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January 10, 2017

Bringing Confucius’ legend to life

Lola Cristall/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

January 6, 2017

A Golden mine of beauty finds, as the Secret Room honours 74th Globes nominees

Elyse Glickman/22.42




J. C. Olivera

Among the celebrities attending: Rénée Oldstead, Amara Karan, Katie Leclerc.

Anyone attending a Secret Room event during an award show weekend can count on discovering cutting-edge, kind-to-the-environment beauty products. However, the Secret Room Events honouring 74th Golden Globe Awards nominees and presenters focused almost entirely of skin care and wellness products made with medically or environmentally sound ingredients.
   Thanks to the product displays and the æsthetic finesse and artistic skills of platinum sponsor Anne Neilson of Charlotte, NC’s Anne Neilson Home, the SLS Hotel main ballroom in Beverly Hills felt like the ultimate hotel spa reception area. Neilson’s candles, coffee table books and spa beverage dispenser greeted guests after having their red carpet photos taken. However, not many hotel spas admit pets. Here, pets were not only welcomed with open paws, but also Paw Works, the event’s official charity. The non-profit animal rescue organization is dedicated to partnering with county and city businesses to provide abandoned animals through rescues, adoption services and other services.
   Like a good spa, there was a world of skin care products at one’s fingertips with tempting displays and open testers. First, the Pacific Ocean side of the world: South Korea was represented with UrbanHeal’s soon-to-launch line of home facial masks, while Japan’s McCoy Ltd. returned with a new post-workout body care marvel called Non F Expert designed to further advance a sleeker appearance with stem cell extracts and rice-based components. Australia-based Auspect Skincare International introduced its all-purpose line with some products made in the US that includes everything from anti-ageing serums for fine lines and wrinkles and eye cream for dark circles to solutions for rosacea and acne-prone skin. Aromababy touted its Australian-made ranges of pure and gentle aroma-free or therapeutic grade (essential oil) aromatic products for babies and young children.
   There was much to discover in the world of European beauty. Crossing over the Atlantic, guests encountered Storm Rejuvenate Pro, which proved powerful do indeed come in small packages. A tiny box with 50 little packets contains a few drops of a gel serum that instantly diminishes the appearance of wrinkles and loose skin, creating the perfect canvas for one’s make-up. Russia’s Splat encouraged smiles with its prolific line of ultra-premium dental care as well as Heya balsam shampoos. Bioderma was not only back with its popular Sensibio H2O micelle solution but also representative products from its Sebium (acne remedy) and moisturizing Hydrabio lines. European Skin and Massage Studio introduced Woda European Natural Skin Care products from Poland.
   It is no surprise that there were also several made-in-California remedies on hand, from spa equipment supplier Martinni Beauty’s cooling at-home masques to Beverly Hills-based Serumtologie, featured on CNBC’s business programme, showcasing Cserum 22 and Pure Whipped Chiffon moisturizer. The ultra-luxurious CelleCle Skincare, based in Orange County, builds its niche on products tackling skin problems brought on by urbanization, environmental stress, technology and pollution with ‘unique plant flavonoids’ and other ingredients that penetrate several dermal layers. Cote Hair Care, hailing from Las Vegas, rolled out its professional vegan hair care products replacing such nasty stuff as parabens, GMOs and gluten with quinoa oil and plant-based complexes.
   Speaking of plant-based, there were some edible and nutritious treats offered by Barlean’s and Julie’s Real. The real Julie (Fox) behind Julie’s Real was handing out samples of her grain-free granola and almond butters while reps from Barlean’s got us excited about their superfoods with omega-3 fish oil, flax oil and vegan greens powders that make everything from salads to smoothies more nutritious and delicious. All one tastes in the key lime fish oil, straight or mixed with a smoothie, is creamy tropical goodness.
   Many celebrities were on hand to sample and compare, but the most interesting spotting was comedy legend Elayne Boosler, who spent her day behind the tables promoting her Tails of Joy and supporting the inventor of Mighty No Bitey, Inc. insect repellant. I had the privilege of interviewing Boosler when she performed in Chicago back in my college newspaper days, and was delighted to see that face to face, many years on, she’s as passionate, politically astute, progressive and feisty as ever. Here’s hoping she continues to speak out, whether it’s for animal rescue or human rights in America as a new presidency approaches.
   The lone fashion-oriented sponsor was Forever in My Heart Jewelry by Mira, whose founder was also devoted to animal welfare. Her eclectic collection contained mix of special lockets (holding ashes from departed pets), statement pieces and everyday jewellery. The Happiness Box, meanwhile, was something that would be inside a spa reception area. The cylindrical can contains 365 statements of affirmation one can select to ensure every day of the year starts with a positive thought.
   There was also a handy gadget of note, the Dripo Japanese-style ice drip coffee maker, which brews potent and flavourful iced coffee without any electricity. If you have access to ice and 25 g of your favorite coffee on hand, follow the directions, go and do something else for 90 minutes, and return for a warm weather pick-me-up. The packaging for the gadget, a large cardboard carton that would normally contain prefabricated stuff, is also genius.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor







J. C. Olivera

Above, from top: Peter Mackenzie and Graham Beckel. Sara Rue. Kevin Dillon. Priyanka Bose. Annie Funke. Saniyya Sidney.















