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September 1, 2014

Miss Universe Thailand 2013, Chalita Yaemwannang, gets guest judge role at Miss Universe New Zealand

Lucire staff/13.40

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Miss Universe Thailand 2013, Chalita Yaemwannang, will be guest judge at the grand final of Miss Universe New Zealand 2014 at the Sky City Theatre in Auckland on the 18th.
   Yaemwannang will join both returning and new judges on the panel, to be publicly announced later this month by the Miss Universe New Zealand organizers.
   The invitation to the Miss Universe Thailand organization was made by executive director Nigel Godfrey during the finalists’ retreat for the top 25, which took place in Bangkok and Pattaya in July.
   Godfrey presented his opposite number in Thailand, Surang Prempree, a framed invitation for a Miss Universe Thailand titleholder to be a special guest at the New Zealand grand final.
   The public vote continues with the online i-vote, and with the text voting—see nextmissnz.com/top25.shtml for voting details.
   Tickets for the final are available through Iticket, through this link, or via the Miss Universe New Zealand Facebook page.

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August 29, 2014

Paws for the cause (of pet adoption)

Elyse Glickman/22.08

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Dogs once again took centre-stage at the Secret Room’s pre-smash bash for the 2014 Emmys, but cats and kids grabbed the spotlight with a flourish.
   In the ballroom at Beverly Hills’ Montage hotel, there were a lot of well dressed children in tow enjoying the latest toy trends from the US and Germany, and a lot of large, beautifully groomed dogs walking their people. Many dogs who came with Emmy-nominated celebrities and top-drawer stylists were treated royally with designer dog food, grooming gear and even doggy first aid. However, as an owner of a rescue cat, I was please that the I Love Pet Head line by Tigi had some special things for my Pepper (a majestic American short-haired cat) as well as Nico, Leyla’s rambunctious Maine coon who delights in getting his fur matted. Inventor Linda Jangula noted her Wiki Wags included variations for cats in development.
   Even better, I was even more delighted to see that the Humane Society of the United States was back with their message as was the Adopt/Shelter Pet Project, encouraging people to look first into their hearts and then into shelters with memorable commercial spots by the Ad Council (an organization producing public service announcements).
   Another thing that was rather quaint was that there were two companies promoting different kinds of shapewear for women (Rago, upscale and ultra-glam v. Skin Eez, practical, comfortable and therapeutic) and two artisanal chocolate companies (US-made Chuao chocolate, and Belgium’s Guylian).
   Some clever chocolate sushi was located right next to the booth of Dr Sam Saleh, who was not only a proponent of the Philips Sonicare electric toothbrush (‘the Porsche of dental care’) but also the founder of the ORA Dentistry Spa, who counts Tyra Banks as a client and whose expertise has been featured on Extra! and turns to the latest dental technology in restorations, bleaching, veneers and cosmetic contouring to address irregularities, dental stains, dental gaps, metal restorations and altering tooth form, tooth shape and tooth colour.
   There were lovely water bottles from Faucet Face to encourage more home filtering and less plastic, emotional wellness aids from Atlanta-based Vanda, mast and beauty drinks from Ashieda and a fantastic smoothie cookbook and products I cannot wait to try out by Healthy Happy Life that’s 100 per cent vegan by food blogger and photographer Kathy Patalsky.
   On the fashion front, celebrities were treated to futuristic sunglass and prescription frames by Yoshinori Aoyama, creator of Factory 900 eyewear. While most of his goods were pure statement, I found myself lusting after the cool and sleekly classic clear Model 208 and will have them on my holiday wish list. Speaking of holidays, the nice folks from the tourist board of St Kitts were on hand to spark interest in winter getaways to spots of endless summers (minus LA pollution and humidity).
   A highlight of the Red Carpet Style Lounge for the élite talent were vacation holiday packages to “trip of a lifetime destinations”. These included Alila Villas, crafted luxury in spectacular locations, served-up stays in oceanfront villas at their Uluwatu and Soori Indonesian properties with personal butler, spa services, dining and more; ITC Hotel Maurya New Delhi India gifted eight nights in a luxury suite, airport transfers, luxury buffet breakfast, dinner each night and spa services; Brewery Gulch Inn in Mendocino, California, Travel & Leisure’s winner of World’s Best Awards 2014, will gift a two-night escape in a suite with breakfast and dinner daily featuring locally sourced ingredients prepared by their executive chef. Riviera Resort and Spa Palm Springs is gifting a two-night stay in a one-bedroom suite, dinner for two at Circa 59 and one 50-minute spa treatment at Spa Terre. Lucky recipients included Lena Dunham, Michael Madsen, Taylor Schilling, Lizzy Caplan, Michelle Dockery, Jeff Daniels, Jon Hamm, Peter Dinklage, Sarah Paulson, Kristen Wiig, Jane Lynch, Mark Ruffalo, Cat Deeley, Paul Giamatti, Jimmy Fallon, Joan Cusack, Robin Wright, Anthony Bourdain, Melissa McCarthy, Jessica Lange, Amy Poehler, and Jeff Bridges. Other celebrities spotted include Ashley Argota, Christian Madsen, Colm Meaney, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Cary Fukunaga, Danny Zuker, Caitlin Carmichael, Jamie Brewer, and Mia Talerico.
   Kudos to Amy Boatwright and Rita Branch for putting animals first and healthy living very close behind (and yes, chocolate is good food—antioxidants)!—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor


















