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October 20, 2014

Stoneleigh launches limited-edition, early-release Nature’s Collection wines

Lucire staff/22.43

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Stoneleigh has launched a new, limited-edition, early-release wine series, called Nature’s Collection, comprising 2014 vintages of sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, chardonnay and rosĂ©, retailing now at NZ$17·99 in New Zealand.
   The Collection’s labels feature artwork with distinctive symbols, signifying flora, fauna, forest and coastline. The images within the symbols were taken by New Zealanders and uploaded to Stoneleigh via an app earlier this year.
   The Nature’s Collection name is not a marketing ploy: Stoneleigh began with fruit from the stony vineyards in Raparua in Marlborough. Winemaker Jamie Marfell (left) has used techniques that heighten the natural flavour and aroma.
   The sauvignon blanc, made from grapes from low-cropping vines, has a ‘complex flintiness’, with very little done to the wine to maintain the purity of the flavour. The pinot noir has a similar ‘natural brilliance,’ says Marfell, while large-format oak cuves have fermented the chardonnay for three months. The rosĂ© has also been fermented with oak.
   â€˜Our stone-studded vineyards are a constant source of wonder, producing grapes for wines with incredible flavours and aromas. We wanted to celebrate not just our wonder of nature but all of the natural wonders in New Zealand,’ said Marfell.

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October 7, 2014

BeeBio launches skin care line featuring medical-grade manuka honey and bee venom

Lucire staff/23.38

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It’s the latest buzz in beauty. Developed over three years, BeeBio is a new line of skin care products featuring medical-grade 16+ active manuka honey, bee venom and other natural ingredients.
   Active manuka honey is already known for its healing properties, and BeeBio uses it to help stimulate new skin cell growth and to moisturize skin. Bee venom, meanwhile, helps with collagen and elastin production. Combine the two, and you’re looking at stimulating skin cell renewal by 80 per cent, according to independent research. BeeBio products also contain six times the antioxidant levels of vitamin C.
   The range begins with an active manuka honey and goat’s milk soap at NZ$11·60, while the flagship of the range is the venomenous active manuka honey and bee venom face masque retailing at NZ$79·86. In between, there are body lotions, hand and eye creams, facial cleansers and day and night creams. BeeBio is also offering a Christmas gift set, comprising its venomenous active manuka honey and bee venom face masque, active manuka honey eye crĂšme with bee venom, and active manuka honey and royal jelly facial crĂšme, for NZ$179.
   Retailers can be found at www.beebioskin.com.

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September 26, 2014

The 2014 Brancott Estate World of Wearable Art awards: Supreme Award goes to Hawkes Bay

Lucire staff/11.00

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World of Wearable Art Awards

Top Kate MacKenzie’s winning Poly Nation, which took top honours at the 26th World of Wearable Art Awards; Show tonight in Wellington. Above Runner-up Gothic Habit, by San Francisco designer Lynne Christiansen.

Hawkes Bay designer Kate MacKenzie is the winner of the 2014 Brancott Estate Supreme WOW award, at the 26th World of Wearable Art Awards’ Show held in Wellington tonight.
   MacKenzie’s Poly Nation is an inventive design, telling the story of travel and made from leather and cardboard suitcases. The inspiration centred on the idea of ‘If suitcases could talk, they would carry stories of travel, culture and integration.’ It tells the story of people drawn to New Zealand with new ideas and beliefs.
   The design has netted MacKenzie NZ$30,000 in prizes.
   She also took out the Air New Zealand South Pacific section.
   MacKenzie had come third, along with Deidre Morgan, last year in the American Express Open section.
   Lynne Christiansen of San Francisco, Calif. took second place. She has entered seven times, and has won awards before, including the 2013 International Americas Award. Christiansen’s Gothic Habit was made from laser-etched felt and wood, constructed from 2,300 individually cut pieces to form a gothic cathedral. Christiansen also won the Open Section.
   In the individual categories, My Gradational Body by Zhujun Zhu of China won the Avant-Garde section; Fenced off by Luiz Fernando Sereno Penna of New Zealand won the children’s section.
   The Spark Creative Excellence section, with the Airborne theme this year, was won by Annkathrin Selthofer of Germany with her Waving Gorge design. Sebastian Denize of New Zealand won the Bizarre Bra section with Re-Decked, while Mark Dobson, also of New Zaland, won the Weta Costume and Film section (judged by Weta’s Sir Richard Taylor) with Sakana No Senshi.
   Emily Valentine Bullock of New Zealand took home the WOW Factor Award with her Sulphur Crested Frockatoo; the Shell Sustainability Award was won by Laura van Staveren of the Netherlands with Appearance. Shell also sponsored the Student Innovation Award, which was won by Tess Tavener Hanks of Australia with Baroque Living Room.
   The first-time entrant award was scooped by Ali Khan and Frida Khan of Qatar with Bling Warrior. Pop Cultural by Nicki van Asch of New Zealand won the New Zealand Design Award.
   The four Wellington International Awards, one being awarded to each geographic region, were won by Back to the Future: Chrome Queen, by Joanna Peacock of the UK, for Europe; Girl in Ribbons, by Julian Hartzog of the USA for the Americas; Odette by Lulan Huang of China for Asia; and Fenghuang (phoenix) by Svenja XX of Australia for Australia and the South Pacific.
   Wellington designers (Ross Hardie, Rachel Hardie, Hannah Goldblatt, Dylan Mulder, Kris Eriksen, Ian Loveridge, Liz Ritchie, Paula Rowan, Rénée Louie and Emily Valentine Bullock) netted the lion’s share of prizes this year, taking three section awards, four honourable mentions and one special award.
   Founder Dame Suzie Moncrieff, designer Vicky Taylor, and sculptor Jeff Thomson judged.
   Lucire fashion editor Sopheak Seng will have further thoughts from the designers as he files his report from awards’ night at WOW.














