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April 20, 2016

Recycle, rejuvenate and rejoice with the Secret Room

Leyla Messian/3.31




Leyla Messian

The MTV Movie Awards should be thought of as the “Real People’s Choice Awards”, as it reflects the pop cultural phenomena people are actually paying money to see. By the same token, the Secret Room’s annual event for this event should be considered a solid barometer for new things people are going to want to try and buy. This spring edition of the pre-show party was a most refreshing mix of products which allowed people to recycle, rejuvenate, refresh and rejoice, not only against a pop-cultural backdrop, but also social changes in US culture taking root in California.
   The star attraction was Parfaire, a Pasadena-based medical æsthetics’ spa that also provides on-site services. In a private suite high above the revelry in the SLS’s bustling ballroom, guests enjoyed a choice of a Red Carpet Rejuvenating Facial or Botox treatments.
   Parfaire, under the direction of Dr Winnie, is one of the few Los Angeles “med-spas” that provide Kybella treatments, which permanently dissolve double-chin fat. Their patience and calming demeanour provided a welcoming respite for celebrities, press and other attendees pressured by the demands of the upcoming award show and related public appearances. The treatments were short, but remarkably relaxing and effective, providing living proof that a spa is only as good as the expertise and attitude of its doctors and staff.
   The last gasp of a southern California winter allowed guests to enjoy the pleasure of sipping wine while bundled up in cashmere in colours that matched the varietals. From JaM Cellars comes a new kind of Hollywood breakfast: Butter Chardonnay, Jam Merlot and Toast sparkling wine. Guests appreciated Repeat Cashmere’s buttery-soft scarves and ponchos crafted from snuggly but deceptively light and delicate fabrics. Among the rich neutrals and jewel tones, burgundy was the most popular colour with celebs.
   There was also plenty of bling to liven up the classic cashmere pieces. The Fleur de Lys and Me offered youthfully chic jewellery made of stainless steel (including VIP wrist bands with MTV logos). Other items included clever, customizable bracelets with snap-on, interchangable charms covered in crystals. Gris by Allison Hall tempted VIPs with fine modern jewellery designed with a nod to Ancient Rome, the Byzantine Empire and the Victorian era. Mixed metals, from rose gold to rhodium, provided the backdrop for precious and semi-precious stones swimming in ornate diamond pave settings.
   Tracey Tanner Studios offered Italian leather purses and make-up bags that allowed guests to make a statement beyond fluorescent snakeskin and dyed crocodile leather. The company’s simple bag designs were covered in psychedelic colours, tie-die patterns, and digitally printed images of the natural beauty of the cosmos. And what star would not want to walk down the red carpet carrying the universe in her hands?
   Sagjol showcased comfy yet edgy clothing for men and women of all shapes and sizes. The new line featured a denim-like fabric made from recycled ketchup bottles—here is fashion feeding the soul instead of landfills. Sagjol’s toasty jackets, soft-to-the-touch jeans and frayed biker vests are perfect for throwing over graphic T-shirts and sexy camisoles.
   Beauty and grooming aides were also geared for the young as well as the young-in-spirit. Prep’s Strands like Steel hair care line is marketed as ‘cool care for young hair’—especially for trendsetters who often put their locks through hell. The leave-in treatment protects stressed hair from sun, heat, hot spotlights and other sources of thermal damage. It also works great as a de-tangler for kinky and naturally curly hair that finds its way into annoying dreadlocks.
   ClixIt Heal and Conceal pens offered a convenient way to hide blemishes and heal in-grown hairs. These little pens conveniently fit into the tiniest of clutches. In terms of larger cover-ups, Fake Bake was back to invite celebs to step into the mobile tanning parlour for a double shot of ‘Espresso Tan’. They also premièred their anti-ageing self-tanning facial lotion, along with a daily moisturizer that also amplifies and preserves an existing natural or fake tan.
   There were also several tables devoted to the most intimate of female concerns. Disposable PantyPads are biodegradable period panties complete with padded reinforcement to protect ladies during long flights and longer business meetings. For those of us who get really cranky under these circumstances, there’s always Serenol, a non-prescription dietary supplement that has been clinically shown to put a smile on women’s faces during that time of month. Made with Swedish flower pollen extract, it reduces water retention and junk food cravings while promoting a good night’s sleep.
   Speaking of things that annoy the “lady of the house” and her overnight guest, Jack’s Furr­fighters showcased their newest fur-fighting gear: suede gloves that remove cat and dog hair from little black dresses, boyfriends’ suits, living room sofas and boudoir pillows. All the lady has to do is put on the glove, and pet the sofa or the man covered in cat hair.
   Hemp-based products, backed by their 9,000 year-old history, came out from the shadows for a star turn. Hemp oil beauty products from Kannaway.com introduced Hollywood to hemp-oil infused cleansers, serums, and moisturizers. When combined with hyaluronic acid and other botanicals, hemp oil banishes signs of premature ageing. RSHO Raw Hemp Oil (by HempMeds), is a dietary supplement known to reduce anxiety without making you high.
   For those who prefer to smoke their herbs, Hydra Vapor Tech showcased its state-of-the-art vapourizer carrying cases. Available in gold, silver, white and black, the sleek Titan II allows you to carry all of your vaping supplies in a tasteful and tidy manner. While vaping, you could chill out to your favourite music with jewel-toned Spider ear buds, engineered with a focus on bass, vital to one’s enjoyment of rap, hip-hop and rock.
   The event also came with a cherry on top, which was definitely not for kids: no pre-award show event would be complete without a platter of Jello-shots from Twisted Cherries. Guests and vendors alike could not resist gin and whiskey-infused cherries encased in tangy cherry gelatin. While Girl Meets World star Ava Kolker and Disney’s Lexie Kolker enjoyed their cookies, the rest of us indulged in those festive sips.
   Favourite stars from MTV-flavoured movies past and present in attendance included Judge Reinhold, Vincent Spano, Daphne Blunt, Kirk Morrison, Ken Davitian, Charisma Carpenter, Lauren Potter, Ryan Ochoa, Ginger Gonzoga, Ashlee Keating, Jessica Barth, as well as veteran soap opera divas Kate Linder and Diedre Hall.—Layla Messian, LA Correspondent










