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Gemma Chan announced as L’Oréal Paris’s newest international ambassador

Filed by Lucire staff/November 17, 2020/20.35

English actress Gemma Chan (陳靜) has been announced as L’Oréal Paris’s newest spokeswoman. Already a familiar face to many readers, from an extensive résumé dating back to the mid-2000s—Doctor Who, Sherlock, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, and Humans among her TV work—Chan was probably noticed more by US audiences when she appeared in Crazy Rich Asians in 2018, followed by Captain Marvel in 2019. Her role in the anthology series I Am, which she co-developed and where she played Hannah in the third entry (‘I Am Hannah’), was highly acclaimed. In December, Chan will star alongside Meryl Streep in Steven Soderbergh’s Let Them All Talk, and next year, in Eternals, another Marvel entry. She also founded her own production company, with the aim of promoting more minority voices.
   An Oxford University and Drama Centre London alumna, Chan has worked as an advocate for or supporter of numerous causes, including UNICEF, the Time’s Up movement, the Justice and Equality Fund, and Cook-19 supporting London health care workers.
   It is her rising international profile that seems to have L’Oréal Paris interested, especially with Chan venturing into blockbuster hits. Says its global brand president, Delphine Viguier-Hovasse, ‘Gemma Chan is proof of the success that happens when you have the confidence to follow your own dreams, and speak up for others to be able to follow theirs. Committed to her causes with innate female strength, she’s a source of inspiration beyond the screen, for young women to be the change. We’re delighted to welcome Gemma to the family.’
   Chan added, ‘I’ve always believed that we should embrace our difference as our strength. So I’m thrilled to join L’Oréal Paris, a family of empowered women of all origins standing together to show the power and beauty of diversity. The L’Oréal Paris message to every woman, “Believe in your self-worth,” is as needed today as ever.’

 


Movado holds Shanghai event with singer Li Ronghao and actor Jerry Chengjie Yuan

Filed by Lucire staff/November 5, 2020/10.25




Movado’s Shanghai event saw actor Jerry Chengjie Yuan, singer Li Ronghao, and Movado China general manager Danni Hammer.

Movado held its Music Time Journey event in Shanghai on October 29, with an interview format featuring its spokesman, singer–songwriter Li Ronghao (李榮浩) and host, actor Jerry Chengjie Yuan (袁成傑).
   Movado China general manager Danni Hammer, discussed the philosophy behind the brand, and how it used simple design to convey the attributes of independence and confidence. He noted that beneath the design, Movado used superior watchmaking technology.
   Movado sees Li as a good match for the brand, as an artist with a unique style, and creativity that follows his heart. The event linked Li’s latest album to Movado’s Museum Dial Modern 47 watch, featuring the company’s iconic design created by Nathan George Horwitt in 1947.
   The watch design is an example of Bauhaus simplicity, with no markers on the dials, and a single circle at the top signifying the sun—a piece of functional art. Movado had been producing the Horwitt design without permission originally, and only settled with him in 1975 for a minor sum.
   The Museum name came from the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), to which Horwitt had sold one of three watches he had privately commissioned in the mid-1950s. MoMA produced wall-clock versions of the design, originating the term ‘Museum Dial’.
   Li says this is his favourite design: ‘This dial reminds me that music and time have their own melody and rhythm, so I don’t forget to stick to my original aspirations and find the origin of life.’
   The event also promoted Movado’s 1881 series, targeted at older customers, linking it to Li’s new album Sparrow.

 