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August 26, 2014

GBK’s garden party: primping for the 2014 Emmy Awards

Elyse Glickman/2.34

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On two hot, sunny afternoons at Beverly Hills’ L’Ermitage Hotel, Gavin Keilly and his intrepid team were blending pre-Emmy Awards’ primping and wellness, exotic post-awards escapes and down-to-earth charity fundraising, transforming a small ballroom and courtyard into a colourful canvas of food for thought.
   In the spotlight were the GO Campaign, a grant-making organization addressing problems faced by orphans and vulnerable children around the world by partnering with local celebrities and role models to deliver local solutions; Cops 4 Causes, the first non-profit organization to be created to collectively highlight the philanthropic efforts of law enforcement; the Environmental Media Association, a non-profit dedicated to harnessing the power of the entertainment industry and the media to educate the global public on environmental issues and motivate sustainable lifestyles; Mutt Match LA K-9 Rescue Ranch & Sanctuary, which rescues neglected and discarded dogs from LA’s high kill shelters to rehabilitate and place in loving homes; and StarPower, providing fans backstage access and one-on-one engagement straight from their favorite celebrities via social media while supporting the causes they care about.
   In terms of featured wellness products, the star of the show was featured sponsor Michael Todd True Organics, which introduced their new Soniclear Antimicrobal Cleansing System, the world’s first antimicrobial sonic skin cleansing system. What sets this product and its skin care line apart from the competitors is the care put into the rotary and sonic systems, according to company president Lewis Hendler. He added that the dermatological team at Michael Todd set out to create an effective cleaning system without the worry of bacteria that can affect the performance of the tool and the products. After extensive research, the result was a revolutionary sonic cleansing brush that thoroughly cleanses the skin and then protects itself against microbial contamination leaving the brushes cleaner, fresher for longer.
   The strong supporting cast in the wellness act of the show included the Kind soap company, serving up bath and body care products in gorgeous earthy packaging; Brow Art 23, offering press an overview of their product line and make-up touch-ups; and Skinny & Co. Coconut Oil Company, providing their skinny coconut oil, 100 per cent raw and hand-pressed, and poised to be the next great super-food.
   There were also stylish and affordable sunglass frames from Foster Grant, LG’s Tone Infinim bluetooth headset, developed in collaboration with Harman/Kardon to deliver amazing sound quality and comfort in a range of pretty metallic pastels and an Intuition Blueprint Reading from Joanna Garzilli as well as a copy of her second edition of Unleash the Psychic in You.
   As most GBK parties would not be complete without a goody bag of surprises, the Artisan Group was on hand with their welcome surprise packages full of original costume and semi-precious jewellery, photography, stationery, soaps and other eye-catching and crafty accessories. Certainly, the stylists from top nominee shows and ratings hits such as The Voice, Scandal, Parenthood and The Vampire Diaries think so! My bag was particularly delightful this go round with beautiful jewellery from Benee Rubin, Rock and Hardware, Designs by Diane (Sowers), ImagiNature Art Glass, Nineteen Seventy-Four by Pamela Roskin, BkdSignature, Jewelry by Lucinda de Castro, Nan Gates Designs cosmetic bags, Specifically Random head wraps. Charities the Artisan Group supports includes the Animal Rescue Fund and Let’s Move Together–the Arthritis Foundation.
   Celebrities snapped at the event included Alicia Witt, Angela Bassett, R. J. Mitte, Sam Trammell, Selenis Leyva, Kristin Bauer van Straten, Viola Davis, Edie Falco, Vanessa Marcil, Madeline Brewer, Corbin Bleu, Dascha Polanco, Gary Cole, Joey King, Mariel Hemingway, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Bob Eubanks, Teyonah Parris, and Shanola Hampton.—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor
