Leyla Messian

April 16, 2016

Actress Katrin Heß the latest to pose nude for PETA, promoting veganism

Lucire staff/12.46


Marc Rehbeck/PETA


Courtesy Katrin Heß via Instagram

In the spirit of PETA’s earlier campaigns featuring celebrities who would rather go naked than wear fur, German actress Katrin Heß has posed nude to promote a vegan diet.
   Heß has long been public about her love of animals, running a prize draw last year for a rescue dog.
   Last week, Heß teased fans on her Facebook and Instagram, saying that she would be posing for PETA Deutschland. The German arm of the worldwide anti-animal cruelty group revealed her promotional image today.
   Heß said, ‘My choice to be vegan is not a trend, but a conscious decision for me and my love of animals. Since I do not eat animal products any more, I look at my surroundings very differently. For example, I finally understand that not only dogs, but cows and pigs, are sentient individuals … Every animal has the right to a happy and full life.’
   PETA Deutschland notes that 800 million animals are slaughtered or die in Germany alone for the meat, dairy and egg industries, and thousands of millions of fish suffocate on the decks of fishing boats or are crushed in nets.
   It refers German visitors to its Veganstart website, www.veganstart.de.
   The promotional image was shot by photographer Marc Rehbeck. Make-up was by Emile van Tile, using Paul Mitchell products.
   The shoot’s release, along with a behind-the-scenes video, coincides with the return of Heß in RTL’s Alarm für Cobra 11: die Autobahnpolizei TV show, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in March. It will reach its 300th episode in 2016, although its 291st was promoted as the 300th by the network.
   In anticipation of the anniversary, the network over-enthusiastically removed fan videos that it did not even own from a Facebook group last month, under penalty of perjury.
   Heß joins celebrities such as Christy Turlington, Pamela Anderson, Charlotte Ross, Tamara Ecclestone, Christian Serratos, and Eva Mendes in posing nude for PETA.