Second Makeup Revolution × Friends beauty collection released

Filed by Lucire staff/November 4, 2020/11.30

There’s often a two-decade rule when it comes to revivals, and Revolution Beauty’s collaboration with Friends still manages to come within that for the US series that ran from 1994 to 2004.
   The sitcom about six white singles in New York had already been transformed once into a range of make-up palettes, lipsticks and eyeshadow shades by Revolution, dedicated to Monica, Rachel and Phoebe, selling out within five hours of going live at Ulta.com. This time round, Revolution is announcing additional products, which should still meet with immense success, since there’s nothing more reassuring during uncertain times than a dose of nostalgia.
   There are lip glosses, eyeshadow palettes that play off Friends in-jokes, a lip scrub, and make-up accessories, all priced below US$25.
   ‘When developing and creating the first Makeup Revolution × Friends collection, we looked at each character individually—evaluating their style, personalities, make-up influence—to build an authentic collection bringing the characters to life,’ said Revolution Beauty founder Adam Minto. ‘Revolution’s goal was to embody the essence of Friends, paying tribute to the ’90s in general and we clearly achieved that goal with consumers as the collection sold out on Ulta.com in record time. As the only beauty brand that has been awarded with the honour to adapt the Friends font and logo into our own logo, we cannot be more excited to drop the second part of the Makeup Revolution × Friends collection and reveal additional branded products.’
   Revolution products are PETA-certified cruelty-free, never tested on animals, and 76 per cent vegan.
   The collection goes on sale today at Ulta beauty stores and Ulta.com, as well as RevolutionBeauty.com.

 


Personal thoughts on the passing of Sir Sean Connery, 1930–2020

Filed by Jack Yan/October 31, 2020/20.52


Danjaq SA/United Artists

The iconic image of Sean Connery and the Aston Martin DB5 in a publicity still from Goldfinger.

Many movie fans were greeted with sad news with the passing of Sir Sean Connery at 90 in the Bahamas.
   Sir Sean had been unwell for some time, according to his son Jason, and died in his sleep.
   Most moviegoers will remember him for his role as the first big-screen James Bond, but it was decades later in The Untouchables where he received his first Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
   Talking to other movie fans today, his work in The Hunt for Red October, Highlander and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was highlighted.
   One fan, in particular, relayed to me that Connery’s work played a part in her growing up, and despite his distasteful public comments about spousal abuse and violence toward women—both in the 1960s and 1980s—it was still with a tinge of sadness to note his passing.
   His first wife, Diane Cilento, confirmed Connery’s behaviour.
   It is perhaps only fair to mention it; some find it unforgiveable to do so in the wake of a person’s passing, while others who feel that violence needs to be called out ask: if not now, then when?
   His professional life was less open to criticism, an actor who became a superstar while still able to do solid character work.
   I often joked that Connery’s career could be summed up in four lines: ‘My name is Bond, James Bond’; ‘There can be only one’; ‘We sail into history’; and ‘You’re the man now, dog!’, the last from Finding Forrester.
   As someone who missed out on the 1960s, my introduction to Connery was still through Bond—in 1983 he returned to star in a remake of Thunderball, the unofficial Never Say Never Again. I opted to pay to see Octopussy though during the “battle of the Bonds” that year, and it would be a few years later, on a rented video cassette, that I caught up. The rest I caught out of order, also on cassette: Diamonds Are Forever was next, followed by Goldfinger and You Only Live Twice.
   It was my parents’ insistence initially that Connery was the best actor to play the role of James Bond that made me want to see the rest of them. They courted by going to the Bonds, including double-bills that combined two earlier films.
   Eventually, I saw the rest of the Bonds starring Connery, then saw them again in order to observe his career progress.
   It was natural for James Bond producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli to release a statement today—after all, they might not be in the Bond movie business if this rough diamond of an actor hadn’t originated the role as Ian Fleming’s super-spy, and paved the way for all the actors who followed.
   ‘We are devastated by the news of the passing of Sir Sean Connery. He was and shall always be remembered as the original James Bond whose indelible entrance into cinema history began when he announced those unforgettable words—“The name’s Bond … James Bond”—he revolutionized the world with his gritty and witty portrayal of the sexy and charismatic secret agent. He is undoubtedly largely responsible for the success of the film series and we shall be forever grateful to him,’ they said.
   Never mind Connery never actually said, ‘The name’s Bond, James Bond’ (look back—Roger Moore was the first to say these exact words in A View to a Kill; Connery said the simpler ‘Bond, James Bond’ in Dr No, and ‘My name is Bond, James Bond’ in Goldfinger and Diamonds Are Forever), their quote is otherwise on the money. It would be hard to imagine Cary Grant, James Mason or Richard Burton in the role.
   And it was because of this role that I wanted to see Connery in others, from pre-Bond outings in The Longest Day and Darby O’Gill and the Little People, to post-Bond work in Meteor, Outland, Highlander and The Presidio.
   What I saw was an actor who matured in his confidence and capability, and I don’t think at any time he “phoned in” a performance.
   It didn’t matter that the Spaniard in Highlander or the Irishman in The Untouchables had a Scots accent: Connery’s presence made you forget such details.
   He was a delight in the big-screen adaptation of The Avengers, as Sir August de Wynter, and I would say that his presence made the film. (I’m also in the minority when I say I rather enjoyed it, with Connery being a big reason.)
   In Jon Amiel’s Entrapment, made just before the millennium—and using Y2K as a plot device—Connery showed that he could still lead an actioner.
   It was a shame that his last big on-screen role was in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, a filming experience he was not thrilled about. His last role that I caught was another disappointment for me: a voice role in the animated Sir Billi.
   But that is the life of an actor: you can’t choose great films all the time. And when someone is part of your cinemagoing for three decades, you think of the joy he brought.
   He was a proud Scot, and donated his entire US$1·2 million fee (a record in the early 1970s) from Diamonds Are Forever to kick off the Scottish International Educational Trust, which he founded, to help young Scots of exceptional ability.
   He knew what it was like to come from humble beginnings and saw the value of education, hence his interest in the Trust. He also believed in a Scottish parliament, and pushed for it, addressing the first session after its reconvening in 1999. He was knighted in 2000.
   It was a few years after that, at a conference where he was used as an example, that a colleague brought up his record about his private life, something that was disappointing.
   We did find ourselves in the same city once—Sir Sean had holdings in radio in New Zealand—and I learned I visited one station hours after he did. My mischievous side was tempted to make a crank call in his voice—I was asked to do an impersonation for the local Scottish Association, for their automated phone service, so I imagine it wasn’t too awful—but thought better of it. Despite all the celebrity interviews over the years, Sir Sean was retired by the time I could have interviewed him, and we never crossed paths. Like most of you, I was an admirer who saw the man on the silver screen, and what a career he had there.—Jack Yan, Founder and Publisher