World of Wearable Art Awards

Above, from top My Gradational Body, by Zhujun Zhu. Fenced off, by Luiz Fernando Sereno. Waving Gorge, by Annkathrin Selthofer. Re-Decked, by Sebastian Denize. Sakana No Senshi, by Mark Dobson. Sulphur Crested Frockatoo, by Emily Valentine Bullock. Baroque Living Room, by Tess Tavener Hanks. Bling Warrior, by Ali Khan and Frida Khan. Pop Cultural, by Nicki van Asch. Back to the Future: Chrome Queen, by Joanna Peacock. Girl in Ribbons, by Julian Hartzog. Odette, by Lulan Huang. Fenghuang, by Svenja XX.

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September 13, 2014

Living Nature’s Skin Steps: all you need in a natural, single package to look after your skin

Lucire staff/2.18

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We have to take our hats off to Living Nature for constantly innovating—and staying true to what it stands for, as the world’s purest and most natural skin care brand. (Remember, it’s not what they put in, it’s what they leave out, that makes Living Nature the brand that’s certified natural by BDIH and the safest skin care range by the Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database.)
   We’ve had a chance over the last few weeks to try out its newest release, the Skin Steps pack featuring five Living Nature products: the nourishing day cream, vitalizing cleaner (both with active manuka honey) and extra-hydrating toning gel (with harakeke), each in 50 ml bottles, plus a sampling of the nourishing night cream (again with manuka honey) and firming flax serum (with harakeke). It’s one of three packs that Living Nature offers depending on your skin condition—we had the normal skin one, but the company also offers one for oily skin and another for dry and mature skin.
   The pack is a particularly handy size, and each of the 50 ml bottles makes the beauty rĂ©gime all the simpler. There’s no colouring, no artificial fragrances—if there’s a scent associated with natural goodness, you’ll find it here. The cleanser actually leaves your skin feeling softer and smoother thanks to a moisturizing effect and its mild kumerahou, while the nourishing cream has a pleasant, gentle scent that we noticed had a positive effect on the skin throughout the day. The toning gel, with harakeke flax gel and Totarol feels lighter than the creams, and helps restore your skin’s natural pH balance while repairing dehydration, ideal for the warmer months ahead, and very gentle on the face.
   Living Nature has made looking after your skin such a simple process, and it’s well worth the NZ$69 retail price. For more information, head to www.livingnature.com or freephone, in New Zealand, 0508 548-464. It’s available at selected salons, pharmacies and health stores nationally.

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September 11, 2014

Phoenix commemorates its Love Project with three limited-edition pop-art bottles

Lucire staff/3.14

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We fell in love with these limited-edition pop art bottles from Phoenix Organics ever since they arrived at the office—so much so that we’ve been saving them for a special occasion.
   But they’re much more than a fleeting fancy. They signify Phoenix’s commitment to the environment, launching its Love Project, where it has teamed up with Sustainable Coastlines and Tangaroa Blue Foundation to help clean up New Zealand’s beaches.
   Over 1,015,884 litres of rubbish has been collected from New Zealand beaches since 2009—equivalent to 31 shipping containers of waste. Phoenix is asking Kiwis to visit its Facebook page to vote for the beach they love the most and would like to keep clean. The company will contribute to beach clean-up projects this summer.
   The artwork has been inspired by the love of our planet, and appears on Phoenix organic cola, lemonade and ginger
beer. The artists are Mica Still of Wellington, Meghan Geliza of Auckland, and Mulga of Sydney.
   In late October, Geliza and Still will create a live art installation in Auckland, in which the public can participate.