April 3, 2016

Gala honours Naomi Campbell, with guests Lena Gercke, Catherine Hummels, Eva Padberg, Franziska Knuppe

Lucire staff/12.49




Gisela Schober

Gala magazine in Germany celebrated its 20th anniversary Spa Awards at the Brenners Park-Hotel & Spa in Baden-Baden, awarding the best names in the cosmetics and hotel industries.
   Supermodel Naomi Campbell was named Beauty Idol of the Year, with the judges citing her various careers in modelling, acting and authoring, and her support of social projects.
   A Special Prize was awarded to Prof Michael Braungart, founder of environmental consulting institute EPEA and a supporter of conservation and the cradle-to-cradle principle.
   Other awards went to Givenchy for its Le Soin Noir Masque Dentelle (Luxury Concepts award), Dr Grandel for Beautygen Renew Body (Innovation Concepts), Weleda for Skin Food Hautcreme (Cult Concepts), Skinceuticals for Metacell Renewal B3 (Men Concepts), Börlind for Beauty Shots Intensiv Konzentrate (Organic Concepts), Clarins for the Art of Touch (Treatment Concepts), Royal Mansour of Morocco (Luxury Hotel City–Resort), and the Four Seasons Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru (Innovative Spa Concepts).
   Guests at the event included Eva Padberg, Stephanie Stumph, Ursula Karven, Catherine Hummels, Julia Dietze, model Lena Gercke, Dagmar Kögel and her daughter Alana Siegel, Jochen Llambi and Motsi Mabuse, Jorge Gonzalez, Franziska Knuppe, Stefan Konarske, Lisa Martinek, Erol Sander and Caroline Godet, Jochen Schropp, Carolina Vera and Birthe Wolter. Barbara Schöneberger was MC and singer Philipp Dittberner performed live at the event.
   Other sponsors included BMW, Cadenzza, Emcur Bio Matcha, Fabletic, Moroccanoil, Pommery, Talbot Runhof and Und Gretel.

























Gisela Schober, Axel Kirchhof

February 15, 2016

This year’s Grammy celebration, broadcast in living colour

Lucire staff/12.36



If this year’s Oscars are like a scoop of vanilla ice-cream, the 2016 Grammys deliver a colourful sundae of flavour and texture. The cherry on top of the weekend was Roger Zamudio’s Red Carpet Events LA Style Lounge at the W Hollywood Hotel. Nominees, publicists, stylists and press were invited to explore several rooms full of new and established luxury products.
   This event marked the debut of Lavish Brows, a unique brow-enhancement system that can be done at home or in a salon. ‘Attaching these tiny brow hairs is as easy as putting on lipstick,’ says founder Mary Jane Dana. Lavish Brows is a godsend for women whose eyebrows are naturally sparse, overplucked or in need of a little drama. No more fake-looking, pencilled-in eyebrows that drip off of your forehead on a hot LA afternoon!
   City Color Cosmetics, available internationally through Ebay resellers, offered a lightweight, non-irritating make-up setting spray and eye-shadow primer that promises to prevent eye make-up from creasing and turning into facial mud puddles. This season’s eye-shadow colour palettes for daily wear include purple, charcoal and desert-inspired earth tones reminiscent of a southwestern sunset. Representatives of Cure Natural Aqua Gel gently removed dead skin and two-day-old spray tanning from celebrity hands, using a water-based, unscented lotion formulated without abrasive, artificial ingredients. Long-term users have noticed a brighter appearance as their sunspots faded away. Guests also had another choice of exfoliant, courtesy of Fake Bake. Their mobile spray-tanning tent was on hand, enabling Grammy attendees to show off their caramel-hued beauty on the red carpet.
   Korean-inspired Tikkun Spa offered guests an opportunity to unwind for a day at their Santa Monica location. What better way to detox after 24 hours of primping, posing and partying, than by lying on slabs of therapeutic Himalayan rock salt? Imagine yourself baking in a clay sauna, steaming your sins away in a eucalyptus haze, and finally plunging into a cold pool of water. Alternatively, a VIP could also choose to escape as far from LA as possible, and sip mojitos at the Shelbourne Wyndham Grand Resort in South Beach, Fla.
   Another essential item for the Hollywood insider’s morning-after kit included a healing tea from Nuwati Herbals, described as a ‘natural remedy from the medicine cabinet of Mother Earth’. This minty mélange of green tea, juniper, elderberries, wild cherries and rosehips immediately cleared the nasal passages of several attendees. There’s nothing better than a steaming, hot cup of diversity: it’s a special kind of sweetness, followed by a peppery kick. ‘One whiff from the bottle will scare your allergies or head cold away,’ one attendee commented.
   Guests who live in a never-ending party enjoyed Jell-o shots comprised of pineapple juice and gin- or whisky-infused Twisted Cherries. Those craving their minimum daily dose of living probiotics gravitated towards Lifeway Kefir, where they sampled hibiscus-rhubarb pie, a limited–edition flavour packaged in bottles designed by Cynthia Rowley. Clothing designer Tabitha Sellin showed off her new line of edgy suits, dresses, jackets and playful bow ties in a variety of dusky, muted jewel tones. Toronto’s Rok Cork displayed samples of made-to-order leather and cork handbags. Who knew that cork could be so durable and yet as soft as fine leather? Better still, it is completely waterproof!
   The last room contained a reminder that the beauty of diversity is not always welcome in many parts of the world. My Sister’s Village, founded by 14 year-old LA resident Naria Slann, provides an American boarding school education for Tanzanian albinos who are persecuted and often murdered by human traffickers. Those who wish to help protect these vulnerable children, or learn more about the difficulties they face, may visit iamf.org or www.gofundme.com/mysistersvillage.—Leyla Messian, LA Correspondent








