Lucire: News


September 30, 2016

Hennes & Mauritz opens first store in Auckland, New Zealand, with celebrity launch

Lucire staff/11.17

Chris Park

Hennes & Mauritz held a press launch for its first New Zealand retail store at Sylvia Park, Auckland, on Thursday—and as the New Zealand-headquartered publication with the longest history of covering the Swedish retailer, we were on the scene.
   H&M didn’t take this launch lightly. In anticipation of the official October 1 launch, they rolled out the red carpet, metaphorically and literally, for an eclectic bunch of media, photographers, bloggers, influencers and the usual Auckland celebrity crowd. It was an incredibly well run event.
   Those spotted among the 800-plus attendees included Jaime Ridge, Maia Cotton, Jerome Kaino and Maria Tutaia, and Colin Mathura-Jeffree.
   In keeping with international standards, the H&M store is a two-storey complex, occupying a huge floor space, with separate sections for men’s, women’s and children’s wear. Unfortunately they didn’t bring in an H&M Home, which, with the absence of Ikea, would probably have done incredibly well in New Zealand.
   The concept of the launch event was to have a “luxury H&M experience”, where we were led down the red carpet, given a trademark grey mesh shopping bag, and free reign to buy any of the items at prices specially discounted for the launch. In addition to this, we were treated to bubbles on arrival, followed by bars on each of the floors each making a different cocktail, with canapés floating around the whole night.
   Gracie Taylor, Jupiter Project, Kings and General Lee, and Dan Aux were DJing on the ground floor.
   In anticipation for the crowds on Saturday (when the store is open to the public), H&M flew in staff from Australia and elsewhere to support the New Zealand-based crew and to provide training.
   Mino Kim, one quarter of the well-known New Zealand street style blog Foureyes, is the store manager, so the rest of the Foureyes team were there to provide emotional support and to do a bit of shopping as well.
   Just as there is a space for haute couture, there is equally a space for fast fashion. H&M built its global fashion empire through making basic, affordable clothing which were durable and the store in New Zealand was no exception. It remains to be seen how H&M’s expansion in the New Zealand market will affect other clothing retailers who operate in the same space and price brackets.
   Perhaps in anticipation of the launch, there have been some critical coverage of H&M being implicated in using child labour and outsourcing its production work to countries where workers are underpaid and exploited. However, it is worth noting that H&M has been one of the more proactive clothing companies when it comes to upholding workers’ rights in comparison to many other comparable brands who already have retail operations in New Zealand, including Glassons, Industrie and Forever 21.
   My understanding is that H&M intends to monitor how the flagship store in Sylvia Park goes before considering whether to open additional stores in other centres around New Zealand.
   I anticipate that for those in Auckland at least, H&M will become the go-to place particularly for basics or cheap and cheerful accessories.—Chris Park, Guest Contributor

Chris Park

Courtesy Mango

Chris Park

Courtesy Mango

Chris Park

Courtesy Mango

Chris Park

Geoff Hedley; courtesy Mango

Chris Park

September 23, 2016

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

Lucire staff/11.00


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.


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 8, 2016

New Zealand singer Sophie Morris releases her first album, Songs from the Stage

Lucire staff/0.27

Aliana McDaniel

Rising star Sophie Morris, interviewed in 2013 in Lucire, will release her début album, Sophie Morris: Songs from the Stage, on October 28—perfectly timed for holiday gift-buying. The album features some favourite musical theatre numbers, including ‘It Might as Well Be Spring’ (State Fair) and ‘Don’t Cry for Me Argentina’ (Evita), and tracks such as ‘Nella Fantasia’ (from The Mission, by Ennio Morricone) and ‘O Holy Night’ (Adam).
   Morris, who is a classically trained soprano, is joined by Dunedin instrumentalists James Davy, Nancy Chen, Meg Davidson, Alan Starrat, John Dodd, Georgie Watts, and Alexandra Wiltshire, an established pianist and musical director.
   Dr Ian Chapman, Otago University senior lecturer in contemporary music, calls Morris ‘a groundbreaker’ and a ‘rare singer who can achieve such a high standard in both singing styles’.
   Marian Poole of the Otago Daily Times, says, ‘Morris is definitely the ascendant star.’
   Morris has recently finished playing Sandy in Grease: the Arena Spectacular Live.
   Two singles are being released in the lead-up: ‘Another Life’ from Jason Robert Brown’s The Bridges of Madison County and ‘Love Never Dies’ from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies. Both will be available on Itunes.
   Her EP album is currently available for listening and purchase on Bandcamp at

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.