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August 23, 2014

Summer heat and cool trends, at Doris Bergman’s Emmy Style Lounge at Fig & Olive

Elyse Glickman/0.23

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Top Kate Burton with MD Sun Skin Care. Centre Bling It Hat Designs with Khandi Alexander. Above R. J. Mitte of Breaking Bad with Honest Tea.

With no end to summer in sight, and Labor Day two weeks away, plucky, savvy Doris Bergman was back to work with a flourish, celebrating the coming fall season, with a colourful cast of characters via her Fifth Annual Style Lounge & Party in Celebration of Emmy Season at Fig & Olive in West Hollywood.
   Even in with the arrival of scorching summer heat, Bergman and her team stayed calm and cool directing traffic and making sure her top-tier talent and media were well taken care of as well as introduced to a favourite selection of fashion, accessories and beauty essentials from favourite vendors (Single Dress, Roadkill Boutique, Radar Watches, Telic Footwear, Traveler’s Choice Luggage, Guess Watches, Twisted Silver/Perch, Nature’s Flavors and Honest Tea) and new designers and entrepreneurs on the scene (Unity Vintage Jeans, Clothing Nation, Origami Owl Jewelry, Clothing Nation, Kaya Di Koko and Bling It Hat Designs).
   Wednesday’s Child was front and centre in the charity spotlight, and with local Los Angeles news presenter Christine Devine by her side, Doris was once again in “Auntie Mame” mode with a very targeted gift drive for the 15- to 18-year-olds in foster care. Two foster children got to not only get Doris’ patented VIP treatment but also represent the hundreds of local children benefiting from Wednesday’s Child.
   ‘In Los Angeles County, alone, there are over 30,000 children receiving child welfare services,’ says social worker William Wong in tribute to Bergman’s hard work and the support of the event sponsors. ‘Gift and monetary donations to the Wednesday’s Child Pre-Holiday Gift Drive has been overwhelming and, most importantly, the event sponsors and celebrity guests have provided examples to follow—giving the public permission to embrace our kids. I believe that people are inherently good and want to do good things.’
   Once guests who arrived early enjoyed a Mediterranean feast by Fig & Olive Executive Chef, Pascal Lorange, and got a Traveler’s Choice carry-on bag, they dove into a wave of beauty and style breakthroughs. The fantastic, just-launched MD Sun Skin Care treatment line (offering state-of-the-art treatment of wrinkles, age spots and lost elasticity) joined forces with Gerard Cosmetics and Whitening Lightning to allow guests to put their best faces forward.
   Fashion highlights included the latest covetable costume jewellery from Deborah at Twisted Silver (inviting pieces of copper, turquoise and buttons with a “steampunk” edge), Origami Owl Jewelry, devised by a teenaged girl as a way to save up for her first car), denim shorts from Unity Jeans Company with Roberto Cavalli-esque touches, Bling It Hat Designs’ jaunty cowboy toppers and some delicious candles and body care from Bon Bon Home & Garden, Jones & Rose, Dawn Lee Cosmetics and the Vida Emanuel Day Spa.
   Celebrities helping our beloved Doris celebrate the kick-off of Hollywood’s big social season included Emmy nominees Kate Burton (outstanding guest actress, Scandal), Jon Voight (supporting actor, Ray Donovan) Joey King and Joshua Close (Fargo), Khandi Alexander and Ntare Mwine (Treme), R. J. Mitte (Breaking Bad), Jamie Brewer (American Horror Story), Dot Marie Jones (Glee), Elaine Hendrix (Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll), Eva La Rue, Gregg Daniel (True Blood), Hal Sparks (Lab Rats), Kelsey Scott (12 Years a Slave), Marilu Henner (The Crazy Ones), Rosa Blasi (The Thundermans), Rowan Blanchard (Girl Meets World), Shanola Hampton (the US version of Shameless), Tiphany Adams (Push Girls) and Toks Olagundoye (The Neighbors).—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor



Top Joey King with Gerard Cosmetics and Whitening Lightning. Above Jon Voight with Traveler’s Choice luggage.