January 9, 2016

Kicking off the Golden Globes’ suites: inspirational, inventive and invigorating

Elyse Glickman/10.53



Elyse Glickman

Pre-award suites have been around for so long that the expression ‘Now, I’ve seen everything’ genuinely applies in many cases. For this reason, Rita Branch’s latest outing, Ultimate in Luxury Red Carpet Style Lounge, was positively brilliant because many of the vendors were making their red-carpet début. Even better, women-owned companies were in the spotlight, as were beauty products from around the globe.
   Marquee sponsors included Visit Santa Barbara (still Hollywood’s backyard playground), Los Angeles’ Dermale skin care, Mommy-and-me gear from Rufflegirl.com and Eve & Nico. New York-based Eve & Nico, which was gifting hand-wrought telephone wire baskets from South Africa to guests, is a woman-founded company that stocks its web store with unique decorative and fashion items crafted by women from a variety of communities around the globe. While proceeds from the bowls, handbags, wall hangings, candles and other items benefit women and families in need, there’s the added pride a consumer feels knowing that someone took her time to make something of beauty and utility.
   And speaking of global travel, Queen Latifah’s ‘Make me international!’ line from the film Last Holiday was a great way to describe the head-to-toe beauty offerings, which dominated the event. There were special golden-handle Denman hairbrushes from the UK (a favourite tool in salons throughout the world), Dermale’s new Purifying product collection line, and MyntSmile, a multi-tasking toothpaste created by New Yorker Lisa Marie Kao that not only whitens and prevents cavities, but protects expensive investment dental work.
   A unisex body scrub and lotion from Israel’s Adore Organic Innovation products, made from Dead Sea elements and other organic ingredients, was also a hit with celebrities. Jakob Pahima, who co-owns Adore’s LA-area boutiques, explained how the collection of cleansers, toners, eye creams, body lotions, nail care, moisturizers, night creams address such issues as wrinkling, sagging, and uneven skin tone.
   Fernanda Japan offered a garden of heavenly delights, with perfumes, colognes, body lotions and hair conditions in a dozen vivacious floral–fruit aromatic blends. British Columbia-based Scentuals tempted people with their herbal, cruelty-free products for men, women and infants. Oleavicen lip balm and first aid ointment made in Santa Barbara draw on the power of olive oil, beeswax and alœ to alleviate dry, sensitive skin and small wounds quickly and without mess. The origins for Brevena Skin Care (from Minnesota) grew out of its original use in burn centres. When doctors gave the manufacturers feedback on how the creams helped their often-washed and overly dry skin, they realized their oat-based proprietary formula could treat a variety of skin ailments, from excessive sun exposure to eczema.
   City Color Cosmetics offered guests a variety of blushes and lip paints in both natural and neon hues. Barbara Orbison, wife of late Roy Orbison, offered a fitting tribute to him with her Pretty Woman fragrance, in perfume, candle and solid-fragrance form. The composition of floral, vanilla, amber, spice and woody essences comes together as something with a warm, old-school feel to it that recalls other classics like Estée Lauder’s Youth Dew. Edda Scandinavian body care and home products, crafted in the US, are inspired by the fresh, natural aromas of Scandinavia as well as their cultural penchant for all things organic and sustainably produced.
   While veteran fashion publicist Kristi Ling was on hand to promote her friends behind Betty Boop-licensed apparel, we’re excited about the new path she’s taken as a life coach. Her insight on how to reinvent and recharge your life is covered in her new book, Operation Happiness. While many books promise big changes in multiple steps, she narrows the path down to three: ‘Change Your View’, ‘Change Your Mornings’, and ‘Create New Habit’. If her self-reinvention is any indication, the book should be a compelling read. Another casual clothing purveyor was Twisted J Apparel, whose designs are inspired, in part, by Native American art forms.
   Of course, there cannot be an awards’ show suite without some bling. Rita and company did not disappoint. On the costume ends of things, Israeli-born Lilach Adoni was a crowd-pleaser with her state and country silhouette medallions in gold and silver tone and crystal embellishments. On the higher end, Nadri unveiled its new line of sterling silver and semi-precious stone pieces that, in terms of appearance and artistry, could give pricier lines a run for their money—especially when fashionable people are looking for conflict-free glamour.
   If you’re a guy who lives in the fast lane, but wants to do it in a way kinder to the environment, you would have found the presence of Tesla Motors (which first appeared in our pages in 2004) to be quite exciting. The California-based company owned by Elon Musk, that has the entire automotive world talking, gave away limited edition prints to celebrities, and sleek key chains to all.
   Celebrities attending included Saffron Burrows (Mozart in the Jungle), Nyle DiMarco (America’s Next Top Model), Sarah Hay (Flesh and Bone), A. J. Buckley (CSI), Richard Portnow (Trumbo), Anthony Anderson (Black-ish), director Klaus Haro and actor Kai Nordberg (The Fencer), Bernardo P. Saracino (Sicario), and Johnny Ortiz (American Crime Show).—Elyse Glickman, US West Coast Editor




