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September 9, 2014

Jaguar launches XE in London, with David Gandy, Stella McCartney, Eva Herzigova, Laura Whitmore

Lucire staff/1.28

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Jaguar has launched its most important car in years with the brand-new XE, a saloon that sees the Indian-owned company tackle a segment dominated by the BMW 3er and Audi A4. The XE also marks a new generation of Jaguars powered by the company’s new series of Ingenium engines, and features a first-in-segment aluminium-intensive monocoque structure for lightness and strength.
   Jaguar Land Rover, which has seen its profits soar in recent years, spared no expense with the XE’s launch in London, bringing celebrities including Stella McCartney, David Gandy, Eva Herzigova, Sir Stirling Moss, JosĂ© Mourinho, Laura Whitmore, Damian Lewis, Ruben Cortada, David Blakeley, Sam Riley, Sienna Guillory, Steve Redgrave, Brian Johnson and Gary Lineker together at an event that saw Emeli SandĂ©, the Kaiser Chiefs, Eliza Doolittle, the Royal Ballet, Max Milner (The Voice), and members of the London Philharmonic Orchestra perform, and John Hannah narrating.
   While many saw the helicopter delivery of the red XE into London on Monday, Jaguar formally kicked off the launch event that evening at Earls Court with its VIP audience, with the performances evoking models from the company’s past, including the SS100 of 1935.
   SandĂ© composed a ‘Feels Like’ track for the event that had been inspired by the public via social media and the hashtag #FeelXE. The song received its premiĂšre live on a floating stage on the Thames in a 45-minute set later in the evening, with the London Eye and County Hall as a backdrop.
   The performance was complemented with a projection-mapping show on London’s County Hall, showing the public’s messages that inspired the composition. Red flares lit up the London skyline in red to match the hero colour of the new car.
   McCartney will reveal her Parisian Feel XE experience later this month, while Idris Elba will reveal his Feel XE project afterwards.
   Earlier in the day, employees at Jaguar’s Solihull plant—where 1,700 jobs are expected to be created—formed an XE shape as the Red Arrows flew past, and the car was airlifted by helicopter toward London. It was placed on a high-speed landing craft on the Thames to Chelsea Harbour.
   In another nod to its past, Jaguar then had the new XE escorted by two 1960s Mk II police cars from Battersea Bridge to Earls Court.
   The “delivery” was intentional: Jaguar wanted to signal that the XE is the spiritual successor to the Mk II, still considered by many fans to be the quintessential Jaguar close-coupled sporting saloon, and the car that arguably pioneered the segment in which the new model now competes.
   One car from Jaguar’s past that was not mentioned was the X-type, the company’s turn-of-the-century attempt to tap into the compact executive market. Younger buyers rejected that model partly because of its unadventurous styling, overseen by Jaguar’s then-parent company Ford. The X-type was also hampered by its front-wheel-drive transmission on cheaper models, something that Jaguar has avoided repeating by giving the XE rear-wheel drive. It is also the most aerodynamic Jaguar made, with a drag coefficient of 0,26.
   The cab-backward fastback look of the XE takes styling themes established by the XJ and XF, and features a short front overhang and a low driving position. The car looks more aggressive and taut than the larger models, which should appeal to buyers in the segment.
   â€˜Our mission was to create an exciting and dynamic design clearly reflecting the XE’s positioning as a serious driver’s car. The cab-rearward proportions and tight packaging achieve that and give the XE the appearance of movement even when it’s standing still. It bears a strong family resemblance to the F-type and will stand apart in the crowd,’ says Jaguar’s director of design, Ian Callum.
   The aluminium components also mean more effective recycling, and in a world first for cars, Jaguar has specified RC5754, an aluminium alloy made from recycled material.
   The high-tech features extend to Jaguar’s new electric power steering, which is more efficient than a traditional hydraulic system, and what the company calls All Surface Progress Control (ASPC), which works as a low-speed cruise control that can control the brake system and powertrain for the best traction in slippery conditions. The XE also features a laser head-up display, nearly a third lighter than existing systems. Jaguar also dĂ©buts a new InControl infotainment system, which is claimed to be more intuitive, especially with a pioneering plain-speech voice control. The car is also a wifi hotspot for internet-enabled devices, and both Apple Iphone and Android users can control various functions remotely.
   Full details of the XE range will be released at the Salon de Paris on October 2. The range will be topped by a supercharged V6 delivering 340 PS, while the two-litre Ingenium diesel is claimed to deliver 75 mpg (Imperial) with carbon dioxide emissions of 99 g/km. Prices are set to begin at ÂŁ27,000.