Elyse Glickman

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August 18, 2014

Alarm für Cobra 11 films at the Nürburgring with Mercedes-Benz

Jack Yan/6.49

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Long-running German TV series, Alarm für Cobra 11: die Autobahnpolizei, which will return this autumn (most likely in early October), filmed at the Nürburgring over the weekend during the DTM races.
   Both star Erdoğan Atalay, who has played Semir Gerkhan since the show’s third episode in 1996, and new co-star Vinzenz Kiefer, in the role of Alex Brandt since 2014, found themselves at the historic circuit among the 80,000 spectators.
   They were joined by actress and presenter Fernanda Brandão, who will guest-star in the episode. Ralf Schumacher is also tipped to appear.
   They conducted a draw for fans of the show, giving away extras’ roles.
   Although the new season returns in the autumn on RTL, the Nürburgring episode, ‘Das letzte Rennen’ (‘The Last Race’) will not air till spring 2015. The plot line is predictable: Semir and Alex receive guest passes to a DTM race but unexpectedly find a corpse.
   The cop show features product placement from both BMW and Mercedes-Benz, and has done since one of its earliest stars, Mark Keller, drove a CLK in 1997.—Jack Yan, Publisher

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August 15, 2014

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Allegro journeys from classical to science fiction

Jack Yan/15.57

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Ross Brown

Top A classical approach for Allegro Brillante. Above Larry Keigwin’s Megalopolis.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Allegro: Five Short Ballets, was a bittersweet performance, knowing it would be the last time many in the audience would see the company’s principal guest artist, Gillian Murphy, dance.
   Murphy and her fiancé, RNZB artistic director Ethan Stiefel, are set to return to the US, and she kept a composed, dignified air after the performance when Lucire wished her well for her future.
   The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s Andrea Tandy noted that Auckland audiences, who had seen Allegro prior to Wellington’s for a change, gave the five productions a wonderful reception.
   In the first ballet of the five, Allegro Brillante, Murphy and Kohei Iwamoto led a small cast of 10 to Tchaikovsky’s Third Piano Concerto, with choreography by the late George Balanchine. Russian-born Balanchine’s works have been staged by the RNZB from time to time, and Allegro Brillante was performed in 1999 and 2001. With a classical structure and technique, staged by Eve Lawson, it proved an endearing opening to the performances on the first night in Wellington.
   As skilful as the dancers were, Qi Huan’s presence was missed opposite Murphy—Huan moved on to the New Zealand School of Dance, teaching classical ballet, telling us earlier that he could not pass up the opportunity.
   The simple settings allowed Nigel Percy’s lighting to set a very different mood each time.
   Les Lutins, which followed, was a particularly enjoyable comedic ballet. It would be the only one with live music of the five, performed by the impressive Benjamin Baker on violin, and Michael Pansters on piano, while Rory Fairweather-Neylan, Arata Miyagawa and Lucy Green played the role of the goblins, in trousers and braces, with simple, carefree choreography by Johan Kobborg. The interaction between the dancers and Baker was cleverly staged, and the neatly executed jetés and tours en l’air from Fairweather-Neylan and Miyagawa deserve mention.
   Satellites, after the first interval, brought a scientific theme, conveying the equilibrium that satellites maintain in orbit: as dancers go off, new ones emerge. Graphically, orbits appear in the background, designed and animated by Jac Grenfell, dancers held circular mirrors, while electronic music by Jan-Bas Bollen emphasized the high-tech feel. Kinetic sculptures by Jim Murphy continued the theme (segmented planets hanging in the air), as did Donnine Harrison’s costumes (the discs worn by two ballerinas again reflecting the circular theme). Daniel Belton, who was behind the concept and choreography, was inspired by the Bauhaus movement, with its practitioners Oskar Schlemmer, Paul Klee and Moholy-Nagy, successfully blending the geometry and modernistic approach of the school with balletic expression. For once, those who are disciples of, or simply aware of, Bauhaus principles have a ballet that translates those ideas.
   Mattress Suite, choreographed by Larry Keigwin for his own company, delighted in a simple, playful setting, with a mattress as the one prop, telling the story of newlyweds who drift apart, the groom discovering he is homosexual. It is the only one with mature themes and popular songs (‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ as sung by Stevie Wonder, and ‘At Last’ by Etta James) and the mattress itself was used as everything from a wall to a trampoline in six short dances. Cheekily, the dance with a gay threesome is called ‘Straight Duet’.
   The RNZB is the first to perform Mattress Suite outside of Keigwin & Company.
   It was Keigwin again for the finalé, Megalopolis, which went beyond science and into science fiction, blending the cinematic Flash Gordon and Studio 54 into a single ballet, finding great favour with the audience. Megalopolis was certainly energetic—RNZB finalés often are, and rightly so, when presenting a series of ballets—while Fritz Mason’s costume design, in black with silver details, was a retrofuturistic delight.
   Allegro: Five Short Ballets continues in Wellington till the 17th at the St James. Invercargill follows on August 20 at the Civic, while Dunedin’s Regent Theatre plays host on the 23rd inst.—Jack Yan, Publisher