Elyse Glickman

November 27, 2015

Op–ed: Kiribati’s waking nightmare

Lucire staff/11.22

November 27, 2015

Rt Hon John Key, MP, Prime Minister
Hon Bill English, MP, Deputy Prime Minister
Parliament Buildings
Wellington
New Zealand

Dear John and Bill,

I’m having a nightmare. I want to tell you guys about it—to tell you to wake me up; shake me if you have to. Scream me awake, and when I am, I want you to tell me it’s not as bad as it seems.
   I’ve landed in Tarawa, Kiribati, where news from New Zealand awaited me that John has declared his faith that climate change can be addressed with technology—scientists have told him the technology isn’t far off.
   At an official dinner, people look at me as though I have some glorious technology news to pass on. I don’t. I went to bed that evening feeling hollow; figures screaming through my head, the voice of that pesky Jim Salinger uttering the most terrifying words I’ve heard in many years: ‘The world has now entered abrupt climate change.’ You know Jim right, the guy with the Nobel Peace Prize? Gosh, I wish he would shut up with all that sense he talks.
   In the same nightmare I wake the next day to be told that 90 per cent of drinking water wells have been contaminated with E. coli, that the crops at vital plantations are no longer growing due to saltwater poisoning the ground. That lagoons which once fed villages have become infested with E. coli, killing a large bounty of marine life. That the ocean-warming and acidification has killed a majority of the coral atoll that forms the very ground I’m stood on. It’s like a really bad apocalypse video game—I’m anxious that zombies are going to duck out from behind the door. I look around at homes whose front doors the ocean now laps, at dead fruit trees once laden with produce killed by the salt seeping into the soil. I’m failing to see what Tony Abbott found so comical about this situation.
   In this nightmare I wonder what kind of technology could possibly solve this. I then remind myself of John’s track record of absolute reliability, and I feel comforted. The law can’t solve this. I mean, even if it could and there were laws to protect these people, there are no lawyers, and they’d be unaffordable for these people if there were. So, technology must be the saving grace.
   I visited the hospital to witness first-hand what an infant mortality rate 10 times that of New Zealand’s looks like. Have you ever seen such a thing? It’s completely shocking; it hit me with a force a hundred times that of any image of a child lying washed up on a shore a world away. I tried to fight back the tears, and the numbing coldness that consumed my body. I tried not to vomit—but later in the privacy of my room I did find solace in a Fiji Airways sick bag. I sat there and waited for the moment I’d be shaken awake. I desperately wanted John to ride in and tell me that the threat of climate migration is many years off and not something to be worried about. I wanted Bill to sit down and tell me that none of it was real, and the sea levels were not rising.
   John, could you go tell that mate of yours Obama to stop being a bloody alarmist; that according to Bill, there’s no proof Alaskan villages are vanishing into the ocean. That entire nations are not facing forced-extinction from the ocean swallowing them alive. You go tell that puffed-up American know-it-all that he’s alarming the masses, causing me nightmares and unwanted anxiety.
   Bill, could you go tell all those apparently credible scientists who’ve won those fancy awards, that 2015 is not the hottest year in history and they’re just plain wrong. Round them up with Malcolm across the ditch (because they give him a hard time as well) and be done with them. Bully them into submission a bit harder. Just shut them up.