 


Marion Cotillard stars in Chanel’s No. 5 campaign for 2020, to the tune of Lorde’s ‘Team’

Filed by Lucire staff/October 29, 2020/22.59



Chanel has launched a new communications’ campaign for its iconic No. 5 fragrance, with actress Marion Cotillard as its new face.
   ‘Marion was the obvious choice. Returning to a French actress meant returning to a subconscious image of French femininity dear to the spirit of the House,’ said Thomas du Pré de Saint Maur, Chanel’s head of global creative resources for fragrance and beauty.
   ‘What I like about Marion Cotillard is that when she acts, she has this sort of reserve that is simultaneously ultra-powerful. She seems to know what is right and lively, she is fully committed. Like the Chanel woman, who doesn’t escape herself, but faces herself.’
   Said Cotillard, ‘I felt an instant connection with No. 5 which, more than a fragrance, is a work of art. Something I always dreamed of.’
   Cotillard follows in the footsteps of numerous women who have promoted No. 5, from Marilyn Monroe, albeit in an unofficial capacity, to Catherine Deneuve, Carole Bouquet, Nicole Kidman and Audrey Tautou, even Brad Pitt as an unlikely male choice in 2012.
   Swedish director Johan Renck (Chernobyl, as well as recent campaigns for Coco Mademoiselle and No. 5 l’Eau) helms the new film promoting No. 5.
   The moon plays heavily in the promotion as a romantic symbol and one that represents renewal. The romantic dance between Cotillard and Étoile dancer Jérémie Bélingard was conceived and choreographed by Ryan Heffington. Cotillard spent five days training for the dance.
   For the wardrobe choice, Virginie Viard, Chanel’s artistic director, said she began with a dress worn by Gabrielle Chanel, photographed by Cecil Beaton in 1937. Cotillard’s embroidered lace dress was based on this, but adjusted to fit the actress. Sixteen Lesage embroiders worked on the dress, with 900 hours spent between Chanel and Lesage workshops.
   The soundtrack is the song ‘Team’ by Lorde, covered by Cotillard and recorded by Flavien Berger.