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August 14, 2014

Mana Wahine: a powerful celebration of womanhood and history

Jack Yan/4.40

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Alex Efimoff

Mana Wahine, which had its première in June in Rotorua for Matariki, arrived in Wellington last night with the first of a brief series of performances (until August 16), with a powerful celebration of womanhood by the Okareka Dance Company.
   Mana Wahine tells the story of Te Aokapurangi, who was captured in battle but returned later to save her people from slaughter.
   The production began with the image of the storyteller, Tūī Matira Ranapiri-Ransfield, a descendant of Te Aokapurangi, appearing on the curtains prior to the show, a foretaste of the clever use of lighting and imagery projected on the dance floor and walls. Her evocative waerea incantation from the first scene led to powerful, purposeful choreography performed by five dancers, Bianca Hyslop, Maria Munkowits, Nancy Wijohn, Chrissy Kokiri and Jana Castillo.
   Graceful and strong, the quintet were chosen for their experience as women and those from whom they have descended.
   Mana Wahine blends different genres of dance, captivating the audience between its sets so seamlessly, and is a beautiful tribute to Te Aokapurangi while shining a light on the proud people in our country’s past.
   Even without knowing the historical aspect one has to admire the authentic and sincere performances of the five dancers.
   The production was inspired by a conversation between cousins Tui Matira Ranapiri-Ransfield and Okarewa artistic director Taiaroa Royal, on their ancestry and the Ngāti Ohomairangi of Te Arawa, namely the matriarch Kearoa and Te Aokapurangi of Ngāti Rangiwewehi and Tapuika. Both women were responsible for saving their people, demonstrating in New Zealand’s history the power and role of women.
   Ranapiri-Ransfield researched the story, and wrote the lyrics and composed the music for the karanga, waerea and patere, and it is her voice that the audience hears. Victoria Kelly composed the rest of the score. Malia Johnston, with her extensive choreographic experience, co-authored Mana Wahine. Taane Mete directed Mana Wahine, calling it one of the ‘most rewarding experiences I have ever encountered.’ The collaboration between the talents, including technical production manager Jonny Cross, producer Rachael Penman, rehearsal director Natalie Clark and administrator Jesse Wikiriwhi, have resulted in a real, enriching production.—Jack Yan, Publisher

Mana Wahine runs till August 16, with daily performances at 7.30 p.m., and one matinee on Saturday at 2 p.m., at Te Whaea, New Zealand National Dance and Drama Centre, 11 Hutchison Road, Newtown, Wellington. Tickets are $20–$40, plus booking fees. Bookings can be made by telephone on 0800 BUY-TIX or visit www.eventfinder.co.nz.

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August 11, 2014

Rihanna on the cover of W September 2014, with unmissable Meadowlark Jewellery

Lucire staff/2.03

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Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott

Rihanna is on the September 2014 cover of W, photographed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, styled by Edward Enniful, the magazine’s fashion and style director.
   There’s a New Zealand connection, with the pop star wearing Meadowlark Jewellery’s large Thorn Septum ring, from its upcoming spring–summer 2014–15 collection, Dynasty, on the cover. The singer wears the ring on her nose on the cover.
   Two versions of the ring, one with diamonds and one without, feature in the editorial inside.
   Meadowlark says it gifted Rihanna the diamond-set septum ring on the day of the shoot, and she had been spotted wearing it.
   She also wears a Donna Karan New York dress, an Ashley Lloyd headdress, Amrapali ruby and diamond ear cuffs, and a Stephen Dweck sterling silver necklace. The shoot took place in July.
   Rihanna is currently on her Monster’s Ball tour with rapper Eminem.

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