Thanks in advance,

Pearl

§

I imagined the response coming back something a little like this.

Dear Pearl,

You are far too much of a pretty wee thing to be travelling to such far-flung and irrelevant places like Kiribati in your nightmares; to spend time worrying about such things. Why don’t you pay heed to the advice I gave Keisha Castle-Hughes: try visiting the salon for a bad blow-dry instead?
   Don’t worry about other people. By the time New Zealand starts feeling the full effect of climate change we’ll have the technology available to deal with it.
   I’ve also got Malcolm under control—he’s going to share Nauru so we’ve got somewhere to put all those helpless fellow human beings in the Pacific fleeing the rising sea-levels and food shortages. The ones who think they’re right to turn to us for help. I’m going to stop the boats.
   Meanwhile, the Kardashians have a new season, vote for the fern, and use our new buzz word: technology.
   In the meantime, here’s a Live Lokai bracelet. Hold on to it, because before long the Dead Sea and Everest will be things for the history books.

Merry Christmas,

John

§

That’s kind of how this piece came about. I thought I’d write a wee letter. The problem is, the more I wrote and decried the blind buying-in of the latest spin to come out of the ninth floor, the more ridiculous it felt, and the more scared I became in turn. If I’m completely honest, the realization that many—possibly even some reading this piece—didn’t know how absurd the spin had become, worried me to the point of physical sickness. Thanks again Fiji Airways, your sick bags are truly first-class.
   I’m writing this from Kiribati. I’m fully awake. I’m awake in a nightmare. I went to the hospital. I waded through water at high-tide to cross the road infested with human fæces to get there before what they call the ‘morgue’ closed. In a bag at the other end of the room was a pile of clothes and a pair of trainers I never want to see again. I was going to turf them out, but a young woman tasked with showing me around asked if she could have them, since for her wading through the stench of death and fæces was an everyday reality.
   Don’t get me wrong, Kiribati is absolutely beautiful and if it weren’t for the damage wreaked by rising sea levels and climate change, I would focus only on its beauty, but the reality is these threats make the situation people face here far from idyllic. It’s a dire situation, it’s a nightmare.
   A real-life nightmare, there is no amount of shaking that can wake me; though shaking I am, believe me. Shaking from incredulity at the sheer scale of the situation. The problem is I’m not the who needs to be screamed awake. That’s right: if you have ever for one moment entertained the illusion that sea-levels are not rising; that climate change is not the single biggest threat facing humanity; that you can carry on shirking the responsibility to aid in the fight for human survival and dignity, you need to be screamed awake. Will the humanity in you please wake up?
   I’m not saying this with any political leaning. I believe that most of our politicians are drastically failing us all. Who knows what will happen if we leave this to them. I mean, half of those reading this may freak out at the thought of the Green Party controlling the economy, but don’t blink an eyelid at them leading on the issue defined as ‘the single greatest threat to mankind’ by every serious world leader. Why is that? How will the economy exist without our planet?
   Climate change is no longer some far-off theory or problem. It is happening right here and widely through our Pacific backyard. Right now. As you read this climate change is already disrupting our agriculture and ecosystems, our food and water security, our energy, our infrastructure, our health, our safety. Today. Tomorrow. Some more than others but make no mistake it is happening to all of us. It is the issue. An issue that affects all issues, economic included. Everything is and will be impacted. And it becomes more damning with each passing year.
   This matter is far too important to be surrendered to the political domain. This is about humanity. If you think the devastation wreaked by ISIS is as bad as it gets, then please contemplate Mother Nature.
   If the images of parents putting their children into boats because the water was safer than the land left you reeling, then please consider that in the not-too-distant future this will become a reality for many small island states; that many nations in the Pacific will not survive the two-degree cap that Paris is gearing up to gain commitment for in the coming week. They will have to put their children into boats because the water is safer than the land. We have already signed them up for that, and every moment that each of us stands by maintaining the status quo we sign them up for worse—exponentially.
