched what it calls The Heritage Collection 2013, which features unique hand-crafted jewellery featuring simple motifs founded on, as the name suggests, their heritage and whakapapa. The designs are clear, eye-catching and modern, and have an internationalist flavour while proudly steeped in New Zealand’s own culture. Prices range from a very reasonable NZ$100 for earrings to NZ$400 for a pendant set in silver and garnet.
The Kerekeres, no strangers to exhibiting their art internationally, are showing in Hawaiâi in January 2014, and will launch another jewellery collection there. They will also take 33 works of art to the 50th US state. My Culture Is Not a Trend runs from March 27 to 31 at Thistle Hall, open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. KE Design can be found at kedesign.co.nz, with the site developed by Adrian Owen of SweetChilli, and on Facebook at facebook.com/rina.taiart.
Another New Zealand artist showing abroad is Darryn George, of Ngāpuhi descent, who has been invited to the Biennale di Venezia, showing at the Palazzo Bembo. The Christchurch-born artist recently gave a talk at Wellington’s CaffĂš L’AffarĂš about his plans to transform room 15 into a Wharenui-like space with highly reflective black surfaces, with the concept based around filing cabinets representing the lives lost in the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.
The work, consisting of 3,510 mm-high MDF boards painted with high-gloss automotive paints, is being made in New Zealand and will be shipped to Venezia, but George requires help to raise the funds to get to the Biennale. An impression of what the finished work will look like is shown below.
Otago Polytechnic graduate Rakel Blom won the ID International Emerging Designer Awards last night in Dunedin, with a collection that tapped into the Zeitgeist of global communities and cross-cultural connections.
Blom, who originally hails from Iceland, told Lucire, ‘My biggest passion is travelling,’ and that she had ventured through Asia and Europe before studying in New Zealand.
That passion saw her design seven garments, one for each continent, although only five were required by the competition. Consequently, Oceania and Antarctica were omitted.
The collection was called The World through My Eyes, and featured prints with designs representing each continent. It had been inspired both by travel and textiles. Judges called it ‘eclectic and joyful, sleek, chic and professional, with intricate detailing and true depth.’
In a release, Assoc Prof Karen Webster, guest judge for the competition, said, ‘It absolutely had the “wow factor” but also real depth. There was incredible intricate detailing, including hand-made buttons, stars cut out of Perspex mixed with bold inspirational prints. The collection was a discovery waiting to be made.’
Blom speaks highly of her Alma Mater but despite the win, which includes a NZ$5,000 prize from Peroni, she says her next focus is to ‘find a job.’
Blom’s collection was the crowd favourite at the Edgar Sports Centre, helped by the support of a local crowd. She competed with designers from Ireland, England, China and Australia.
Judge Stephen Jones, OBE, the famed milliner, said that the key themes for the evening were ‘diversity, globalism and everything made to a perfect degree.’
The 1,300-strong audience included two High Commissioners and a consul, cheering on the UK, Australia and China. It was hosted by Shannon Ryan.
China’s contribution also included 10 international models from the University of Shanghai Engineering Science. Aliana McDaniel led the make-up team backstage for Revlon.
A full report from ID Dunedin Fashion Week will follow in Lucire.âJack Yan, Publisher
Peroni 1st Place Prize (NZ$5,000): Rakel Blom, School of Design, Otago Polytechnic, Dunedin, New Zealand.
CaffĂš LâAffarĂš 2nd Place (NZ$3,000 cash): Emma Boseley, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia.
Strawberry Sound 3rd Place (NZ$1,000 cash): Kathleen Choo, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia.
Dunedinâs Golden Centre Mall Prize (NZ$1,000) for the most commercial collection: Blathnaid McClean, National College of Art and Design (NCAD), Dublin, Ireland.
Global Fabrics Award for Excellence in Design (NZ$1,000 cash and a NZ$2,000 voucher): Sohong Lim, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand.
Finnish designer Piia HĂ€nninen, whose collections are based around sustainability and ethics, has relaunched her website with a new look, in time for her springâsummer 2013 season.
HĂ€nninen’s new collection, Zebra in the Savannah, can be purchased via her website, while buyers and media can check out her autumnâwinter 2013â14 collection, Wolf and Cherrywood.
The spring collection combines the elegance of well cut garments with a wild Scandinavian print, with an inspiration from the African wild as well as 1960s Paris. The collection uses natural fibres, cotton and silk, while the prints are the subject of a collaboration between the designer and Teemu Keisteri, an artist.
She manufactures mostly in Finland, with fabrics printed in Finland and Germany. Her influences are from Italy, where she had worked for brands such as Fendi, while she trained at the London College of Fashion.
More of Piia HĂ€nninen’s work can be found at www.piiahanninen.com.