Elyse Glickman

December 17, 2016

Alicia Aylies, Miss Guyane, wins Miss France 2017

Lucire staff/23.20


TF1/SIPA Press/Bertrand Noël


Via Alicia Aylies/Twitter

Alicia Aylies, Miss Guyane, has been crowned Miss France 2017. She is 18 years old, and a first-year law student.
   Vaea Ferrand, Miss Tahiti, was runner-up, with Morgane Thérésine, Miss Guadeloupe, second-runner-up. Justine Kamara (Miss Lorraine) came fourth.
   The competition was held at the Montpellier exhibition centre, as the jury and the public found a successor for Miss France 2016 Iris Mittenaere, with live coverage on TF1. Jean-Pierre Foucault hosted the ceremony for the 22nd time.
   Thirty regional winners were selected during the past year to compete for the title of Miss France 2017. Twelve had been preselected by the jury, this year chaired by actress Arielle Dombasle, who replaces Jean Paul Gaultier.
   These 12 were Meggy Pyaneeandee (Miss Île-de-France), Ambre Nguyen (Miss Réunion), Esther Houdement (Miss Normandie), Axelle Bonnemaison (Miss Aquitaine), Alicia Aylies (Miss Guyane), Aurore Kichenin (Miss Languedoc-Roussillon), Morgane Thérésine (Miss Guadeloupe), Claire Godard (Miss Alsace), Justine Kamara (Miss Lorraine), Maurane Bouazza (Miss Bretagne), Myrtille Cauchefer (Miss Picardie), and Vaea Ferrand (Miss Tahiti). The public were then invited to select the top five.
   Miss Île-de-France had topped the general knowledge quiz in an earlier session, while Miss Languedoc-Roussillon had probably the greatest amount of applause when the top 12 were announced.
   The top five—all brunettes—were Alicia Aylies (Miss Guyane), Aurore Kichenin (Miss Languedoc-Roussillon), Vaea Ferrand (Miss Tahiti), Justine Kamara (Miss Lorraine), and Morgane Thérésine (Miss Guadeloupe).
   Other jury members were actress Ingrid Chauvin, comedienne Michèle Bernier, Miss France 2010 Malika Ménard, musician Amir, filmmaker Christophe Barratier and Olympic gold medallist Tony Yoka.
   Through the evening, the contestants paraded in costumes recalling The Nutcracker, tuxedo dresses in a penguin-themed sequence, Christmas-themed swimwear, Frozen cosplay dresses, Christmas outfits, outfits with giant Christmas decorations seemingly inspired by the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, white ball gowns, and, sticking to the past earlier in the evening, bikinis.
   There had been one incident during the night, reports Paris Match: Miss Mayotte, Naïma Madi Mahadali, was hospitalized due to a fall after the penguin-themed parade, and appeared with a bandaged right foot when the top 12 were announced.
   Traditionally, 40 per cent of the viewing audience watches the live telecast on TF1. Former Miss France (2002) Sylvie Tellier remains the president of the competition.

December 10, 2016

Supermodel Kate Moss stars in official video for ‘The Wonder of You’, from second Elvis Presley–RPO album

Lucire staff/0.45

Sony’s The Wonder of You by Elvis Presley with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, a new album featuring 15 tracks from the King of Rock ’n’ Roll, has a high-profile promoter in the form of supermodel Kate Moss.
   Moss appears in the official video for ‘The Wonder of You’, where she appears in a custom-made black leather suit recalling Presley’s 1968 one in his NBC TV special (later referred to as the Comeback Special), as well as several other outfits inspired by his looks.
   She lip-syncs part of the track in the black-and-white video, which appeared on Presley’s official Vevo channel from Friday, and is embedded below. It is the first in a series to promote the album.
   The video was filmed at Abbey Road Studios, where the new album was recorded. Moxie Pictures’ Vaughan Arnell came up with the concept, after he noticed there was a resemblance between classic Presley images and some of Moss’s fashion shots.
   The new album, produced by Don Reedman and Nick Patrick, is a follow-up to last year’s If I Can Dream: Elvis Presley with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, which sold one million units and débuted at number one on the UK album charts. Presley became the biggest solo artist in UK music history with the début of that album, overtaking Madonna.
   A bonus track on The Wonder of You by Elvis Presley with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra sees Presley in a duet of ‘Just Pretend’ with German songstress Hélène Fischer. Other tracks on the album are ‘A Big Hunk o’ Love’, ‘I’ve Got a Thing About You Baby’, ‘Suspicious Minds’, ‘Don’t’, ‘I Just Can’t Help Believin”, ‘Just Pretend’, ‘Love Letters’, ‘Amazing Grace’, ‘Starting Today’, ‘Kentucky Rain’, ‘Memories’, ‘Let It Be Me’, ‘Always on My Mind’, and, of course, ‘The Wonder of You’.