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August 20, 2014

Audi’s new TT is leaner and greener, with whole-life environmental impact reduced

Lucire staff/14.24

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Audi’s third-generation TT, which goes on sale later this year, is greener and lighter than its predecessor, something which Lucire readers will applaud.
   The iconic sports’ car, which came on the scene in 1998 with its Bauhaus, geometric looks, carving its own niche, continues similar themes for 2014, but looks sleeker, with Audi’s hexagonal grille, and wider. However, it is virtually the same length as the outgoing model, while having a 37 mm longer wheelbase.
   The body is stiffer by 25 per cent and the centre of gravity lower by 10 mm, aiding handling. Power is up 14 per cent, while greenhouse gas emissions are down 11 per cent. The monocoque shell is a mixture of steel and aluminium, with the weight dropping by 50 kg compared with the second-generation model which Lucire tested in 2007. The weight, in fact, is only close to that of the original TT, which is no mean feat considering how much more modern cars pack, with the front-wheel-drive 2·0 TFSI model tipping the scales at 1,230 kg. By comparison, a 1998 1·8 front-wheel-drive TT weighed 1,240 kg.
   Audi has also reduced the whole-life impact on the environment, with each car saving 5·5 tonnes of greenhouse gas (not just carbon dioxide, but methane, nitrous oxide and halogenated organic emissions) in its lifetime. The construction sees a saving of 800 kg of greenhouse gas emissions (nine per cent) compared to the earlier model.
   UK deliveries commence in December 2014.


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June 7, 2014

Destination datelines: Catalina, Paris, Gurgaon, Punta Ala

Lucire staff/13.57

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©1964 Bettmann/Corbis


©1966 Hulton–Deutsch/Corbis

Top The Beatles in A Hard Day’s Night, 1964. Above George Harrison marries Pattie Boyd in 1966.

Catalina Island, California
Hard to believe it’s been a half-century since the premiĂšre of A Hard Day’s Night. To commemorate the date, the Catalina Island Museum will mount a special 50th anniversary screening of the legendary movie starring the Beatles on Sunday, July 6 in Avalon’s Casino Theatre at 7 p.m. Lucire loves the vintage dĂ©co interior. On hand to take questions will be author Pattie Boyd (right), who you can surely interrogate about her life and times as wife of George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and her best-selling memoir, Wonderful Tonight. Pattie exudes energy and personality, and loves to laugh. Watch for her in a famous scene which takes place on a train: she’s the blonde girl in a school uniform, who flirts with George.


Paris, France
A new website has launched this week which could simplify the task of finding lodging in this capital city: www.myboutiquehotel.paris/fr/. It looks like a pretty cleverly designed and attractive site, listing over 250 boutique hotels. You can select by price, star rating, location, nearby landmarks, areas of interest, but the kicker is the promise of a real live human being person available on the phone to assist you. We’d be interested to learn of anyone’s experiences with this site. Good luck with your launch!

Gurgaon, Haryana, India
While the city, population 20 million, stews under a layer of world-class pollution (mostly the by-product of wood fires), the problem of traffic compounds the subject. Gurgaon excels in congestion, and this week some like-minded technology companies are rolling out Folksvagn, a cheekily-named ride-sharing solution in the Palam Vihar and Sector 22–3 area. It’s also a vote of support for Gurgaon start-ups like our friends at Nagarro, one of a group deploying modern mindsets in the interest of transforming urban mobility with programmes like this. If you’re looking for a sustainable and socially responsible ride to work in Gurgaon, this may be your answer.

Punta Ala, Italy
This week, Baglioni reopens La Vela, a classic architectural monument originally known as a swinging disco in 1965. You can see its signature roofline on the very exclusive beach here. A glorious renovation transforms the space into a 160-seat restaurant and spa. Ideally situated among a cypress grove, with astounding views of the nearby islands Elba, Capraia and Pianosa, the airy infinity terrace promises to be an ideal location for sunset beverages and prime people-watching. GM Luigi Magnani promises ‘a soft club’ experience for evenings.—Stanley Moss, Travel Editor


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