 


A welcome return to the ballet, with RNZB’s The Sleeping Beauty

Filed by Jack Yan//12.34





Stephen a’Court

Top: Kate Kadow as Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty. Above: Kate Kadow and Laurynas Vejalis as Prince Désiré. Kirby Selchow as Carabosse and Sara Garbowski as the Lilac Fairy. Kirby Selchow. Kirby Selchow and Clytie Campbell as the Queen.

How fortunate we are in Aotearoa New Zealand to be able to attend events while the world battles a pandemic, and judging by the opening night of The Sleeping Beauty at the Opera House in Wellington, audiences were more than ready to be entertained by the Royal New Zealand Ballet.
   It was a wise decision to put on a classical ballet for the end of the year, with choreography after Marius Petipa and staged by the RNZB’s artistic director Patricia Barker, with the Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky score performed by Orchestra Wellington, conducted by Hamish McKeich. This was a safe bet that would bring audiences in, and what better in 2020 than a sense of the familiar, performed by some new faces in prominent roles, and an energetic company that has been all too ready to show the country—and the world—what it has to offer.
   This was the first time Lucire has seen Kate Kadow in a lead role, that of Princess Aurora. Kadow had plenty of difficult manœuvres to perform, and had to be present from Act I (or Chapter Two, as listed in the programme) through to the end. A challenging pas d’action at the end of Act I—the Rose Adagio—saw Kadow en pointe for a particularly lengthy period. This is a famous pas d’action, which Kadow carried out well, and deservedly earned a round of applause. She had similar, if not as lengthy, en pointe balances in other parts of the ballet. One hopes we will see more of this experienced American-born dancer in prominent roles with this company.
   Kirby Selchow relished the role of Carabosse, and reminded us just why so many actors—and dancers, for that matter—like the role of the villain. Audiences do take to them, and without spoiling it with specifics, her entrance was one of the grander and more entertaining ones for any baddie of late.
   Sara Garbowski, as the Lilac Fairy, might be the one to watch—though it should be mentioned that the role has been a prominent one for some time, in some cases more so than Aurora’s. It’s the Lilac Fairy that has to countermand Carabosse’s spell, and she is present from the prologue through to the end.
   Prince Désiré, performed by Lithuanian-born Laurynas Véjalis, had a wonderful grand pas de deux with Kadow in the final wedding scene, with some technically tricky steps. He made holding Kadow in his arms look effortless despite the technical difficulty and strength required.
   This was a family ballet, with any scenes that might disturb children completely toned down: Désiré’s battles with Carabosse’s minions in the forest are done with plenty of dry ice on stage, and the villains are dispatched quickly; and we must also say that the awakening of Aurora was innocently done.
   Humorous moments for the children, bearing in mind this is a two-hour, 45-minute production, include the pas de deux between Puss in Boots and the White Cat (Joshua Guillemot-Rodgerson and Leonora Voigtländer respectively). And it’s always a good lesson to not go for the bad boy, as Aurora does with the Rose Adage.
   Ballet masters Clytie Campbell, Laura McQueen Schultz and Nick Schultz assisted Barker in staging the ballet, and Michael Auer served as dramaturge.
   Donna Jeffris’s costumes were a stand-out, particularly the Queen’s sparkling gown and the use of tulle; meanwhile her work for Carabosse had a dose of drama and darkness, while Morfran’s epaulettes hinted at a certain army that terrorized Europe in the 1930s and 1940s.
   As usual, the scenic design, by Howard C. Jones, is of a particularly high standard, including the use of digital elements on a screen, such as growing vines around trees during the 100 years Aurora is asleep. Jones worked on the RNZB’s much acclaimed Giselle.
   Jones’s design also saw the use of Bodoni display type at the beginning of each chapter, explaining, in poem form, what lay ahead, making the ballet accessible to younger audience members.
   A technical glitch on opening night did see the type fail to display for the prologue, necessitating a restart with the overture performed again—the sort of minor thing that is easily forgivable after nearly a year without a ballet to attend. In fact, the audience applauded to show their understanding and appreciation.
   The child performers in the ballet added to the family touch, and their role in the garland dance was particularly well choreographed and danced.
   The Ryman Healthcare Season of The Sleeping Beauty runs from October 29 through December 12, touring nationally. Further details can be found at the RNZB website.Jack Yan, Publisher


Ross Brown

Above: Kate Kadow as Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty.

 


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