   They will have to flee their homes, forced to migrate due to the lack of food security. Rising sea-levels, along with drastic weather disturbances will make a boat safer than their homes, and these boats will head for our shores.
   Despite this cold hard reality our leaders head into Paris in support of watering a climate agreement down. There’s talk of steps to make the agreement not legally binding. Not many would agree to a marriage or business deal on such terms, I wonder why we are willing to let them negotiate humankind’s survival on such flippant terms.
   During the explosion of the refugee crisis into mainstream media we witnessed both the most hopeful and depraved responses to others’ suffering. I couldn’t help but wonder about the rationale for stopping the boats, for refusing the asylum and migration of those most in need—those least at fault in the destruction of our ecologies, but who will continue to pay the highest price. What possible excuse will we give to keep them out? Do we convince ourselves they’re all terrorists, rapists and murderers to render them exempt from the right to our sympathies, to human dignity? It’s a sad state of affairs that anyone would have to wonder such a thing.
   Leading into the sustainable development goals, New Zealand took a step towards supporting the Pacific, coming out strong and vocal on Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG14), which focuses on the conservation and sustainable use of ocean, sea and marine resources. This focus was well warranted, and an open acknowledgement of our responsibility within the region, and our understanding of how many lives depend on the ocean ecologies. I was proud to stand in the General Assembly and hear John Key announce the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary. It was an important step, but we must be clear that it was but one step in the marathon of steps we need to build a better world.
   In the words of Jim Salinger and virtually every other expert of climate science in the world, the world has entered abrupt climate change. We have already reached tipping-points we cannot mitigate. We are already signed up for things that are going to drastically change life as we know it, this is a cold hard fact. The question that remains now is whether we can summon the courage to turn around and fight for survival. Life is already going to change; but whether we tumble over yet more tipping-points points and the scale of the consequences we face from them is up to us. Sometimes we have little option but to wake ourselves up.
   We have a choice. We can surrender that choice to those who hold offices of power, or we can take that choice into our own consideration. Some say the whole endeavour to pull back from this is hopeless. I’m not willing to accept that. I simply refuse to stand by and let life go without a fight.
   John Key used very interesting rhetoric this week. He used the word ‘faith’. He is placing his faith in technology. Instead I am going to place my faith in humankind—the creators of technology. I am going to place my faith in our ability to comprehend the magnitude of what we face, and choose survival. I ask you to join not just myself, but others around the world in doing so. We still have a fighting chance to make things better. They won’t get better unless we take action and inspire others to do the same. No one is without power: everybody has the capacity to take a few steps.
   I’ve written this for those who know how to challenge the status quo intelligently. The doers, the thinkers, the problem-solvers. I’m not asking anyone to climb something or break laws, just that each person reading this ponders for a minute about how they can contribute, what steps they can take.
   So as we lead into the COP21 talks, billed as a defining moment in human history, at a time when recent events have given us ample reason to desert our faith in our own kind, I encourage every single person reading this to ask themselves what they can do to take action. This weekend millions of citizens around the world are exercising their rights, their freedoms, using their voices and taking to the streets to send world leaders an imperative to act and take meaningful action.
   Mark my words: a decade or possibly two from now it won’t be the Rugby World Cup final you remember with pride. What will be etched in your memory is whether you answered humanity’s call for survival, whether you were one of those who actually did something. Sometimes that something is simply the act of showing up to show solidarity with humankind. In Paris where world leaders have gathered there can be no march, because the worst of humanity put on a display that has left millions of innocent people terrorized. So in the coming week I will be keeping my eyes firmly on Paris, I am marching, I am lending my effort to reinforce the very best in humanity, because if there’s one thing the world needs right now, it’s more of the good.
   It’s only so big, it goes around and we are all on it—Earth. I believe it’s worth saving, do you?—Pearl Going