July 13, 2016

Ellen DeGeneres launches eyewear line in collaboration with Modo

Bhavana Bhim/17.04

Ellen DeGeneres has launched her own range of eyewear in collaboration with Modo, a contemporary lifestyle brand.
   The eyewear range features both sunwear and optical collections. With a mix of seriousness and fun, DeGeneres’s personality and vision is showcased through the variation of designed lenses in a mix of colours and shapes.
   With a passion for interior design, architecture and fashion, DeGeneres brings her unique vision to this beautifully designed, high-quality collection.
   â€˜I am excited to partner with Modo on my new collection of ED eyewear,’ said DeGeneres. ‘We have regular opticals and sunglasses in some amazing designs that will have you shouting, “I wear, you wear, we all wear ED eyewear!”‘
   Sunwear styles are available at US$155 at as well as, in 17 styles in stainless steel or acetate. The optical collection will be available for purchase in September at additional retailers.
   â€˜We are thrilled about the launch of ED Ellen DeGeneres eyewear on,’ said Alessandro Lanaro, CEO of Modo. ‘Modo appreciates this partnership with Ellen and the ED team, and we look forward to this collaboration.’—Bhavana Bhim

June 28, 2016

Keira Knightley to front Chanel Coco Crush campaign for autumn 2016, directed by Mario Testino

Lucire staff/1.48

Mario Testino

Keira Knightley is the new face of Chanel’s Coco Crush haute joaillerie campaign, directed by Mario Testino and scheduled to break in the northern autumn.
   In 2011, Knightley became the face of the Coco Mademoiselle perfume, and she also fronts the company’s Rouge Coco collection.
   Chanel describes its Coco Crush collection as ‘euphoric’ and ‘hedonistic’, featuring pieces that are ‘voluptuous, sensual and timeless’.
   Knightley’s upcoming film is Collateral Beauty, directed by David Frankel, where she co-stars alongside Will Smith and Kate Winslet.

June 17, 2016

Sponsored video: Chris Fonseca breaks barriers, with Smirnoff Ice Electric

Lucire staff/14.12

Via Chris Fonseca, on Instagram

We love ideas that challenge convention (otherwise this title wouldn’t exist), and Chris Fonseca’s work does just that.
   He’s a dancer, choreographer and dance instructor who happens to be profoundly deaf after suffering meningitis as a child. But that didn’t stop Fonseca from developing a love of dance, and it’s that love that the Smirnoff Ice Electric Flavors range taps into with its latest campaign.
   This hasn’t been created cynically for marketing Smirnoff—Fonseca has been teaching in South London, where both deaf and hearing people go to learn how to dance. He has, however, taken the idea across the Atlantic thanks to Smirnoff, and you can see his New York class for yourself on social media (check out Fonseca’s Instagram at for more). Among those at one New York class were Jeremy Strong, a choreographer for Jason DeRulo, and C. J. Salvador, a dancer for Justin Bieber, notes Vibe, which attended in May.
   Fonseca’s absolutely right: there’s no reason a deaf person cannot be great at dancing, and he gets his students to count the beat through vibrations, especially the bass. He further incorporates the lyrics of the song into his dance. His aim is to break barriers, and to make sure that that deaf people can do whatever they wish. ‘[Being deaf] does not stop me from making everyday achievements,’ he told the BBC.
   â€˜I always say to those young people not feeling body-positive to keep going, like everyday barriers, challenges, keep going: you don’t know how close you are to making a breakthrough. Keep believing anything is possible. Your time is coming soon.
   â€˜My motto is: dreams don’t work unless you work. Dreaming, believing, and achieving.’
   A very telling image on his Instagram shows Fonseca leading his class and on the mirror are the words, ‘How do you know if you don’t try?’, a term that he has hashtagged as well. Smirnoff, meanwhile, has taken more polished shots for its Ice Electric campaign, promoting its non-carbonated, plastic-bottled line—their idea is that you can take your Smirnoff drinks on to the dance floor more readily than when it was bottled in glass.
   His teaching has reached the media, including a cover story for the British Deaf News, which he hashtagged as his proudest moment.

Post sponsored by Smirnoff

May 27, 2016

Brooklyn Decker stars in new video for Chrysler Pacifica minivan, alongside the ‘PacifiKids’

Lucire staff/21.51

Former Lucire model Brooklyn Decker, now better known for her role in Netflix’s Grace and Frankie, stars in Chrysler’s new campaign for its 2017 Pacifica minivan.
   The campaign sees Decker along with the ‘PacifiKids’, Miles (aged 11), Izzy (10) and Harper (8), explain the new model to her, which is Fiat Chrysler’s replacement for both the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan (the latter remains in production for the time being).
   A series of videos will début in advance of the US Memorial Day weekend on Facebook, according to the company. The first video can be found here.
   The PacifiKids understand technology in the way modern children can, and take the viewer through features such as the Pacifica’s tri-pane panoramic sunroof and voice-activated infotainment system.
   Decker is a new mother, having given birth to a boy on September 30, 2015.
   The Pacifica is reputed to be the best in class, keeping Fiat Chrysler ahead in the large MPV segment which it created back in the 1980s.
   Fiat Chrysler says there are two additional videos featuring the PacifiKids. The campaign was created with Chrysler’s social media agency, Society.

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