December 7, 2016

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

Cecilia Xu/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


December 2, 2016

Jessie J and Make Up For Ever team up for #Iamanartist; video shot by Rankin

Cecilia Xu/19.20

Make Up For Ever has announced an artistic collaboration with iconic superstar and artist Jessie J, to advocate and celebrate self-expression through make-up.
   ‘Life is a stage’ is what Make Up For Ever believes in: that people are the artists of their own lives, and this was the driving force behind the #Iamanartist campaign with Jessie J.
   ‘I enjoy revealing different parts of my personality in my look which makes Make Up For Ever such a great partner,’ said Jessie J. ‘The core of the brand is what I am about: creating characters to showcase who you are, exploring and expressing yourself in the way you want through make-up, colours and energy. I definitely feel that my make-up reflects how I feel whether you want to do just a lip or a full-blown smoky eye, your mood can be reflected in your make-up and this is why “Life is a stage”!’
   The collaboration is introduced with Jessie J covering Frankie Valli’s original song ‘Can’t Take My Eyes off You’ in a new video directed by Rankin. Sammy Mourabit has created her make-up in upcoming visuals and videos.
   The campaign’s purpose is to ignite the artistic spirit, inviting make-up enthusiasts to get creative, and express themselves throughout the year with the hashtag #Iamanartist, uniting them in a community of inspired individuals.
   Founded in 1984 by make-up artist Dany Sanz, Make Up Forever offers a wide collection of vivid colours, face and body foundations, and expert artisan formulas.—Cecilia Xu

November 24, 2016

Art Lewin Bespoke: when crowd suits the occasion

Elyse Glickman/20.30






Above, from top: Art Lewin with Daniel Simons. Interior at Art Lewin’s Santa Monica store. Eugenia Kuzmina. With Kelsey Scott. Patrika Darbo.

Whether you’re going for an audition or a job interview, the first impression is critical. With a guest list that included actors, attorneys, and LA power-brokers, nobody understands this better than Art Lewin. In mid-November, he opened his sixth store in Santa Monica, which like the other locales, is outfitted with everything needed for the perfect custom suit: an extensive library of world-class quality fabrics from internationally renowned mills in England, Italy, France, Switzerland, and Germany; and canvas that is hand-padded and artisan-stitched (as opposed to machine stitching).
   Lewin has long been a go-to tailor for Hollywood celebrities, including Jon Voight, Ernie Hudson, Jason Ritter, William Shatner, Lou Ferrigno, Esai Morales and Robert Wagner, to name a few. Art Lewin Bespoke is also preferred by a cadre of stylists. He also offers sleek suiting for women with the same attention to detail, and Sofia Milos is counted among the roster of loyal clients.
   The invitation-only red carpet opening was a mix of 100 loyal fans and new converts, including 2016 Primetime Emmy winner Patrika Darbo, Kelsey Scott (12 Years a Slave), and model–actress Eugenia Kuzmina. All guests parted with a Mario Masotti hand-made silk neck-tie to start the process of making a statement at their next court date, boardroom meeting, or audition.
   Co-sponsors BuyWine.com offered guests the best of the best including gourmet cuisine, scrumptious desserts with other treats including Napa Valley wines from Sparrow Hawk and Highway 12 vineyards, Hint Water and Rekorderlig Cider from Sweden.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor






























November 22, 2016

#Castmemarc: Marc Jacobs launches global casting call to find the next beauty sensation

Cecilia Xu/19.42

Could you be the next Marc Jacobs Beauty social media sensation? Marc Jacobs utilizes its famous hashtag #castmemarc once again open to the world, and this time it’s all about beauty.
   Marc Jacobs is a fun, vibrant and youthful brand, encouraging young people to push the boundaries in fashion and beauty. This is what the campaign is all about: to see how their global participants create their own style and become inspired, by anything.
   Applicants over the age of 18 simply need to post a video on Instagram telling Marc what inspires them in beauty and fashion, and why Marc himself should pick them. Don’t forget to add #castmemarc on your videos to be considered. Entries are open until Friday, December 16, 2016 (11.59 p.m. PST).
   In January 2017, 10 finalists will be flown to NYC to record a make-up application video for Marc and his judging panel, where Marc himself will then select three final artists to be apart of the spring 2017 #beautymarc video series. In addition to this, the chosen winners will each receive a year’s supply of Marc Jacobs Beauty products, invitations to all Marc Jacobs influencer events throughout 2017, and a MJ wardrobe and accessories’ allowance.
   Get hash-tagging #castmemarc!—Cecilia Xu

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