Disruption, excerpt: ‘Tipping Points’ from Disruption on Vimeo


Above Kiribati President Anote Tong with his TED discussion, ‘My country will be underwater soon—unless we work together’. Click above to watch.

Guest contributor Pearl Going is a global communications’ strategist who has worked broadly across entertainment, human rights and environmental issues. Her most recent work includes the Mercy Campaign, Rohingya Slavery and SIDS. She is an avid climber and has climbed five of the seven summits.

November 23, 2015

Stolen Girlfriends’ Club creates limited-edition straps for Samsung Gear S2 Classic smartwatch

Lucire staff/10.50


Stolen Girlfriends’ Club has created a collection of four customized leather watch straps for the Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch, in an official collaboration with the Korean electronics’ giant.
   The limited-edition straps, in black and brown crocodile, and green and blue snake, will be made available as a gift to some Samsung customers. They are made in New Zealand.
   The retro styling is intentional. As Marc Moore, Stolen Girlfriends’ Club’s creative director, noted, ‘I was really inspired by vintage watch straps for this collaboration with Samsung on the new Gear S2 Classic. I’ll be honest, I haven’t been a huge fan of some of the smartwatches being launched by brands lately—just because they look so “techy”, it doesn’t leave much option for people that are into fashion. So I was pretty excited when I first saw the Gear S2 Classic, I knew instantly that a vintage-styled strap would work great. We had a bit of fun with the colours and textures of the leather we sourced whilst keeping it really wearable and quite classic.’
   By rotating the face bezel, the Gear S2 goes to different screens, or skips to another track or zooms in on a map, making navigation particularly simple. The watch features health and fitness apps, a two- to three-day battery life, Android Bluetooth pairing, and push notifications via mobile phones. The straps can be changed further and the watch face can be customized via the Samsung Gear app. Retail price in New Zealand for the basic S2 is NZ$549, and the S2 Classic is NZ$649, available both online and at offline retailers.

October 23, 2015

News in brief: Kendall & Kylie launch; Plakinger makes sure daughters look stylish; Blue Can water packaged to last

Lucire staff/21.44




Top Kendall and Kylie Jenner with their new collection. Centre and above By using the same fabrics, mothers and daughters can have matching designs thanks to Plakinger.

The Kendall & Kylie Collection, designed by sisters Kendall and Kylie Jenner, will hit Forever New stores in Australia on November 17. With 19 pieces, the limited-edition collection consists of ‘directional party looks’, with playsuits, skirts, crop tops and dresses featuring black, white and blush tones as well as an animal print. Details include lace work, exposed zips and sheer panelling. Prices range from A$79·99 to A$249·99 and the range is available from forevernew.com.au and selected stores nationally and internationally.
   Plakinger, the luxury label started by Russian mother–daughter duo Svetlana Ziggel and her mother Galina Plakinger, has released 10 looks for mothers and their little girls, so that they can have outfits with the same fabrics. Made in their atelier in Germany, the label is available through Maison Bo-M in Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and in the concept stores owned by the Chaumont luxury group in China.
   One might think that bottled water lasts forever, but it only has a six- to twelve-month shelf life, and less if stored in extreme temperatures. Los Angeles-based Blue Can (right) provides premium emergency drinking water for homes, businesses and vehicles, thanks to a filtration system and the use of pressurized aluminium cans. The company says the water can be stored for decades—50 years is regularly cited. It supports the Emergency Water Foundation, a California non-profit corporation, which assists public institutions, business organizations, and schools with their Disaster Awareness Plans.

Below Some of the looks from the limited-edition Kendall & Kylie Collection.





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